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Democracy Commission Small Grants Program


U.S. Embassy Bishkek announces the 2023 Democracy Commission Small Grants ProgramComplete Statements of Interest must be submitted by March 20, 2023. This program supports the development of Kyrgyzstan’s democratic institutions and civil society by competitively awarding small grants to Kyrgyz nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and associations, to nonprofit civil society organizations (CSOs), and to independent local media organizations. Any interested state bodies are encouraged to work with NGOs to submit applications. The maximum grant award is $50,000 with the average grant at $30,000 or less. The Democracy Commission will award grants on a competitive basis, pending on the availability of funds.

The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy to the Kyrgyz Republic is soliciting Statements of Interest that focus on one of the priority areas specified below. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit joint proposals with another NGO, such as a regional NGO collaborating with a Bishkek-based organization, to build partnerships and strengthen civil society capacityApplicants should pay close attention to the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program’s goals and objectives, priority program areas, target audiences, and geographic locations when developing their proposals.

Priority themes:

  1. Advancing Business Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship
  2. Promoting Democratic Institutions
  3. Combatting Gender-Based Violence
  4. Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE)
  5. Countering Trafficking-in-Persons (CTIP)

For more detailed information on program’s requirements, target audiences, goals, and objectives, please see the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) attached.

Statements of Interests must be submitted only in English, but applicants may choose to supplement their proposals with Russian or Kyrgyz versions, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.

First Round: Statement of Interest Submission

U.S. Embassy Bishkek will review all Statements of Interest and invite only shortlisted projects to submit full grant packages as described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, Section E: Technical Requirements for application submission: Second Round.

Only invited shortlisted candidates will be asked to send a complete application, which consists of:

  1. SF424 and SF424a;
  2. Applicant Organizational Information Sheet;
  3. Application form;
  4. Budget proposal;
  5. Monitoring and Evaluation Data Sheet
  6. One-page CV for key project personnel (Note: Please do not include personal information such as dates of birth or home addresses); and,
  7. NGO’s copy of registration at the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Shortlisted applicants will be informed regarding the due date for full application submission. Any applications submitted after the due date, submitted incomplete, do not follow the application format, or are not submitted on the templates provided, will be disqualified.

Note:  any files over 10MB will be automatically rejected by the email system.

For more information please contact the Democracy Commission Team at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek by email at BishkekProjectProposals@state.gov.

Second Round: Technical Requirements for Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully.  Statements of Interest that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be disqualified. 

Each Statement of Interest must:

  1. Clearly indicate the grant priority area to which it is being submitted for consideration;
  2. Focus on the key audiences specified in the areas (i.e., women, youth, etc.), and note key geographic areas and other indicators of focus populations;
  3. Clearly delineate how elements of the program will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant;
  4. Identify specific outcomes to be achieved by the end of the grant period;
  5. Provide a plan for program outcomes, including social media outreach and monitoring, where applicable; and
  6. Provide an approximate funding amount along with a short budget proposal.

Please ensure: 

  1. The Statement of Interest clearly addresses the goals, audiences, and objectives of this notice.  Applicants encouraged to use the Statement of Interest template (Attachment 1) to submit their concept paper application.
  2. All documents are in English.
  3. All budgets are in U.S. dollars.  Applicants are encouraged to use the Budget Proposal template included in Attachment 1 to submit the short budget proposal.
  4. All applicant authorized signatures are provided where indicated on the various required forms.
  5. Statements of Interest, including the short budget proposal, cannot exceed three pages. 

Please send Statements of Interest to BishkekProjectProposals@state.gov with the subject line “Democracy Commission SOI” by March 20, 2023. Statements of Interest can also be submitted using Grants.gov following the instructions on the NOFO.