Notice of Funding Opportunity

U.S. Embassy in Kigali

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Office:       Political-Economic Section

Funding Opportunity Title:   Rwanda:  Ambassador’s Small Grants Program (ASG) former Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) program

Announcement Type:             Fixed Amount Award

Funding Opportunity No.:    DOS-RWANDA-PE-2018-02

Date Opened:                         April 25, 2018

Deadline for Applications:     June 25, 2018

Award Ceiling:                       U.S. $15,000.00

Award Floor:                          U.S. $5,000.00

Page limit:                               8 pages

CFDA Number:                      19.700 – General Department of State Assistance       

Submission:            Applicants can submit proposals by e-mail to  Hard copies can be sent to the U.S. Embassy 2657 Ave. de la Gendarmerie, PO Box 28 Kigali, Rwanda.  Please choose only one method.

Awards are subject to the availability of funding and Congressional Notification


The U.S. Embassy in Kigali and the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Bureau (AF) announce an open competition for cooperatives registered with the Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) to submit applications for projects to improve basic economic or social conditions in the community.  Direct funding for local or international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) is NOT available under this announcement.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.


Under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) assistance award solicitation, the Embassy is to provide a one-time grant designed to support high-impact, quick-implementation activities which benefit a large number of people within one year without requiring further assistance.  Projects that support and promote livelihoods, food security, employment (particularly youth employment and employment of members of the community with disabilities), women’s empowerment, and tradeable skills are preferred. 

Project Objectives:

The objective of the ASG program is to provide small-scale assistance to community-based development projects that have immediate impact while encouraging communities to be self-reliant and undertake similar activities on their own in the future.  ASG is part of an ongoing commitment by the U.S. Government to support development activities and welfare of the local community.

Projects selected for funding are those which:

  • Improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community by funding the expansion of an existing project;
  • Have the potential to produce employment and marketable skills, particularly for economic empowerment of women;
  • Have the potential to assist vulnerable groups, notably people with disabilities;
  • Support high-impact, quick-implementation activities which benefit a large number of people within one year without requiring further assistance;
  • Have the potential to generate sustainable income; and
  • Involve a significant local contribution in cash, labor, or material, and are within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain.

Participants and Audiences:

The Embassy requires prior registration with RCA in order receive funding.  All applicants must provide a copy of the certificate of registration and license from the RCA submission package.  Direct funding for NGOs, individuals, public international organizations, foreign governments, parastatal organizations, educational institutions, or U.S. Government departments and agencies is not available under this announcement.


Length of performance period:  12 months

Number of awards anticipated:  Multiple awards will be granted.

Total available funding:  Awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $15,000.  The Embassy reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.

Type of Funding:  FY 2017 Economic Support Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act.

Anticipated project start date:  October 1, 2018

Funding Instrument Type:  Fixed Amount

Project Performance Period:  Proposed project should be completed in 12 months or less

This notice is subject to availability of funding


  1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply:  Cooperatives with an active RCA registration at the time of submitting the application.

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

ASG activities must have community participation and contribution such as volunteer time and labor, donated land, equipment, and materials.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization.  If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding


  1. Content and Form of Application Submission:

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

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • All documents are in English;
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars; and
  • All pages are numbered.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms:
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
  1. Summary Page:  Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, project title, project period proposed start and end date, and brief description of the purpose of the project.
  2. Proposal: To apply, submit this form along with supporting documentation. The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.
  3. Supporting Documentation:
  • Budget and budget justification narrative
  • Copy of your RCA valid certificate
  • Letters of support from project partners or official permission letters, if required for project activities
  • A list of cooperative members with their names, IDs, and cellphone numbers
  • Certified copies of the President and Vice-President of the cooperative and alternate responsible person’s ID cards
  • Directions and a map showing the location of your project from the nearest town
  • Details of all the project bank accounts, and copies of the most recent bank statements from each account.
  • Copies of three (3) quotations to support estimated project cost

Applications are due no later than June 25, 2018 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.  Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. will be ineligible for consideration.  Begin the application process early, as this will allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise in advance of the deadline.  There will be no exceptions to this application deadline.  

  1. Funding Restrictions

The use of ESF ASG funds is prohibited for:

  1. Religious activities (however, many religious organizations sponsor or supervise local community activities that serve community needs rather than religious purposes and these activities may be eligible for assistance);
  2. All military and paramilitary purposes, and generally prohibited for support of police and other law enforcement forces, even if the proposed activity is consistent with programs as described above;
  3. Travel of any kind;
  4. Projects in Refugee Camps;
  5. Projects involving pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides;
  6. Individually owned businesses or enterprises;
  7. NGOs (local or international);
  8. Projects outside Rwanda;
  9. Vehicle purchases or surveillance equipment; and
  10. Activities which benefit any employee of the U.S. Government.

Other Submission Requirements

Application Submission Process:  Applicants can submit proposals by e-mail to  Hard copies can be sent to the U.S. Embassy 2657 Ave. de la Gendarmerie, PO Box 28 Kigali, Rwanda.  Please choose only one method (electronic or hard copy) to submit your proposal.  For questions relating to, please call the Contact Center in the United States at +1-800-518-4726.  For questions about this NOFO, contact Eugene Uwizeyimana, Grants Officer Representative at  Tel +250-252-596-400 Ext. 2737.

Application Content:  Applicants must follow the NOFO instructions and conditions contained herein and supply all information required.  Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements will result in disqualification from the competition.  Applicants must set forth full, accurate, and complete information as required by this NOFO.  The penalty for making false statements in proposals to the USG is prescribed on 18 U.S.C.1001. 


  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.  Projects that support and promote livelihoods, food security, employment (particularly youth employment and employment for members of the community with disabilities), women’s empowerment, and tradeable skills are preferred. 

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 40 points:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how project activities will be carried out.  The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 15 points:  The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes bookkeeping and a bank account.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points:  Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget – 15 points:  The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.  The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.  This program does not require cost sharing.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – 5 points:  Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal.

Sustainability – 10 points:  The proposal describes how the project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the performance period.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

The ASG team will select the best proposals and visit the project site to learn more about the project and to meet with the members of the cooperative.

  1. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

The Embassy will notify applicants if their proposal is selected for funding one month after visiting the project site.


  1. Federal Award Notices
  • Award Notices: The Embassy will notify applicants if their proposals are pre-selected for funding one month after the submission deadline.  The ASG Program team will visit the project site to talk with the members of the community and learn more about the project.
  • The Agreement: If a project is selected to receive support, the project director designated on the application form will sign an agreement with the United States Government.  This agreement explains the responsibilities of each party.  The community organization responsible for the project must have sufficient financial resources to cover any project costs that exceed the amount provided by the ASG Program.
  • Reporting Requirements: All awards issued under this NOFO will require mid-progress program and financial report.  All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement and in the pre-award conference.
  • Mid-Progress Site Visit: After a project is underway, the ASG Program team will visit the project site at least twice.  The community should recognize that Embassy representatives may be interested in visiting the site of an ASG Project even several years after the project has been completed.

The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer.  The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email.  The recipient may only start incurring project expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding.  Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals.  Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method:  All payments will be done via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and a payment schedule will be determined in the grant agreement.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions:  Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include:

2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at:  Note the U.S. Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements:  Recipients will be required to submit quarterly financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.  The disbursement of funds may be tied to timely submission of these reports.  A final grant report and budget/accounting in English is due 90 days after completion of the grant award end date.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact Eugene Uwizeyimana, Grants Officer Representative at  Tel +250-252-596-400 Ext. 2737.


Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the project, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the project.

Equipment:  Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the project, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the project), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies:  List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the project.  If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual:  Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the project activities.

Other Direct Costs:  Describe other costs directly associated with the project, which do not fit in the other categories.  For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes.  All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the project activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA.  Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.  It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.