2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Funding Available

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy Riga
Notice of Funding Opportunity

The Embassy of the United States in Riga announces an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2024).   We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2024 should submit proposals to embassyriga@state.gov by February 1, 2024. 


AEIF provides alumni of U.S. government-sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition.

In 2022, the United States and Latvia celebrated 100 years of diplomatic relations. Today, the United States and Latvia are strategic partners, committed to defending our achievements and ensuring that future generations will have the same personal liberties, human rights, and economic freedoms that we enjoy.

Looking to the future, our alliance faces new challenges: disinformation and malign influence; hybrid attacks; transnational corruption and crime and social divisions that threaten our stability and security. The Embassy seeks alumni projects that will help our alliance adapt and be resilient to the challenges posed by these complex issues and result in an even stronger U.S.-Latvia partnership. We invite our alumni to submit a project that will advance this vision.

Proposals must address strengthening the resilience of the U.S.-Latvia partnership through strengthening the role of civil society, NGO’s and other democratic entities/mechanisms, emphasizing media literacy and countering disinformation, shining the light on the fight against corruption, promoting entrepreneurship and Transatlantic-oriented Economic policies, affirming the role of NATO, as well U.S. and Latvia commitment to it.


Announcement posted: November 2, 2023
Closing date for applications:February 1, 2024
Funding type: Small grant awards
Decision date: no later than June 30, 2024.
Project start date: no earlier than August 1, 2024.
Expected size of individual awards:  Between $5,000 to $35,000.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed by May 31, 2025.


Eligible Applicants:
The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded or sponsored exchange programs (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs).
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project (not in a lead position).
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
  • Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni or alumni associations of USG exchange alumni. Applications can also be submitted through not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations which can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
Cost Sharing

Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.

Grant Program Area:

Proposals must address strengthening the resilience of the U.S.-Latvia partnership through strengthening the role of civil society, NGO’s and other democratic entities/mechanisms, emphasizing media literacy and countering disinformation, shining the light on the fight against corruption, promoting entrepreneurship and Transatlantic-oriented Economic policies, affirming the role of NATO, as well U.S. and Latvia commitment to it.

Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories

Other Eligibility Requirements

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a UEI (Unique Entity ID) number or be registered in SAM.gov.  However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a UEI, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal.
Grants may not be used for partisan political activity. However, public education, get-out-the-vote, election monitoring and other non-partisan election activities may be supported.
Grants may be used to promote non-discrimination and tolerance for disadvantaged minorities but should not be used to promote the particular agenda of a specific group, practice, or lifestyle over any other. Close attention should be given to applications addressing tolerance and human rights (focusing on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation), volunteerism, and trafficking in persons. Before awarding any grant related to these issues, Embassy staff must brief grantees on the distinction between support for human rights and our inability to advocate for a specific lifestyle or the views of any specific organization.

Grants cannot support any goals of religious nature.
Grants cannot support the creation of any media content or support journalist salaries.
Proposed projects should target primarily Latvian audiences.

  1. Address to Request Application Package 
    Application and budget templates can be downloaded from:

  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
    Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2024 application and budget forms.
    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 ineligible.
    Please ensure:

    • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
    • The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2024 application form;
    • All documents are in English;
    • The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF 2024 budget form;
    • All pages are numbered.

    Mandatory application forms:

      1. 2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund Proposal Form:
        • Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
        • Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
          • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
          • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
          • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
          • Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
          • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
          • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Include a logic model as appropriate.
          • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
          • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
          • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
          • Program 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?
          • Future Funding or Sustainability: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
      2. Budget Justification Narrative: Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided. Line-item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.
        • Budget Restrictions: AEIF 2024 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:
          • Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
          • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
          • Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
          • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
          • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
          • Academic or scientific research
          • Charitable or development activities
          • Provision of direct social services to a population
          • Individual scholarships
          • Social travel/visits
          • Gifts or prizes
          • Duplication of existing programs
          • Institutional development of an organization
          • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
          • Support for specific religious activities
          • Fund-raising campaigns
          • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation
      3. Attachments:
        • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
        • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
        • If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
        • Official permission letters, if required for program activities
        • Additional support materials like workshop agendas, curricula, or previous pilot projects connected to your submission – Optional, but strongly recommended.

        Please note: When submitting the proposal form and budget form, please use the following naming convention for the titles of the documents: AEIF24_Country_Project Title.
        –  Example Proposal Form: AEIF24_Latvia_Inclusive STEAM Curricula.docx
        –  Example Budget Form: AEIF24_Latvia_Inclusive STEAM Curricula_Budget.xlxs

      4. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
        Required Registrations:
        All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov. A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.

        • Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
        • Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
        • Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”

        Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions:
        Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.

        Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:
        Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:

        NCAGE Homepage: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/sc/CageList.aspx

        An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

        • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
        • For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.

        Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.


      Evaluation Criteria: 

      The U.S. embassy or consulate Public Affairs Sections will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications.  The proposals will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Panelists will use the criteria below to review and evaluate applications. .

      Relevance to Application Theme

      The proposal provides sufficient information on how the activities will support the theme(s) of the competition. The narrative explains any relevant local context the D.C. Selection Committee may not be aware of in relation to this project.  Proposed project ideas must be public diplomacy in nature (i.e. not development or military).

      Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan

      When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling.  Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken.  Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need?  If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved?  What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project?  How many will participate?  How will they be selected?

      Degree of Alumni Involvement

      Projects must include the involvement of at least two (2) exchange alumni.  They may be the project team leaders or collaborate directly with PAS in formulating the project.  More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two.  As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc.  Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.

      Participation and Support from Local Partners

      The proposal demonstrates buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place. Local partner involvement is a strong sign that there is community support and that the project will engage a broad array of experts, such as subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces, etc.

      Evaluation and Impact of the Project 

      A monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plan is pivotal to project implementation and important tracking progress towards the project’s objectives and goals.  An M&E plan should consider the data needed to effectively monitor progress toward specific outputs and outcomes as well as how that data collection will be accomplished.  Well-crafted indicators should be used to understand a program’s progress toward the desired results.  An M&E plan should be reviewed for the following:

      • Completion
      • Applicability and logic of objectives and indicators
      • Clear approach to monitoring
      • Adherence to SMART criteria
      • Feasibility of baselines and targets
      • Data quality plan
      • Capacity to implement plan
      Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan

      Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan
      The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project.  It is important to ensure that the U.S. Embassy gets recognition throughout the process, if circumstances permit.

      Budget and Budget Narrative

      The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.  The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.  The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project.  Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable

      Disclaimer: This notice is subject to availability of funding. U.S. Embassy Riga does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement. Only successful applicants will be contacted.


      The grant award 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 NOFO 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: Funds will be disbursed in two payments. First payment (80% of total funds allocated)will be paid once the agreement with the grantee will be finished and signed. Second payment (20% of total funds allocated) will be paid when final reports will be submitted and approved by the Grants Officer.

      Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

      Final descriptive report will need to be submitted to the Grants Officer no later than 30 days after the project has been completed. In addition to that, copies of invoices, agreements and other financial documents will be needed to ensure the transparency of the spending of funds.


      Questions about the grant application process should be directed to: EmbassyRiga@state.gov