Grant Size :  

$10,000 to $100,000

Closing Date :


U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program


The U.S. Embassy Sofia Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program.

PDS Sofia invites proposals for programs that bolster the people-to-people ties between the United States and Bulgaria through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives and promote shared values.

Priority Themes
  • Competitive proposals should focus on one or more of the following priority themes:

    • Promote leadership skills, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and innovation among secondary and university students.

    • Deepen the social, cultural, and educational connections between the United States and Bulgaria, especially through the development of active, sustainable alumni networks.

    • Boost public understanding of and support for Bulgaria’s role as a strong NATO Ally as it celebrates its 20th year in the Alliance.

    • Develop youth skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM), especially focused on assisting youth from underserved, vulnerable, or rural communities (outside major metropolitan areas).

    • Strengthen the development of robust independent media and civil society organizations to bolster civic participation and improve societal trust in democratic institutions.

    • Increase media and digital literacy and improve Bulgarian society’s resilience to disinformation.

    • Advance the inclusion and integration of historically underserved and vulnerable communities, including women, Roma and other minority groups, LGBTQI+ individuals, Ukrainian refugees, other migrants, and disadvantaged youth.

    • Increase interconnectivity between Bulgaria and other countries in the region, including joint projects that foster cooperation between the citizens of Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

    • Promote dialogue and civic participation in programs that confront climate change and that advance environmental sustainability and energy diversification.

Funding Information
  • Length of performance period: 1-12 months

  • Number of awards anticipated: 10-15 awards (dependent on amounts)

  • Award amounts: award amount may range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $25,000

  • Total available funding: anticipated $300,000 pending confirmation of funds availability

  • Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should preferably be completed in 12 months or less.

    • PDS Sofia will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

Participants and Audiences
  • Audiences, which will vary by program and focus, include but are not limited to: students (particularly at secondary and university levels), academics and think-tanks, government officials (at all levels), journalists and media professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and various underserved or vulnerable populations.

  • While not required, the most competitive proposals will include components that reach audiences outside of Sofia, in regions with less exposure to the United States, including Northwest and Southeast Bulgaria and the Black Sea coast.

  • Grantees are also encouraged to host programming and take advantage of existing resources at American Corners in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, and Burgas, especially when programming involves youth (secondary/university) audiences.

Ineligible Programs
  • The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

    • Programs relating to partisan political activity;

    • Charitable activities;

    • Construction programs;

    • Programs that support specific religious activities;

    • Fundraising campaigns;

    • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;

    • Scientific research;

    • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;

    • Programs that duplicate existing programs; or

    • For-profit programs.

Eligibility :
  • Eligible Applicants

    • The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from Bulgarian, European or, U.S.-based organizations and individuals with proven experience of executing programs. Proposals that demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the proposed project will receive priority. Organizations may include:

      • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/nongovernmental organizations with programming experience

      • Individuals

      • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions

      • Governmental institutions

    • For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

  • Cost Sharing or Matching

    • Cost sharing is not required.

  • Other Eligibility Requirements

    • Applicants are encouraged to only submit one application per priority program area in a given funding cycle.

Post Date: November 16, 2023

Location :

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