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Strengthening Civil Society in Montenegro

The United States Embassy in Montenegro, acting through the Public Affairs Office, is pleased to announce an open competition for assistance awards, pending availability of funds through this NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (NOFO) for the following program:
  • Strengthening Civil Society in Montenegro

Purpose of the Program (Strengthening Civil Society in Montenegro)
The United States Embassy in Podgorica is pleased to invite eligible organizations to submit applications for projects that will strengthen the capacity of civil society, as well as facilitate the development of democracy and democratic institutions in Montenegro. Specific goals, objectives, and technical requirements for application packages are detailed below.

U.S. Embassy Podgorica/Public Affairs Office anticipates awarding one cooperative agreement in the amount of up to $200,000 under this funding opportunity to a selected organization. The organization will sign a cooperative agreement with the Embassy to run a small grants competition and select sub-recipients of this award.

Eligible applicants are local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media, or other organizations that have displayed organizational skill and trustworthiness.  Proposals will be evaluated according to the ability of the applying organization to carry out a project with clearly formulated goals, that reaches the intended audience or beneficiaries, and that has the potential for the greatest positive impact in the subject areas listed below.

In 2017, the focus is on projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, support democratic development and human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes.

How to Apply?
Qualified organizations may apply to Strengthening Civil Society in Montenegro Program no later than August 4, 2017 at 17:00 local time. For those who choose to apply please submit completed application and all supporting documentation to PodgoricaGrants@State.Gov. Upon submission of an application you will receive a confirmation. Please note that all organizations are encouraged to use the suggested application form.  Applications that do not meet minimum standards set forth in application guidelines will not be considered.
Guidelines for Application 
  • The maximum grant period is one year.
  • Project proposals must be completed in English and should not be more than 7 pages long.
  • Project proposals should include all of the information requested in the Application Form.
  • Amounts in the project budget have to be in U.S. dollars and should include local taxes. Important note: Costs incurred before the grant period start date will not be reimbursed.
  • Project budgets should only include expenses incurred only on the territory of Montenegro.
  • Fees for staff engaged in the project implementation on a regular basis (project manager, project assistant, accountant, etc.) should not exceed 25%of the total project budget.
  • The project budget should include bank charges.
  • One application per applicant

IMPORTANT! Organizations may only submit one proposal per program.


The following projects or costs are ineligible for funding:
  1. More than one proposal submitted by an organization;
  2. Projects relating to partisan political activity;
  3. Conferences and individual trips abroad;
  4. Charitable activity and humanitarian aid;
  5. Fund-raising campaigns;
  6. Commercial projects;
  7. Scientific research;
  8. Individuals not affiliated with an organization that can provide long-term sustainability to the project;
  9. Those that duplicate existing projects.
Evaluation Criteria
The U.S. Embassy will review proposals for the Strengthening Civil Society in Montenegro Program. The Embassy is also in touch with other donor institutions and countries that provide financial support for the projects promoting civic participation.

The deadline for receiving completed electronic application forms is August 4, 2017 at 17:00 local time. Applicants are requested to send in only the electronic application.  

We will use the following general criteria to evaluate all submitted grant proposals:
  • The project proposal demonstrates that the organization has sufficient expertise, skills and human resources to implement the project;
  • The organization demonstrates that it has a clear understanding of the underlying issue proposed  to be addressed through the activity and is able to articulate it without using excessive generalizations;
  • The organization has identified appropriate beneficiaries or target groups in a way that maximizes project outputs and outcomes and the project has a clear focus, manageable scope and can yield  tangible results;
  • The project idea and approach is innovative yet the proposed project activities are concrete and detailed and supported by a reasonable work plan;
  • The project’s budget is well organized, detailed and reasonable.  There are no budget lines labeled miscellaneous expenses.  Entertainment and alcoholic beverage expenses are not included in the budget.  The budget demonstrates that the organization has devoted time to plan for and assess actual expenses associated with the project instead of providing rough estimates;
  • The organization has clearly articulated how it will assess and measure its own performance throughout the project implementation phase using concrete quantitative and qualitative assessment tools;
  • The project proposal describes clearly the approach that will be used to ensure maximum sustainability of the project’s results after its completion.
Incomplete, overly lengthy, and unclear applications will not be considered.

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