ELIGIBILITY

1. Who is eligible to apply for funding?

U.S.-based and foreign non-profits, nongovernmental organizations (including faith-based organizations), for-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and public international organizations (PIOs) are eligible to apply for funding under this solicitation. For-profit organizations are not permitted to generate profits from grant-funded activities. The Department of State’s Office of the Procurement Executive must provide additional approval for grants awarded to for-profit entities.

Foreign governments are not eligible to apply, although governments may be beneficiaries of funded programs, provided that funding does not pay salaries of government agency personnel and that such assistance is not restricted by U.S. law or policy.

LOGISTICS

1. How much funding does the TIP Office have for 2023? How much money will be allocated to each region or country?

The TIP Office does not have specific regional or country budgets. The final amount allocated for each country and region will depend on many factors, including the quality of applications received, the nature of the proposed activities, and availability of funds.

2. What is the maximum number of awards?

The number of awards depends on the availability of funds and the quality of applications received.

3. Where can I find the Notice of Funding Opportunity?

The funding opportunity is available on SAMS Domestic and on Grants.gov.

4. From the funding opportunity, it is unclear whether the full SF-424 package is required by the deadline at this SOI stage.

Only the SF-424 form is required with the SOI submission. Instructions on how to complete the SF-424 form can be found in the Guidelines for Submitting Statements of Interest (SOI). If you are unable to attach a document once the forms are completed, please contact the ILMS Support Desk at 1 (888) 313-4567 or submitting a ticket through the ILMS Self Service Portal (https://afsitsm.service-now.com/grants).

5. Should I include the budget amount of the initial 20-month project period or the total 60-month project period on the SF-424 form?

The amount of the total 60-month project period (inclusive of two potential non-competitive continuations) should be listed on the SF-424 form.

6. What is a non-competitive continuation?

A non-competitive continuation (NCC) is a mechanism to provide funding for an additional project period for a project that was previously funded through a competitive project. The initial project period is 20-months, and up to two NCCs may be awarded for a maximum potential award length of 60 months.

7. What has changed in this notice of funding opportunity compared to previous funding opportunities for Statements of Interest?

Please note applicants are required to submit only the project narrative and online SF-424 form for the SOI submission. Any additional document will result in the failure of the technical review. Applicants are required to use the project narrative template on SAMS Domestic and must type within the template’s grey box. The project narrative has a four-page limit. Applicants should carefully read the Funding Opportunity and Guidelines (Guidelines for Submitting TIP Office Statements of Interest) when preparing their proposal.

8. May an applicant include footnotes in the project narrative?

Yes, an applicant may include footnotes within the project narrative. However, the footnotes will be included within the character count limit.

9. While applicants are required to use the project narrative template, the template does not have a grey box to list the “project country” and the grey box for the project narrative text appears in Times New Roman not Calibri 14 pt.  Will there be a revised template and will applicants be penalized for not complying with the Calibri 14 pt font?

The TIP Office apologizes for this technical issue with the template.  We will work to adjust the template shortly due to this inconsistency.  Due to this error, the TIP Office will not fail any applicants in the technical review for submitting applications in Times New Roman and will not fail any applicants in the technical review for not listing the project country in the appropriate box.  Applicants should be clear in the narrative portion where the activities will occur.

10. While applicants are required to use the project narrative template, the template will not allow for footnotes, charts, and logos.  Will the TIP Office provide a revised project narrative template to accommodate footnotes, charts, and logos?  If applicants can use footnotes and tables in the project narrative template, can applicants use 10-point font for tables and footnotes?

The TIP Office apologizes for this technical issue with the template.  Applicants should use the project narrative template and if footnotes, charts, and logos cannot be inserted into the project narrative template then these should be omitted at this stage.  The TIP Office will work to ensure footnotes, charts, and logos can be submitted at the full proposal stage.

11. The Guidelines for Submitting document (on page 5) #17 instructs applicants to “Enter start date March 1, 2024 and projected end date.”  However, the NOFO on page 2 states that “Anticipated Award Date: April 1, 2024.”  Can JTIP please confirm that the anticipated project will start on April 1, 2024?

The TIP Office apologizes for the different information in the documents.  Applicants should enter April 1, 2024 as the potential start date noting this may change.  Due to this inconsistency, the TIP Office will not fail any applicants in the technical review for listing March 1, 2024 or April 1, 2024 as the start date.

CONTENT

1. May applicants propose projects in countries not listed in the funding opportunity?

No. The TIP Office will only accept applications for the priority countries listed in the funding opportunity.

2. Do we need to address all programming objectives listed under a country in our SOI or may we select one or two? Is there a limit to the number of applications we may submit? Is it possible to apply jointly with another organization?

Applicants must carefully read the programming priorities included in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Each country priority states if an applicant must address one or more programming priorities. SOIs are required to address a minimum of one programming priority under each heading.

Organizations are permitted to submit multiple applications. Applicants must submit separate SOI applications for each country or regional programming priority identified in the funding opportunity if pursuing multiple awards.

While applicants may designate one or more partner organizations as sub-grantees, there can only be one prime award recipient. When applying to the funding opportunity, there must be a single or primary applicant.

3. May an organization submit one proposal as the prime applicant and submit another proposal as a sub-grantee?

Yes.

4. For regional objectives, do we need to propose a project for all of the countries listed in the funding opportunity or can we select only a few?

An applicant may propose a regional project either for a select number of countries listed or for all of the countries listed in the funding opportunity. The priorities listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity include more instructions on what we are specifically looking for.

5. Kindly inform whether a project proposal to combat trafficking in persons for the removal of organs would be considered or if this fund will not include this form of trafficking in persons.

Statements of interest must address at least one of the programming priorities identified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity as a TIP Office priority. Trafficking for the purposes of organ removal is not a stated priority for FY 2023 and is not a form of trafficking recognized under the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000.

6. Does the TIP Office allow for local providers whose parent agency is headquartered outside said country to apply? For example, XX is headquartered in the U.S., however it has a regional Africa headquarters/office where it is registered as an agency.

Organizations with a parent agency headquartered outside of the country are welcome to apply to the solicitation.

7. When can applicants expect a decision from the TIP Office on its SOI?

Applicants should receive a status update within about 60 days from the submission deadline. If an applicant is invited to submit a full proposal, the applicant will have approximately 45 days to complete the full proposal.

8. Is there any restriction with regard to the cost share (e.g., max. amount)?

No, there is no cap on cost share, but applicants must be able to clearly justify the quantity of funding they plan to allocate to a sub-grantee and explain why that funding is being allocated.

9. May we submit additional attachments in our application?

No. An applicant may only submit the documents requested: project narrative and the online form SF-424. Any additional attachments will result in a failure of the technical review.

10. How do I unlock my SAMS-Domestic account or change my SAMS-Domestic password? What should I do if I encounter difficulty using the SAMS-Domestic website?

The TIP Office is unable to unlock SAMS-Domestic account or reset passwords. For assistance with SAMS-Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com/grants) contact the ILMS Support Desk at 1-888-313-4567 (toll free for international callers) or submit a ticket using the ILMS Self Service Portal (https://afsitsm.service-now.com/ilms/home). Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing JTIPGrants@state.gov.

11. The priority for the Lower Mekong Region (Protection) does not specifically reference Myanmar, but mentions provision of assistance to VOTs, especially those “who were victimized in scam centers throughout the region”.  Could Myanmar be included in project activities under this funding priority as part of the region, i.e. provision of assistance?

The TIP Office will only accept applications for the priority countries listed in the funding opportunity.  An applicant may propose a regional project either for a select number of countries listed or for all of the countries listed in the funding opportunity.  The TIP Office will consider applications for any countries in the Lower Mekong Region, including Burma, Cambodia, Lao (People’s Democratic Republic), Thailand, and Vietnam.

COMPETITIVE REVIEW

1. How will the TIP Office decide which SOIs to fund?

All SOIs received will first undergo a technical review to ensure they meet the technical requirements. SOIs which pass the technical review are reviewed by State Department staff at the TIP Office, U.S. embassies, and regional bureaus, and final decisions are made by TIP Office leadership.

2. Where may I find additional advice about preparing the SOI or full application?

The TIP Office must ensure a fair, transparent, competitive grants process. No one from the Office or other Department of State personnel, including Embassy personnel, is permitted to advise you on the content of your application. Persons with additional questions about the requirements of the funding opportunity may contact JTIPGrants@state.gov.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

1. May an organization submit multiple Statements of Interest under this NOFO as long as it is only one per Programming Priority Area, e.g. could we submit one SOI for The Gambia and a separate SOI for Jordan?

To be eligible for consideration, SOIs must respond to at least one of the specific programming priority areas and countries or regions identified.  If an applicant is submitting SOIs for multiple priorities described, the applicant should submit one SOI per priority.

2.What guidance can you provide on how to present the programming approach vis-à-vis the initial amount versus potential NCC, i.e. should the current SOI only focus on activities that could be done under the initial amount only?  Or should consideration also be given in the SOI to any potential extension/expansion?

Applicants submitting applications using the NCC approach should submit a proposed project with initial project period is 20-months, and up to two NCCs may be awarded for a maximum potential award length of 60 months.  The amount of the total 60-month project period (inclusive of two potential non-competitive continuations) should be listed on the SF-424 form.  The TIP Office cannot provide further guidance on how to design the technical approach, but applicants should be clear in their project proposals on what they seek to accomplish with the initial amount of funding and how subsequent NCCs could build on this initial amount of funding if approved.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future