FAQs

  1. What are the main components of the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program (SGAFP)?
  2. What are some of the differences between the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs?
  3. What are the major sectors for grants under the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program?
  4. What is the geographical coverage of SGAFP?
  5. Are there any deadlines for submitting applications and concept papers?
  6. Do applicants need to have experience implementing donor-funded projects or programs?
  7. How many applications or concept papers can an applicant organization submit at one time?
  8. What are the gender and inclusion concerns of SGAFP?
  9. What are the environmental concerns of SGAFP?
  10. Are there any branding and marking requirements and what are they?
  11. Are groups whose original application was rejected allowed to apply again

 

1. What are the main components of the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program (SGAFP)?

The two main components of the SGAFP are the following:

a) Small Grants Program
The Small Grants Program will focus on multi-year projects that support innovative project ideas submitted by Pakistani NGOs, civil society groups and communities. The projects should primarily support USAID Pakistan’s objectives and sectoral priorities as given below: http://www.sgafp.org.pk/fact_sheet_pepa.pdf

b) Ambassador’s Fund Program
The Ambassador’s Fund will support local self-help initiatives of less than one year, for which communities and civil society groups should be willing to contribute approximately 25% of the total project resource requirements themselves. 

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2. What are some of the differences between the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs?

There are differences in the funding limits, duration and cost share requirements as given below. For additional information on the substantive differences between the two programs, please see questions #5 and6.

 

Components of SGAFP

Maximum Funding Limit (USD)

Maximum Duration

Cost Share

Small Grants Program

250,000*

1-3 years

Encouraged

Ambassador’s Fund Program

100,000**

Up to one year

Required

* USAID may approve awards in excess of $250,000 in exceptional circumstances
**USAID may approve awards up to $250,000 in exceptional circumstances 
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3. What are the major sectors for grants under the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program?

The major sectors for both the Small Grants as well as the Ambassador’s Fund include:
- Education
- Health
- Energy
- Agriculture
- Economic Growth
- Governance 
- Social Assistance (rehabilitation and reconstruction after floods and other disasters)
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4. What is the geographical coverage of SGAFP?

SGAFP is open to applicants from all four provinces of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, FATA, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

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5. Are there any deadlines for submitting applications and concept papers?

No. The acceptance and processing of applications will take place on a rolling basis and therefore there are no specific deadlines or solicitations for these grants.
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6. Do applicants need to have experience implementing donor-funded projects or programs?

Yes. Experience of implementing donor-funded projects will be considered positively, while lack of such experience will be a disadvantage.
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7. How many applications or concept papers can an applicant organization submit at one time?

Applicants should prioritize their needs and submit one application or concept paper at a time. A second application or concept paper will not be considered until the applicant is informed about the status of its first application or concept paper.
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8. What are the gender and inclusion concerns of SGAFP?

A conscious effort should be made to distribute the benefits of the project to women and men, as well as other disadvantaged segments of the populations like physically challenged persons and disadvantaged community groups. In planning their proposed projects, applicants should ask themselves the following questions: How will the different roles and status of women and men within the community, political sphere, workplace, and household affect the work to be undertaken? How will the anticipated results of the work affect women and men differently?
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9. What are the environmental concerns of SGAFP?

The proposed projects should be environment friendly and must not pose any threat to the environment. In case a project or any of the project activities have any negative implications on the environment, the applicant must give strategies to mitigate such impacts in order for the application to be considered.
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10. Are there any branding and marking requirements and what are they?

Yes. USAID has specific branding and marking requirements which are binding on all successful applicants. The Grantees will have to display US flag and USAID logo (given below) along with the text “From the American People” on the project sites, reports and publications.

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11. Are groups whose original application was rejected allowed to apply again?

Applicants who have not been successful in receiving an award are welcome to apply again. These applicants may, if interested, contact SGAFP to discuss the reasons why their original application was rejected and get suggestions on how a new proposal could be strengthened.
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  1. How will applicants be informed whether or not their applications have been selected for an award?
  2. What happens after an application or concept paper is submitted?
  3. What are the steps involved in processing an application? Who is involved? Why does it take so long?
  4. What are the criteria against which an application is evaluated by SGAFP’s Technical Evaluation Committee?


 

1. How will applicants be informed whether or not their applications have been selected for an award?

Applicants will be notified when their application for the Ambassador’s Fund or concept paper for the Small Grants Program is received. SGAFP will communicate the approval of awards while USAID will send letters to applicants that have not been successful. 
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2. What happens after an application or concept paper is submitted?

The applicant will be sent an acknowledgement of receipt when an application or a concept paper is received by the SGAFP. The processing of an application/concept paper may take 6 weeks or more at which point the applicant will be duly informed of the outcome.
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3. What are the steps involved in processing an application? Who is involved? Why does it take so long?

Once an application for the Ambassador’s Fund is received, SGAFP staff review it to ensure that all required information has been provided and to verify that the organization is eligible for funding. SGAFP staff may contact applicants to request additional information, if necessary. SGAFP staff may also organize a visit to the office of an applicant to learn more about the organization and its capacity. Once the review process is complete, SGAFP’s Technical Evaluation Committee meets to review and score the application and make a recommendation as to whether it should be funded. This information is then sent to the US Embassy for further review. Staff from USAID and the US Embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar review the proposal and the SGAFP’s recommendation before taking a decision. These decisions are then communicated to the applicant. 

Processing of applications for the Small Grants Program is similar; however, applicants must first submit a concept paper. SGAFP staff review the concept paper to ensure that it is complete and that the organization is eligible for funding. Concepts are sent to USAID for review by its technical offices. If the concept paper is accepted, the applicant will be contacted and asked to submit a complete proposal. The remainder of the process is much like that of the Ambassador’s Fund described above.
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4. What are the criteria against which an application is evaluated by SGAFP’s Technical Evaluation Committee?

The evaluation criteria and weight of each criterion is listed below:
- Proposed Program Approach – 40 points
- Past Performance – 20 points
- Appropriateness of the Proposed Team – 10 points
- Organizational Capacity – 10 points
- Effectiveness and Reasonableness of Total Cost – 20 points
The minimum score that an applicant organization will need to qualify is 70. 
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  1. What types of proposals can be submitted under the Small Grants Program?
  2. What types of proposals can be submitted under the Ambassador’s Fund Program?
  3. Can an applicant apply for more than one activity/component within the same proposal under the Ambassador’s Fund Program?
  4. Are there any specific forms for applying for the Small Grants or the Ambassador’s Fund Programs?
  5. How can my organization apply?
  6. What are the key prerequisites for an applicant to qualify for SGAFP funding?
  7. What kinds of organizations are eligible to apply for a grant?
  8. Who are ineligible to apply for a grant?
  9. Are there any specific guidelines for applying for the two components of SGAFP?
  10. Can an applicant submit applications for both the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program simultaneously?
  11. What is” cost share” and how can an applicant include it in its application for a project?
  12. What are the “ineligible” activities under SGAFP?


 

1. What types of proposals can be submitted under the Small Grants Program?

A valid proposal under the Small Grants Program must meet the following criteria:
- be innovative and unique;
- be independently originated and developed by the applicant;
- be consistent with and supportive of USAID Pakistan’s strategy and objectives;
- be able to meet a specific programmatic need; and
- not be an advance proposal for a known USAID requirement that can be acquired by
  competitive methods.

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2. What types of proposals can be submitted under the Ambassador’s Fund Program?

A valid proposal under the Ambassador’s Fund Program must meet the following criteria:
- improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community level; 
- support high-impact, quick-implementation activities which benefit a large number of
  people within one year without requiring further funding; 
- be limited to organizations that demonstrate adequate management capabilities to plan,
  organize and execute activities, utilizing local personnel and resources; and
- not initiate, continue, or supplement Technical Assistance (TA) programs.
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3. Can an applicant apply for more than one activity/component within the same proposal under the Ambassador’s Fund Program?

No. The Ambassador Fund Program is for high impact, quick implementation stand-alone projects requiring minimum operational cost. For multi-sector activities requiring institutional support, a concept paper may be submitted under the Small Grant component. 
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4. Are there any specific forms for applying for the Small Grants or the Ambassador’s Fund Programs?

Yes. There are specific forms for both programs which can be downloaded from the SGAFP website www.sgafp.org.pk or can be obtained from the SGAFP project office by writing to it via post. 
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5. How can my organization apply?

For a grant under the Small Grants Program the applicant must first submit a concept paper about the proposed project using the form provided on the SGAFP website. If the concept paper is approved, the applicant must then complete a full proposal using the form on the SGAFP website. For a grant under the Ambassador’s Fund the applicant may apply directly on the application form provided at the following email address: 
applications@sgafp.org.pk

or through post to the SGAFP office at the following address:

Deputy Chief of Party
Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program
House No. 10, Street No. 56, Sector F-6/4, Islamabad

Note: Applications should not be sent directly to USAID.
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6. What are the key prerequisites for an applicant to qualify for USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program funding?
- The applicant organization must meet the eligibility criteria 
- The applicant organization must be viable and functional with demonstrated capacities to  undertake the proposed project 
- The objectives and key activities of the proposed project must be focused and clearly articulated 
- The implementation strategy must be comprehensive and should include approach of the applicant organization; procurement processes; operational and administrative controls; and methodologies for implementation of the proposed activities
- Elaborated monitoring and reporting capacities of the organization 
- A cost share, where applicable, should be indicated
- A detailed and itemized budget with budget narratives/explanations
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7. What kinds of organizations are eligible to apply for a grant?

- Pakistani NGOs, CBOs, civil society organizations and other not-for-profit organizations
  are eligible to apply. Private sector organizations are welcome to apply for grants but
  fees will not be paid under these awards. 
- Organizations must have been established for a minimum of six months for the
  Ambassador’s Fund and a minimum of 2 years for Small Grants at the time of applying
  for a grant. 
- The organization’s activities should focus on the SGAFP’s primary sectors. 
- In the case of the Ambassador’s Fund, applicants should be willing to contribute
  approximately 25% of the total project’s resource requirements themselves. 
- The organization must have strong financial management systems and have audited
  financial statements demonstrating adequate capabilities in this regard.
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8. Who are ineligible to apply for a grant?

- Individuals 
- Political parties 
- Foreign-based organizations 
- Faith-based organizations whose objectives are discriminatory and/or serve religious
  purposes
- Informal alliances without legal status
- Government entities will normally not be considered for awards under these two
  programs except as directed by USAID
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9. Are there any specific guidelines for applying for the two components of SGAFP?

Yes. The guidelines for both the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs are available on SGAFP’s website: http://sgafp.org.pk/guidelines.html. Printed guidelines are also available from the SGAFP office upon request.
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10. Can an applicant submit applications for both the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program simultaneously?

No. Normally SGAFP will process one application at a time. Therefore applicants are advised to apply for one component of the program; either the Small Grants Program or the Ambassador’s Fund.
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11. What is” cost share” and how can an applicant include it in its application for a project?

Cost Share” means the applicant’s contribution which it will provide for the proposed project. 

Ambassador’s Fund Program
The cost share under the Ambassador’s Fund Program should be approximately 25% of the funds requested from SGAFP. This can be in the form of cash or an in-kind contribution (including use of office premises, equipment, vehicles, utilities, skilled & unskilled labor, and material contribution in the construction activities, etc.). 

Small Grants Program
Cost share is not mandatory under the Small Grants Program. However, SGAFP strongly encourages applicant organizations to contribute, either in cash or in-kind. Greater weightage will be given to applications which include a cost share. 
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12. What are the “ineligible” activities under SGAFP?

A list of ineligible activities that cannot be funded is given in the applicant’s guidelines.
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  1. Can an organization get funding for new projects after the completion of an awarded project?
  2. What are the reporting requirements for the USAID’s Small Grants & Ambassador’s Fund Programs?
  3. Will the unused funds, if any, be returned to USAID’s Small Grants & Ambassador’s Fund Program upon completion of a project?
  4. Will USAID’s Small Grants & Ambassador’s Fund Program monitor the project implementation?
  5. Will the awarded projects be audited by USAID’s Small Grants & Ambassador’s Fund Program?
  6. Can the USAID’s Small Grants & Ambassador’s Fund Program funds be used for other than approved project/activities?
  7. What are the consequences of fraud/corruption/embezzlement/misappropriation of USAID’s Small Grants & Ambassador’s Fund Program funds by the Grantees?

 

 

1. Can an organization get funding for new projects after the completion of an awarded project?

No. Preference will be given to new applicants to maximize outreach of the program to other deserving communities.

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2. What are the reporting requirements for the USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs?

After the award of a project, the Grantees will be required to submit the following reports:

- Monthly physical progress reports of the project activities
- Monthly financial progress reports
- Project close out plan one month prior to the project’s end date
- Project completion report

For all these reports, USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program will provide reporting templates to the Grantees.

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3. Will the unused funds, if any, be returned to USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs upon completion of a project?

Yes. Any unused funds should be promptly returned to USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program upon the completion of a project.
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4. Will USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs monitor the project implementation?

Yes. The project monitoring will be carried out through:
- Progress reports by the Grantees
- Monitoring visits by USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program staff
The purpose of such monitoring visits will be to assess the progress vis-à-vis agreed targets and to monitor the operational transparency, documentation and other obligations as envisaged in the Grant Agreement.

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5. Will the awarded projects be audited by USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs?

Yes. The USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program may conduct a financial audit of the project at any stage, either internally or through a Chartered Accountant Auditing Firm.

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6. Can the USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program funds be used for other than approved project/activities?

No. The USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programs funds cannot be used for any project/activities that have not been approved.

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7. What are the consequences of fraud/corruption/embezzlement/ misappropriation of USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program funds by the Grantees?

In such cases, USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program will terminate the Grant Agreement and the Grantee will return all the disallowed costs. In addition USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program may take other legal action as deemed appropriate

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