Notice of Funding Opportunity: Arctic Indigenous Cultural Heritage Initiative (AICHI) 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY FINLAND, PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SECTION (PDS)
Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title: Arctic Indigenous Cultural Heritage Initiative (AICHI)
Funding Opportunity Number: PDS-FI-FY22-003
Deadline for Applications: June 23, 2022
Funding: The Cultural Heritage Center (CHC), Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)
Total Amount Available: Dependent on availability of funding
Maximum for Each Award: $50,000
Minimum for Each Award: $10,000

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Cultural Heritage Center (CHC) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), in coordination with the bureaus of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) and Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), launched the Arctic Indigenous Cultural Heritage Initiative (AICHI) in 2021 to support the protection, preservation, and perpetuation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage within Arctic Indigenous communities. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to the participating U.S. embassies for projects in their country.

The U.S. Embassy in Finland invites proposals for cultural heritage protection, preservation, and perpetuation projects that will strengthen people-to-people relationships to advance cooperation between the United States and Arctic Indigenous communities across a spectrum of issues, including education, culture, and the environment.

Priority Countries:

Finland, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, and Canada.

Participants and Audiences:

Indigenous communities, museums, governmental institutions, NGOs, or other Indigenous-focused organizations.

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

FY22 ECA Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act and the Fulbright-Hays Act.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 1-12 months

Number of awards anticipated: may vary depending on applications

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000

Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2022 ECA funding, CFDA 19.036

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant or Fixed Award Amount.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.

The U.S. Embassy in Finland will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

1.Eligible Applicants

The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from organizations in Finland:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Governmental institutions

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

2.Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required.

3.Other Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

The U.S. Embassy in Finland invites Statements of Interest (SOI) for the Arctic Indigenous Cultural Heritage Initiative (AICHI) program. This is a two-tier competitive process, where the submission of the SOI is the first step.

An SOI is a concise proposal designed to communicate program ideas and objectives. Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, selected applications will be invited to submit a full grant application to be considered by the Embassy’s Grants Committee Review Panel.

Step One

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

Content of Statement of Interest must include:

  • A brief project description summarizing goals, objectives outcomes, performance indicators, beneficiaries, and proposed timeline
  • A clear statement of the applicant’s organizational capacity to carry out the proposed activity and manage U.S. Government funds
  • Documents in English
  • A detailed budget including the anticipated total budget amount request (in U.S. dollars)

Submission Dates and Times:
SOIs are due no later than June 23, 2022, to HelsinkiGrants@state.gov . Please allow at least three months between the submission deadline and the start of the program.

The Grants Committee Review panel will meet to discuss SOIs within two weeks of the submission deadline.

The SOI proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own SOI format, but it must include all the items below and should not exceed three pages in length.

  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed
  • Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Finland will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  • Detailed Budget, including amount requested from the U.S. Embassy.

If a SOI is accepted, you will be asked to complete a full proposal application.

Step Two

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Following the SOI review, successful applicants will be contacted and instructed to submit a full application. A full application will include:

  • SF-424 version V4.0 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) 
  • SF424B(Assurances for Non-Construction programs) for individual or organization exempted from registering in SAM.
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Please note that in some cases you might get an error message when you open these PDF forms.  We have been informed that this could be circumvented by downloading the PDF and open it in the normal reader (not browser based).

Required Registrations:
In order to apply, all organizations must complete the mandatory application forms, and have a unique entity identifier (UEI), as well as a valid registration on https://www.sam.gov. As this process can take several weeks, we recommend starting the process as soon as possible. Please note there is no cost associated with UEI or SAM.gov registration.

Please follow the following steps to obtain the UEI and SAM registration:

1) Select the Get Started with Registration on sam.gov to create a User account and obtain and a Unique Entity ID.

2) Obtain a NCAGE number: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/request-new-cage. Instructions for the NCAGE application process can be found here https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/Codification/Support/en/Products/NCAGE/

3) After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register as “federal assistance only” entity in SAM by logging onto: http://www.sam.gov. Please make sure that the information and spelling entered in all systems is identical, otherwise you will receive error messages. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

Funding Restrictions

Grants cannot be used to fund religious or partisan political activity or for: fundraising campaigns; commercial projects or for-profit ventures, individual academic research, construction projects or projects whose primary objective is an organization´s institutional development or an individual´s career development.

Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to HelsinkiGrants@state.gov.

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

1) Criteria

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PDS Finland is confident of its ability to undertake the program.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

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

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Finland’s priority areas or target audiences.

Budget: 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.

Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

2) Review and Selection Process

The Grants Review Panel Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

1) Federal Award Notice

The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the U.S. Embassy Finland 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 program 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: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

2) 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: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Please note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

3) Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: HelsinkiGrants@state.gov.

H. OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

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

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), 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 program. 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 program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, 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 program 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 Finland. 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.