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Democracy Grants Program
 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Democracy Grants Program in Moldova was initiated in 1996 to support projects that foster the development and education of civil society in Moldova.

The Democracy Grants Program provides seed money for projects that help develop the capacity and sustainability of non-governmental organizations in Moldova. This includes, but is not limited to, projects targeting the development of open, democratic processes at the local level, stimulation of citizens’ participation in decision making, promoting civic education and strengthening democratic institutions and independent media in Moldova.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility is limited to not-for-profit organizations (NGOs, CSOs, Think-Tanks) officially registered in the Republic of Moldova.  The organizations that have not previously received funding from the U.S. Embassy must submit a recommendation/reference letter from a donor organization.  Direct funding for U.S. and third-country institutions is not available under this announcement.  The organizations without Moldovan registration can apply only as partners via an eligible organization.

The program will not consider applications from:

  • Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties or religious groups
  • Organizations that performed poorly in previous grants

Applicants are not required to include funding from other donors.  However, applications that include additional in-kind and/or cash contributions from non-U.S. Government sources will be more competitive, since cost-sharing demonstrates a strong commitment to the planned activities and greater cost effectiveness.

All potential applicants should be knowledgeable of existing programs in the proposed countries/regions, including those funded by the United States Government, in order to avoid duplication of effort.

Geographic Areas: all regions of Moldova

Eligible time period: 6-12 months

Eligible size of grants: $5,000-$24,000

 

GENERAL COMPETITION PROJECT THEMES

Grants must support initiatives such as: promotion of civil society; free flow of information; transparency in government; public education and advocacy; association building; rule of law and legal reform; conflict resolution; human rights; civic education; environment; market economy*; “watchdog” activities, anti-corruption awareness campaigns and training; and ethnic, minority and women’s equality.

*grants under market economy theme may focus on developing business associations or public education on the workings of a market economy. Grants should not include requests intended to support actual business start-up costs or materials.

Proposals that reach the broadest number of people, involve networking with other organizations and/or cooperation with local governmental agencies or business entities, and which include funding from other sources will have a strong advantage.

The Democracy Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Humanitarian or charitable activities, including direct social services to populations
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Personal career development
  • Political or partisan activities
  • Scientific research;
  • Individual trips abroad
  • Trade activities
  • Health projects

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants must read carefully the instructions provided on the website before filling out and submitting the application. Applications that do not follow the instructions will not be reviewed.

The complete grant process (from the time a project proposal is submitted to the Democracy Commission to the time the funds are available for use) takes approximately three to four months.

Applicant organizations will submit the following documents:

  • Application format (submitted in MS Word format)
  • Resumes of project team
  • Recommendation letter from known donor organization (only for applicants without previous U.S. Embassy grants)
  • Annual Report (Narrative and Financial) for the previous year

The application documents should be sent to moldovagrants@state.gov and pasgrants@gmail.com. Do not archive documents in .rar .zip or other archive formats. The documents should be attached as individual files and sent in one email before the deadline.

NOTIFICATION OF APPLICANTS

Throughout the process applicants will receive several email notifications regarding the status of application therefore it is important very important that you provide accurate contact information. Applications for which we are unable to obtain additional information in a timely manner will be refused.

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

The Review Committee, which is made up of senior officials of the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, will examine the project proposals and recommend selected projects for funding. The U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. will confirm the decision.

Selection of projects is based on the applicant's ability to demonstrate concrete achievements which can show an impact in a given field or community.

The Democracy Grants Program will fund the proposals that best address the Commission's themes and reflect the values of the United States and the mandate of the Embassy and the Democracy Grants Program. Successful proposals will contain accurate and well-developed implementation plans and clear explanations of how the project goals will be achieved.

Project selection is competitive. Proposals are judged on the following criteria:

1) Quality of Program Idea

Proposals should be responsive to the solicitation and exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's mission. The bureau typically does not fund continuation programs but innovative, stand-alone programs.

2) Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Long and Short Term Goals

A relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity of the organization.   The work plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above.  Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable and achievable. For complete proposals, applicants should provide a monthly timeline of project activities.

3) Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Proposed programs should address long-term institution building with an emphasis on moving towards sustainability, garnering other donor support, or demonstrating capacity-building results.

4) Program Evaluation Plan

Programs should demonstrate the capacity for engaging in impact assessments and providing long and short-term goals with measurable outputs and outcomes. Applicants should also identify long and short term project goals. Projects that propose an independent evaluation with a clear plan will be deemed highly competitive in this category.

5) Institution’s Record and Capacity

The Embassy will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.  Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful program administration, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants.  Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project's goals.  Roles and responsibilities of primary staff should be provided.

6) Cost Effectiveness

The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible.  All other items should be necessary and appropriate. 

The decisions of the Democracy Grants Program are final.

 

Disclaimer

Issuance of this Request for Proposals does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals.  Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award.  Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.