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Julia Taft Refugee Fund FY 2024 Call For Proposals
Deadline for application: March 15, 2024.
February 7, 2024

U.S. Embassy Belgrade is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the FY 2024 Julia Taft Refugee Fund.  FY 2024 grants allocate up to $25,000 to support to one-time, low-cost interventions that respond to critical gaps in protection and assistance for refugees in Serbia.  Funds are not available for the continuation of projects funded by Julia Taft Funds in FY 2023.  You can read more about the Julia Taft Fund here.

The deadline for applications is March 15, 2024. 

The Taft Fund is intended for projects that include a program participant base of at least 50 percent refugees, asylum-seekers, or refugee returnees.  We are particularly interested in partnering with local organizations to support equal access to protection, assistance, and other solutions for refugees who may experience particular vulnerabilities, such as LGBTQI+ individuals, persons with disabilities or older persons, or women and girls.  The Taft Award is intended to be utilized for one-time interventions, not sustained or multi -year programs.  The Fund does not provide direct support to host governments and is generally intended to build the capacity of national/local or refugee-led organizations.

If you are interested in applying for funding, please submit the following:

Proposal (5 pages maximum, not including budget form): The proposal must include all the items below.

  • Standard Application Form SF424.
  • Proposal Summary: Include a short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.  Include a description of the population benefited by the project and describe which benefits the project will provide.  Include program objectives and anticipated impact.  Describe the nationality of the refugees that will benefit from the program.
  • Introduction of the Organization or Individual Applying: A description of past and present operations which demonstrates the ability to carry out the proposed program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies, if applicable.  Please include the legal name and address of the entity applying.
  • 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: Describe what goals the program intends to achieve. The objectives should describe the accomplishments necessary to achieve the goals.  These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline: The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Please include the names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program.  Explain 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, if applicable.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Explain in detail how the activities will be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how the program will be evaluated to ensure it is meeting the goals of the grant.
  • Future Funding or Sustainability: Describe the plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  • Budget: Please complete the budget from SF-424A, which can be found here.
  • Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. Use budget categories as described in section H.
  • Organizational Code of Conduct: The organization’s code of conduct which must include the organization’s efforts to protect against sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Standard application forms SF424 and SF424A are available on the Grant Programs page.

All application materials must be submitted by email to both hrdsupportbelgrade@state.gov before the deadline of March 15, 2024.

How Applications will be Reviewed

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

  • Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 20 points: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
  • Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 20 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Budget – 10 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.
  • Monitoring and evaluation plan – 15 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. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.
  • Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
  • Support of Equity and Underserved Communities – 10 points: Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.

Total: 100 points

Review and Selection Process

All eligible/complete applications will be evaluated by a review panel which will recommend or not recommend the project to the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) for final approval. Due to the large amount of applications we receive, organizations not selected for funding will not be notified. The final funding decision must be approved by the State Department’s PRM Bureau and will announced to the recipient once confirmed.

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Signed Codes of Conduct

In accordance with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Plan of Action to protect recipients of humanitarian assistance from sexual exploitation and abuse, applicants must submit their organization’s Code of Conduct prior to the award issuance.  PRM requires that codes of conduct, consistent with the updated 2019 IASC’s six core principles, are shared widely and signed by the organization’s staff.  PRM strongly encourages applicant organizations to have a country implementation plan that outlines how employees are trained and otherwise made aware of the Code of Conduct, how violations of the Code of Conduct against staff and program participants are reported and followed up on in a safe and undisclosed manner, how program participants are made aware of the Code of Conduct and a mechanism to report any violations, and whether or not there is a PSEA focal point at the organization.  For more information on preventing SEA, including the six core principles, please see the IASC website.

Required Registration

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.  If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible.  All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations, which are free of charge.

Once you start the registration process the system will generate a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). The registration is free of charge. The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.  SAM.gov is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements.  OMB designated SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance.  Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.

To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/. The website www.sam.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov. If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number).  Those entities can register for a UEI only at SAM.gov.

Please note that any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) 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.  Any costs incurred in preparation of your proposal or in advance of an award will not be reimbursed.

Additional SAM registration guidance is available on the Grant Programs page.