Public Affairs Section Grants

The U.S. Embassy San Salvador, Public Affairs Section, is seeking proposals for projects throughout the year in areas of mutual U.S.-Salvadoran interest, with a particular focus on improving security and creating economic opportunity.  Priority subjects include programs to:

  • Reducing illegal migration
  • professionalize the media
  • reduce violence
  • encourage entrepreneurship, economic growth and sustainable environmental practices
  • promote freedom of expression
  • empower women and youth
  • improve the teaching and learning of the English language
  • strengthen educational exchange
  • promote volunteerism with the support and participation of exchange program alumni

Eligibility is limited to not-for-profit organizations that qualify to receive U.S. grants, and have the ability to develop and implement projects in El Salvador.  Commercial entities are ineligible.  Examples of qualifying organizations could include El Salvador based civil-society organizations, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and educational/academic institutions.

Proposals can include, but are not limited to, seminars, conferences, workshops, cultural (e.g. art, music, dance, theater) programs, exhibitions, and outreach campaigns. Proposals should focus on raising awareness of citizens’ roles and responsibilities and citizen participation in reaching these goals.

Proposals must include an American (U.S.) component, such as speakers/experts who are U.S. citizens; the use of American training models or materials, exchanges with American institutions; promotion of American culture and practices, and the teaching or learning of English.

Examples of activities that are typically approved for funding include: public seminars and programs; professional development workshops and training for youth and underserved communities; cultural, professional and academic exchanges; academic and professional lectures, artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibits.

Examples of activities that typically are not approved for funding include scientific research; activities already underway; political campaigns; proposals lacking a strong American component.

The Embassy may award the grant solely on the basis of the applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each application should be as complete as possible, both in budgetary and technical terms. The Embassy may, however, enter into discussions/negotiations with applicants to obtain clarifications, additional details or refinements in the program description, budget, or other aspects of the proposal.

Grant applications are reviewed quarterly.  Please submit your proposal to be reviewed well in advance of your proposed start date or travel time.  Grant application deadlines are as follows (The dates remain the same each year):

Quarter 1 – September 15
Quarter 2 – December 15
Quarter 3 – March 15
Quarter 4 – June 15

Organizations or individuals wishing to submit proposals to the Small Grants Program should:

  1. Register your organization in the System for Award Management (SAM) and obtain a UEI.
  2. Complete Federal Assistance Application Standard Form 424 (SF424) (PDF 201 KB). This should be submitted in addition to a narrative proposal (described below). Please note that the SF-424 is created primarily for organizations inside the United States. Therefore, write “N/A” or skip the questions that are not applicable or that you do not understand.
  3. Submit a Narrative Proposal: Your written proposal should contain the following items:
  4. Summarize: In one page or less, define what the project will accomplish, and how it will meet the Embassy goals and benefit the United States and El Salvador.
  5. Describe the organization and the project. Summarize the nature of the project, including goals and objectives. Be concise (preferably 1 to 2 pages) but provide sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. The more specific, detailed, and clear the program description, the better.
  6. Outline a plan that describes all activities and how the proposed project will be accomplished. Provide an overview of the full sequence of the project activities, including start and end dates and locations of events.
  7. Provide a detailed budget, in U.S. dollars. For the budget line item “indirect costs” or “admin overhead,” any figure you provide without a specific breakout will be returned for additional information or rejected. If your organization has an approved Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), please note that on your application and provide documentation for it. Funds CANNOT be used to promote religious organizations or partisan political activity, individual trips abroad, for-profit activities, fundraising campaigns, commercial projects, scientific research, projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization, ongoing operational expenses, infrastructure, entertainment or alcoholic beverages.
  8. Provide quantitative projections of objectives to be achieved for each activity. Describe how you plan to monitor progress and determine the project’s overall success and impact.
  9. Key Personnel: Provide full name of the organization, address, phone/fax, email address, name and title of director (or person authorized to sign the grant) and other significant staff members, particularly those who will be involved in the project and budget specifics.
  10. Submission: Send the complete application package to

NOTE: Registering for SAM is free of charge, so if you encounter any organizations or websites soliciting a fee or charge to register or renew in SAM they are likely fraudulent. Official U.S. Government emails always end in .gov.


Applications will be accepted in English or Spanish.  However, final grant agreements and any subsequent amendments will be conducted in English.

Review and Selection Process

The Public Affairs Section will review each application on the basis of completeness, coherence, clarity, relevance to Embassy priorities, and attention to detail. The criteria in the next section will be used to evaluate the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of the proposal’s success.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Goals and Objectives: The project is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. The project addresses objectives in Section II. The applying organization demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress.
  • Organizational Capacity: The organization demonstrates expertise and the ability to perform the proposed activities. Where project partners are included, the applicant details each partner’s role, provides information on partner organizations and on all persons responsible for the project and its financial administration.
  • Budget and Narrative: The budget and narrative are complete and reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The plan for services and related cost estimates are realistic.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: The proposal outlines how program success and impact will be determined, and may include pre- and post-program analysis.

Grant Administration

The grant will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by a Grants Officer, an official representative of the U.S. government. Grants issued under this announcement require program reporting and may also require financial reports at a certain frequency. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner. All other details related to grant administration will be specified in the grant agreement, which is the authorizing document.