U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program

The U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program is designed to support civil society in Kazakhstan and advance the interests and will of Kazakhstani citizens.

The current deadline for submission of Application forms is 11:59 p.m. January 31, 2019 (Astana time)

Project proposals must address one of the following themes:

Theme 1: Promote diversity, tolerance, inclusion, and/or conflict resolution.

Theme 2: Enhance cooperation between the government and civil society (i.e. rule of law, transparency in government, media freedom, access to information, etc.).

Theme 3: Advance women’s and/or youth empowerment.

Theme 4: Promote innovative and sustainable solutions to common social problems, such as through innovation, social entrepreneurship, etc.

For all themes, priority will be given to projects that yield concrete results. Projects consisting solely of conferences or roundtable discussions are unlikely to be funded. Also, all things being equal, projects implemented in the regions are preferable to those focusing only on Almaty and Astana.


  • Non-governmental and non-profit organizations registered in Kazakhstan are eligible for this program. Applications from organizations registered outside of Kazakhstan, commercial organizations, political groups carrying out partisan activities, and charity organizations will not be considered.
  • Only one grant application may be submitted per eligible organization.
  • Organizations funded through the U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program during 2017 and 2018 are not eligible during 2019 cycle.
  • ***New requirement: in order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a DUNS number (“unique entity identifier”) and a valid registration on SAM.gov. Please see attachments for information on how to obtain these registrations.

Grant funding can be used to support:

  • Campaigns to engage the public in socially valuable activities;
  • Advocacy for solving societal issues;
  • Development of proposals for legislative changes;
  • Project-related salaries and honoraria including applicable taxes;
  • In-country travel expenses directly related to the project;
  • Supplies or equipment necessary for project implementation;
  • Contracted services directly related to the project (for example: translation, design, web-design, printing, publishing of promotional materials, etc.).

Salaries, overhead, equipment, and other administrative expenses are allowable only as they relate to specific project activities. Salary or honoraria should be listed according to rate of pay and percentage of time spent on program-related activities. While salary expenses are permissible for personnel, payment of honoraria and other expenses for foreign experts will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The Small Grants Program will not consider applications that include the following activities:

  • Support for or lobbying on behalf of a particular political party;
  • Religious activities;
  • Strictly charitable or humanitarian activities;
  • Theoretical research;
  • Individual or group international travel grants;
  • Alcohol, entertainment, or “miscellaneous” costs;
  • Capital construction projects.

The maximum funding for each project this year is $50,000.00

Application and submission information:

Please read the following instructions carefully and completely. 

The Small Grants Program application process will include one stage only. Applicants need to submit Application packages with the following mandatory elements:

  • Application form, not to exceed 6 pages; (DOC, 2 MB)
  • SF-424 – Application for Federal Assistance – Organization. Please make sure to include your DUNS number in the application; (PDF, 265 KB)
  • SF424A – Budget Information for Non-Construction programs; (PDF, 322 KB)
  • SF424B – Assurances for Non-Construction programs; (PDF, 115 KB)
  • Additional spreadsheet with budget narrative for grants over $25,000.

Applications must be written and submitted in English.

Proposals may not exceed 6 pages in length in Times New Roman size 12 font.

To submit an application, applicants must have

  1. A valid DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F. Instructions on obtaining a DUNS number can be found at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-1-obtain-duns-number.html
  2. A NATO CAGE/NCAGE. If your organization does not have a CAGE/NCAGE, visit https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx to start the process. For more information on NATO CAGE/NCAGE, see https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf.
    1. For NCAGE help from within the United States, call 1-888-227-2423.
    2. For NCAGE help from outside the United States, call 1-269-961-7766.
    3. Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems with obtaining an NCAGE code.
  3. An active SAM registration (SAM.gov ) with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by a federal awarding agency. For information on how to register with SAM, see https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-2-register-with-sam.html and https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx#show-video-popup. Note that SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Please note: Obtaining the DUNS number and registering in the SAM system can take up to five weeks to complete.  We strongly encourage you to start this process as soon as possible, since we cannot review any projects that do not include DUNS numbers and completed SAM.gov registrations.

Successful applications will:

  • Describe the prospective organization’s capacity to perform the proposed project;
  • Provide a clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed;
  • Define the target audience;
  • Include specific, measurable, attainable and time-framed project goals and objectives;
  • Present a clear implementation plan of activities that clearly support the program goals;
  • Present a strong media and information plan to include broader audiences and draw public attention through traditional and social media;
  • Provide a compelling argument that the planned activities are realistic and achievable within suggested activity timelines;
  • Include concrete and logical budget; include budgets calculated in U.S. dollars (with the total rounded to the nearest dollar), which are clearly linked to project activities in the proposal narrative. Budgets should show cost-sharing by the organization and third-party contributors if applicable.

Application form Outline and Content Requirements:

Application form must follow the outline described below.  Incomplete or differently formatted submissions will not be reviewed.

  1. Contact information: name of the organization, DUNS number, BIN, and the name of the person responsible for submitting the application form and his or her title/position, contact information for both, including address, phone, email address.
  2. Information about organization: Introduce the NGO. How sustainable is the NGO? What is the NGO’s experience implementing similar project? Please indicate any previously received grants from the U.S. Embassy.
  3. Project Name
  4. Project Justification: Why this project is needed for the particular region? Who will benefit from the proposed project? Describe the anticipated beneficiaries of your project, including estimated number and age range.

Grants for publication of materials should describe the intended audience, content, and method for distributing materials. Grants for seminars and workshops should describe the expected audience, content, and timeframe.

  1. Goals and objectives: What specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-framed goals or objectives will result in realization of the strategic vision?
  2. Implementation plan: What steps will you take to achieve your goals and objectives? What stakeholders in the public, private, and civil society sectors will you engage?  What will be media and information plan to include broader audiences and draw public attention? List the cities/towns/communities where the project activities will take place.
  3. Program Duration: When will the project begin and end?
  4. Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  5. Project Outcomes: What outcomes do you expect? How it will impact the local community?
  6. Sustainability: How will the proposed solution be sustained once this grant’s funding expires?
  7. Detailed Budget: Present the budget in the form of a spreadsheet, in USD amounts, dividing the budget into the categories delineated in the application. Cost sharing is not required.  However, the Recipient may present cost-sharing on voluntary basis. The absence of cost sharing will not in any way impact evaluation of the project. If the Recipient includes cost sharing in the project proposal, then the Recipient is accountable for providing additional funds and justifying the costs.

Budget narrative: Please explain your budget in narrative form, detail personnel duties, list names of trainers/moderators/experts and project staff and break down travel and lodging costs (i.e., how many people, how many overnights, cost per person per day).

  1. Date of application

Criteria for evaluation: All proposals will be evaluated by the review panel on the below criteria.

  • Compliance with proposal guidelines and inclusion of mandatory components
  • Clearly identified goals and target audiences
  • Well-developed plan of activities that clearly support the program goals
  • Concrete, detailed and logical budget
  • Project sustainability
  • Evaluation and Impact

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

Optional Elevator pitch: In a narrative you could deliver, in 3 minutes describe what your project is about and why it should receive support from the U.S. Embassy. This is the so called elevator pitch.

Application Submission Procedure:

  • Applications must be submitted by email to SGP-Kazakhstan@state.gov by 23:59 January 31, 2019 (Astana time). Please indicate in the Subject Line: SGP Application – [Name of Organization].
  • Faxed, mailed, or hand delivered Grant Applications will not be accepted.
  • Application form must follow the outline described above. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

For submission and specific questions about the Small Grants Program, please send your inquiries to SGP-Kazakhstan@state.gov, or contact a Senior Program Coordinator at +7  7172 70 22 17, Program Assistant at +7 7172 70 24 56 in Astana and Grants Coordinator in Almaty+7 727  250 48 70.