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April 3, 2023


Funding Opportunity Title:  Annual Program Statement (APS) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023
Funding Opportunity Number: SPAINAPS2023
Deadline for Applications: Accepted on a rolling basis in various rounds of funding through June 30, 2023. Deadline for the first round of funding will be November 30, 2022.
CFDA Number: 19.040

The Public Diplomacy sections of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona (referred to collectively as “PD Spain”) announce an open competition for organizations to submit project proposals in response to issuance of this Annual Program Statement (APS). The Annual Program Statement (APS) permits individuals, non-government organizations, think tanks, foundations and academic institutions to seek funding for projects that strengthen ties between the United States and Spain while promoting PD Spain’s main strategic goals.

Priority Region: Spain and Andorra

Contact: SpainPDGrants@state.gov

Program Objectives:  PD Spain welcomes proposals for creative, engaging projects that align with its main strategic objectives:

  1. Defend shared democratic values and the rules-based international order;
  2. Support the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  3. Build support for international and multilateral institutions to promote strong, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth, defend democratic governance, and advance solutions to global challenges;
  4. Recognize the central importance of the NATO Alliance in ensuring transatlantic peace and security;
  5. Support the new NATO Strategic Concept, guiding the Alliance´s approach towards strategic competitors and transnational threats;
  6. Reaffirm a commitment to the defense of human rights, especially the rights of women and vulnerable populations, such as people living in poverty, members of racially or ethnically marginalized groups, LGBTQI+ persons, members of religious minority groups, persons with disabilities, refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons, older adults, children, gender non-conforming persons, and trafficking victims;
  7.  Protect and promote human rights throughout the world, particularly with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean where the United States and Spain both have deep and enduring affiliations;
  8. Fight against terrorism, cybercrime, drug trafficking, and trafficking in persons; raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity to increase national resilience to cyber-attacks, promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace, and counter malicious cyber activity from nation states and criminal actors;
  9. Collaborate with Spain and/ or Andorran-based organizations to promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons including vulnerable LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers; combat hate speech, violence, and stigma against the LGBTQI+ community;
  10. Increase climate action to ensure that deep reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions are achieved by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050;
  11. Recognize the need to reach the Paris Agreement goals, including to accelerate global efforts to make financial flows consistent with low greenhouse gas emissions;
  12. Recognize the urgency of addressing methane in line with the Global Methane Pledge, improving adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and promoting a climate resilient development;
  13. Increase the geographical diversification of energy sources, especially natural gas, to promote renewable energies and develop new vectors such as offshore wind-power and renewable hydrogen, to deploy smart technologies that promote energy efficiency, and to secure supply chains for the critical minerals essential to the energy transition;
  14. Promote the development of trade and investment, including entrepreneurship, small- and medium-sized businesses, and innovation as the basis for strong, sustainable, inclusive economic growth that creates quality employment and incorporates diverse and excluded groups, while ensuring adequate protection for digital economy workers;
  15. Defend a digital transformation based on a shared respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and democratic values, on reducing the digital divide, on preventing and addressing the disproportionate effects of online forms of violence and abuse on women, children, and other marginalized groups, and on the implementation of mechanisms to safeguard these principles;
  16. Promote joint science, space, and innovation initiatives carried out by research organizations, universities, and private companies in all fields of space and science, including through scientific-technological initiatives of the European Union;
  17. Intensify cultural and educational exchanges between the United States and Spain;
  18. Increase the number of Spanish students studying in the United States;

All proposals are required to have a clear connection to the United States, either through U.S. organizations, experts, and/or best practices in order to increase the awareness and understanding of U.S. perspectives, policies, and society.  

In addition, all proposals should clearly promote diversity and inclusion.  Geographic diversity (reaching audiences outside of major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona) will also be looked upon favorably when reviewing proposals.  

Grant activities may take any number of forms, including academic competitions, cross-border exchanges, conferences, workshops, courses, curriculum development, exhibits, hackathons or app development, online projects, mock trials or moot court competitions, simulations and role-playing activities (e.g., Model Congress, Model United Nations), performances, or other activities.  Academic or scientific research projects will not be funded under this call for proposals.

The challenge or problem you are looking at, together with your goals and objectives, will help you determine the participants or primary audiences for your project and shape the activity outlined in your proposal.  You might have secondary audiences or beneficiaries, too.  For example, if you are training teachers in a new teaching methodology, the teachers are your primary audience and all their students who benefit from the updated methodology would be the secondary audience or final beneficiary. Please try to be specific with your primary audiences, avoiding the use of “general public” as a primary audience.

Participants and primary and secondary audiences for the proposed activity should be citizens or legal residents of Spain or Andorra.  Even if some participants come from a regional neighbor or from the United States, PD Spain is primarily interested in the participants from Spain and Andorra and the project’s impact on them.

Please propose “SMART” objectives for your project.  The objective of your activity should be: Specific, Measurable, realistically Achievable within the period of the grant, Relevant to an actual problem or challenge, and Time-based, meaning that you will be able to finish the project and measure the impact by a set date.  We will ask you how you will measure or evaluate the progress achieved or the impact you have made on the participants or audiences through your project activities.

Federal Award Information

Length of performance period: Up to 12 months (including your evaluation or assessment period)
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $75,000.*
Type of Funding:  FY23 Public Diplomacy funding
Anticipated program start date:  Flexible start dates are preferred, though all proposals are required to start before September 30, 2023.

* Note: PD Spain encourages that proposals be scalable whenever possible. PD Spain strongly recommends that organizations unable to demonstrate a proven track record limit their project budgets to $40,000. If the review panel has doubts or concerns about the capacity to implement a larger project, they may ask that a reduced budget be presented.

This notice is subject to availability of funding. Issuance of this APS 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 or award smaller amounts than the full proposal, as deemed appropriate.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award


1. Eligible Applicants. 

Businesses and other for-profit organization may not apply for funding under this APS.

The following entities, from Spain, Andorra, or the United States, are eligible to apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including educational and cultural institutions, civil society organizations or non-governmental organizations, think tanks, professional associations, media outlets, etc.
  • Governmental institutions and Public International Organizations.
  • Individual citizens, including alumni of U.S. Government (USG) exchange programs, who have a demonstrated capacity or proven track record to carry out the proposed activities.

To be eligible for consideration, the applicant organization must be registered to operate in Spain or Andorra, or if this is not the case, they must partner with a local Spanish or Andorran organization registered to operate in Spain or Andorra.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching. Cost sharing is allowed but not required and will not impact funding decisions.

While filling out the application, you will be required to tell us whether you are also receiving funding from other donors for your project. Please note that if multiple funding sources are involved, the activities funded from the APS process must be discrete and separate from other activities that make up the full project.

Please be aware, however, that you must be able to carry out all the activities described in your application with the funding you receive from PD Spain, even if the contributions from other donors or other funding sources fail to materialize.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must be fully registered on www.SAM.gov, and must provide their Unique Entity ID (SAM) or proof of having started the registration process on the application. Please see the Documents and Forms tab for more information. Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.

If an applicant (either individual or organization) has already received a grant from the U.S. Embassy and the older project and the new one would overlap, or if an organization has submitted more than one project proposal, please use section “y” in the application form to explain to the PD Spain grant review panel how the applicant will manage more than one project and describe your past experience and track record indicating that your organization has the capacity to do so.

4. Funding Restrictions.

You may NOT apply for a grant from PD Spain if your project:

  • involves partisan political activity;
  • involves charitable activities and/or the distribution of humanitarian aid;
  • is a fundraising campaign;
  • is commercial in nature, e., you or a project partner are making money from this project, or the activity supports a current or future business or entrepreneurial venture of your organization;
  • involves the provision of health care or services, childcare, food subsidies, or other social services to populations.

Please be aware, too, that this funding opportunity aims to support specific projects with objectives which can be achieved within a set timeframe.  We will not accept applications which are aimed more broadly at supporting your organization’s usual or typical daily activities and operations.  Those will be deemed technically ineligible and will not be considered for funding by the review committee.

See also “Guidelines for Budget Justification” under the Additional Information Section below for more information on budget items.

Application and Submission Information – Updated March 23

All the mandatory application forms required below are available online at https://es.usembassy.gov/grants-programs/. We do not send out hardcopy versions of the application package.

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 deemed ineligible. Please ensure that:
  • the proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • all documents are in English
  • budgets can be listed in USD or EUR, but all grants will be awarded in USD.
  • all pages are numbered
The following documents are required:
  1. Grant Statement of Interest: Due to limited remaining funds for the FY23 grants program, applicants should submit a 1-3 page Statement of Interest (SOI) document summarizing the proposed project, clearly communicating program ideas and objectives. The submission of the SOI is the first step in a two-step process. The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants to submit program ideas for evaluation prior to requiring the development of a full proposal application. Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, selected applicants will be invited to expand on their program idea(s) by submitting a full proposal application. Full proposals will go through a second merit review before final funding decisions are made.
  2. Budget Justification (as an excel spreadsheet):  Describe and explain each of the budget expenses in detail.
  3. Sam.gov registration remains a requirement for all grants awarded by the United States Government. Please include a screenshot from SAM.gov showing your active status, or in the case that you are currently obtaining SAM.gov registration, share a screenshot showing at what stage you are in the process.  (Entity Registration Checklist).
2. Required Registrations:

The following online registrations are mandatory to be considered for funding under this APS.

Please note that Spanish organizations should be consistent in their applications, using their legal name as registered with the Registro Mercantil, as associated with their organization CIF. You will need to use the exact name in all applications, no abbreviations will be accepted.  Individuals applying under this APS, are not required to fulfill these registration requirements.

Please be aware that if an applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) ,  the individual or organization 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.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The registration process can take some time and past applicants have, in fact, run into difficulties.  Please do not wait until the last minute to start the registration process. If you are unable to finish the SAM registration process, we unfortunately will not be able to financially support your project.

3. Reporting  

Reporting Requirements: Grant recipients will be required to submit regular financial and/or program reports as specified in the award document.  Be aware that all grants require a final program report to PD Spain, due within 30 days after the end of the grant period. Failure to prepare and submit this report will affect your eligibility to submit future proposals to PD Spain.

Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement.  Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation.  In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.

4. Submission Dates and Times  

APS applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, through June 30, 2023. PD Spain reserves the right to review proposals subject to the availability of funding.

5. Other Submission Requirements  

All completed application packets should be sent by email to SpainPDGrants@state.gov.

Application Review Process

1. Review and Selection Process  

A review panel will evaluate all eligible applications.  You may be asked to submit additional information and/or a revised budget.  Please also be aware that, depending on the availability of funding, PD Spain may be able to fund only part of the budget you have requested. You will be contacted by email when the funding decision on your proposal has been made.

2. Criteria for Review 

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

  • Quality of the project proposal. The proposal is well-developed, clear, and innovative.  It offers a creative approach and/or solutions to deal with the stated problem or challenge, focused on specific audiences or participants, with an approach that is likely to achieve results and have an impact.  The application includes sufficient details that spell out exactly what the project activities will entail, and how and when elements will be carried out, with a reasonable implementation timeline and clear milestones provided.  Appropriate partners, if applicable, have been identified and have agreed to take part in the activity.  (40 points) 
  • Organizational capacity and (if applicable) record on previous grants. The individual or organization submitting this application has the qualifications, skills, talent, drive, and/or demonstrated ability, perhaps with the assistance of an identified partner organization or contractor, to carry out the grant activities (outputs) with the participants, which will provide a good chance of achieving the goals and objectives laid out in the proposal.  Applicant has sufficient internal controls in place to monitor activities, track spending, etc.  If the applicant has received a grant (or grants) in the past from PD Spain or others, those were carried out in line with the project proposal[s], reports were filed in a timely manner, etc. (20 points) 
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan. The project has clearly identified S.M.A.R.T. objectives (in addition to outputs), with a good approach to measure the impact of the grant activity on target audiences and/or to bring about some change.  (S.M.A.R.T. stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.)  The proposal outlines in sufficient detail how activities will be monitored or tracked.  Applicant also has a plan on how to measure or evaluate impact or results, i.e., what has changed as a result of the project, giving the organization the ability to explain where the project succeeded, identify where it might have fallen short, and discuss lessons learned.  (20 points.) 
  • The figures, narrative, and justification are complete and reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.  The budget accounts for all necessary expenses and the justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable and realistic in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. (20 points) 
  • Potential for Multiplier Effect/Longer-term Impact/Sustainability: The proposal includes a discussion of the follow-on impact of the funded activity even after the end of the program through the multiplier effect or through expected follow-on activities by the applicant and/or partners and/or primary or secondary audiences.  (Up to 10 points extra). 

Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notices  

The grant award or cooperative agreement 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 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 APS 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:  PD Spain will discuss payment method and frequency with you before issuance of the award. 

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements  

Before applying, 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:

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:

  • President’s September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities;
  • Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence (E.O. 13933); and
  • Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
    • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating
    • Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
    • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2CFR part 200.216)
    • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
    • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
    • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).


If you have any questions about the PD Spain APS application process, please email to: SpainPDGrants@state.gov


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