The U.S. Embassy is announcing a new competition under the Democracy Small Grants Program

Notice of Funding Opportunity

U.S. Department of State
Embassy of the United States of America in Chisinau

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-CHISINAU-FY19-02-DEMCOM
CFDA: 19.900 AEECA PD Programs
Program: Democracy Commission Small Grants Program
Announcement Type: Open Competition

Announcement Date: February 1, 2019
Deadline for submission of proposals: March 4, 2019 18:00
Anticipated award date: April 30, 2019

Agency Contact: Stelian Rusu,


The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program was initiated in 1994 as a flexible mechanism for U.S. embassies to support initiatives that contribute to open and competitive political and economic systems and the protection of human rights.  The Democracy Commission Grants Program has been implemented in Moldova since 1996, providing support to Moldovan NGOs and mass media to carry out projects throughout Moldova.

The U.S. Embassy invites Moldovan non-profit and non-governmental organizations to submit project proposals to the Democracy Small Grants Program. This program supports projects that foster the development and education of civil society in Moldova. It is a focused yet flexible mechanism that provides seed money for unique and sustainable projects, particularly projects that help develop the capacity of non-governmental organizations in Moldova. The selection of the projects is based on the applicants’ ability to demonstrate concrete achievements that can show impact in a given field or in a specific community.

Project proposals must address at least one of the following themes:

  • Strengthening and promotion of civil society, democratic institutions.
  • Institutionalization of open, pluralistic, and democratic political processes at the local level.
  • Civic education
  • Public participation in decision making;
  • Free flow of information, freedom of speech, transparency in government and good governance;
  • Confidence building

This funding opportunity is authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.


The U.S. Embassy will consider awarding grants ranging from $5,000 up to $25,000. Any requests outside of these limits will not be considered. Please read section Eligibility Information about requirements and criteria for different funding levels.

Total budget for the competition: $100,000

Assistance Instruments: Grants or Fixed Amount Awards

Maximum period of performance: 12 months


Eligibility is limited to not-for-profit organizations (Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO’s), Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s), Think-Tanks) officially registered in the Republic of Moldova.

American or other donor country organizations and individuals are not eligible for grants under this program.  The organizations without Moldovan registration can apply only as partners through an eligible organization.

Additional Eligibility criteria by funding level:

Level I: $5,000-$9,999

Only organizations without prior grants from the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government Agencies may apply for this funding level.

Level II: $10,000-$25,000

Applicant organizations requesting grants above $10,000 must have:

  • At least one successfully implemented grant from the U.S. Embassy
  • A functioning board of directors
  • Proven national visibility (Program will check internet presence, social profiles and media coverage for information about the activities implemented by the applicant)
  • A publicly accessible Annual Activity Report for 2018 (Containing both narrative and Financial information)

Other general criteria:

  • Organizations should not have implemented another Democracy Commission grant from the U.S. Embassy in the last 12 months.
  • Grants are made on a one-time basis. No repeat grants will be issued.
  • Organizations should have existing, or demonstrate the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders including the public sector, private sector, and civil society, as relevant to the proposed program objectives.
  • Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.
  • Organizations may submit only one proposal.
  • Public Affairs Section reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.
  • Please note: the Department of State prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations. No funds will be paid as profit to any recipient.  Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.  The permissibility of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR Part 31, Cost Accounting Standards, and Part 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.  Program income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project or program allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.
  • Please note: no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM) is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities under an award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM ( to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties, or religious groups;
  • Humanitarian or charitable activities, including direct social services to populations;
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Career development;
  • Political or partisan activities;
  • Scientific research;
  • Individual trips abroad;
  • Trade activities; or
  • Health projects. 

Cost Sharing or Matching

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.

Cost sharing may be a certain percentage or amount, or may be in the form of contributions of specified items or activities (e.g., provision of equipment).