Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
August 8, 2011


U.S. Grant Applications

Grant Applications Agenda

Major Sections

  • What Needs To Be Submitted
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction and History
  • Description of Problem/ Problem Statement
  • Project Goals and Objectives
  • Organization’s Capability
  • Risk Assessment
  • Cost Proposal
  • Budget Narrative
  • Property Specifics
  • Key Personnel

Grants Personnel and Roles

  • Grants Officer (GO):

Signing and amendment authority

  • Grants Officer Representative (GOR): Determined by the Grants Officer

Negotiation of project plan. Develops Statement of Work with grantees

  • Grants Specialist:

Handles all grant paperwork and payments

What To Submit

SF-424 Helpful Hints

  • Item 4, Item 5a, and 5b: Applicant Identifier, Federal Entity Identifier, and Federal Award Identifier are left blank
  • Under item 8c: Organizational DUNS:, please list your DUNS number. All applications require a DUNS
  • Note! As of next year all subricipients will require a DUNS number
  • Leave item 16: Congressional Districts Of: blank
  • •nder item 19, check C

SF-424a Helpful Hints

  • Items 6a-6k are the budget category line items that are agreed to. If the grantee needs to make an adjustment by more than 10% during the course of the grant, Grants Officer permission is require. <10% changes may be approved by the GOR. Your budget in your application needs to be broken up according to these line items in the end.
  • If you have outside funds, show them in line 8 (d)
  • If requesting a multi-year grant, list potential future funding needs in lines 16: (c,d,&e)

Grants Cycle

Ongoing: State Department develops program regulations and guidelines for program implementation.

Program Director and Program Managers agree on Funding levels country by country > PM/WRA advertises availability of funds > Grantees negotiate grant project plan with Program Managers > Prospective grantees apply for funds > Grants Officer and Program Manager review plan > If approved, grantee reviews Terms and Conditions and signs the SF-1909 form > Grants Officer signs grant > Grantee funding information sent to PMS, grant is issued > Grant project performed, grantee reports progress quarterly in PMS, budget, and narrative reports > Grantee has an outside audit performed at the end of the project > PM/WRA reviews audit and grantee final report. Grant is closed out if everything is acceptable.

Executive Summary

  • Name of Program
  • Country
  • Regions of Operation
  • Period of Activity
  • Dollar Amount Requested
  • Dollar Amount from Other Sources
  • Total Dollar Amount of Project
  • Number of Personnel (Break out Expatriate Number and Nationals Employed)
  • Proposed Number of Meters Cleared (Or other metric if non-clearance)

Introduction and History

  • Tell us about your organization
  • Tell us about your experience in the past
  • Assume that the reader has not worked with your organization before
  • You can list past grants and monetary amounts if you like

Description of Problem/ Problem Statement

  • Describe the issue at hand
  • It is useful to show a table of land released/ cleared for years past (or other metric if applicable)
  • Use the metric system (meters squared)

Project Goals and Objectives

  • State how you will solve or make an improvement to the problem stated
  • It is useful to connect the solutions with the Department of State’s Country Plan Goals and Objectives
  • Can also show alignment with the Integrated Operational Framework (IOF) goals and objectives for the country
  • State your expected outcomes-total and by area if possible
  • Can include information on targeted population including civilians impacted

Organization’s Capability

  • Tell us how your organization has a unique capability in this field of operations or how you are uniquely positioned to accomplish the work in that area of the country
  • Describe your operations, locations, field office and structure
  • Charts or maps may be helpful but are not required
  • Describe your operational teams, mechanical teams etc.

Risk Assessment

State the risks to the project which may include:

  • Security Risk to personnel, vehicles, and equipment
  • Political Risk
  • Weather/ elemental risks (Logistical risk)
  • Other risks as necessary
  • For each working area state how your organization handles such risks and the costs related to the security of operations

Cost Proposal

  • Show us your budget (This is more detailed than the SF-424a budget category 6a-k)
  • I personally prefer an Excel Spreadsheet with calculations shown
  • Can be multiple tabs for different operations or it can show the headquarters vs. field operations
  • It is EXTREMELY helpful to have a final tab which shows how your detailed budget links into to the budget category breakdown in the SF-424a-k (in its own excel tab)
  • Show detailed breakdown of personnel costs
  • Should be broken down by demining teams and personnel number
    – It is useful if you break this up by occupational class (cooks, guards, drivers, deminers, etc.
  • Contingency expense or reserve is not allowed
  • Indirect Cost
  • Field Offices may be separate costs from indirect if they are exclusive to this project-or show the percentage breakdown in the narrative
  • Detailed breakouts are needed for building renovations/ improvements
  • Transportation Costs
  • List by separate line item the following
    –Insurance for personnel
    –Cost of benefits for personnel
    –Professional expenses if necessary
    –Audit Expense
    –Vehicles Purchase Request
    –Fuel and Lubricants for vehicles
    –Maintenance of vehicles
    –Security Cost
    –International Flights -- show estimated cost for each flight
    –Training Costs

Budget Narrative

  • List personnel numbers
  • Describe in detail your indirect costs (If you are a 501c3 or US NGO, you should have a NICRA, if an International NGO, you must describe your indirect costs in order to justify the percentage rate request.)
  • If multiple offices are required, provide a strong justification here
  • Discuss international flights and justification. Each flight needs to be justified
  • List vehicle numbers requested and type of vehicles
  • Building renovations and improvements need to be described in detail with a strong justification
  • Describe Transportation Costs if you have these as well as fuel & lubricants
  • If you are using a miscellaneous expense details are required in the narrative

Property Specifics

  • Tools should be purchased from AMATC. Speak to the Grants Officer Representative for exceptions
  • Do not use humanitarian equipment for commercial operations
  • This is a good time to start your inventory list. Remember that you will have to provide all of the following at closeout so it is better to start this list now and include it as a tab in your budget. Include estimated purchase price, and intended location, and description of item. The final list at close-out must also include manufacturer’s serial number, model number or other identification, and condition of property
  • Do not dispose of any item of equipment over $5000 without specific instructions from the grants officer (this can be in the form of an email)

Payment Management System (PMS)

  • If successful and once both the grantee and the Grants Officer has signed the grant information is entered into PMS and funds are transferred
  • This may occur as fast as three days but can take a week
  • PMS is run by HHS, not the Department of State
  • PMS Help Desk Number: #877-614-5533 Mon-Fri 5:00am-11:00pm EST, Sat & Sun 9:00am-9:00pm EST

Statement of Work

  • If successful, work with the Program Manager / Grants Officer Representative to Develop your Statement of Work
  • This is what the project will be accountable to, not what is written in the application

Please Remember: You do not have any award or assurance that you will be paid until you have an SF-1909 form signed by the Grants Officer.

Questions? For more information, please visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.

[This is a mobile copy of PM/WRA Grant Application Overview]