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ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT INNOVATION FUND

The application for the AEIF 2024 Grants Program is now OPEN. Deadline February 2, 2024

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2024)-Deadline: February 2, 2024

The Public Affairs Section at U.S. Embassy Belmopan is pleased to announce 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. Pending availability of funds, AEIF will consider proposals between US$ 5,000 and US$35,000. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2024 should submit proposals to BelmopanPA@state.gov by COB on Friday, February 2, 2024.  


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The 2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) promotes a post-driven alumni engagement opportunity, offering posts flexibility in collaborating with alumni teams to develop public service- oriented projects that support U.S. foreign policy objectives, promote shared interests, and benefit local communities. All AEIF projects must address at least one of the following:

  1. Bring alumni together from different exchange programs to build or expand an alumni network capable of working together on common interests and increase regional and global collaboration of alumni.
  2. Strengthen the relationship between alumni and the U.S. government to work together on activities that address mutual goals and challenges.
  3. Support alumni as they develop their leadership capacity and implement projects in their communities.


Inspiration can be found at alumni.state.gov/aeif  and clicking on the links for annual Winners stories and AEIF Success Stories.


FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Announcement posted:  November 2, 2023

ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program.
  • The proposed project involves at least two  Government-sponsored exchange program alumni and needs to specify a team lead. All alumni involved in the project will need to be identified as well as verified by post prior to submission of the project proposal. Any non-alumni team members need to be included as well.
  • Applications from Alumni Associations will need to specify a team lead.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project, however, the team must have at least two non-U.S. citizen exchange program alumni.
  • All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories.
  • Proposals should be in the range of US $5,000 to US $35,000.
  • The proposed project identifies and supports Mission priorities through public service-oriented activities.
  • Inclusion of cost share is encouraged for this opportunity.


Mandatory application forms for you submission:

Only proposals submitted using the official forms will be considered for funding.

Please attach the completed AEIF 2024 proposal as a WORD document and the completed AEIF 2024 budget form as an EXCEL document.  Only complete proposal packages using the required forms will be considered for review.

Only one proposal per group or person allowed.

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_Belize_Inclusive STEAM Curricula.docx

Example Budget Form: AEIF24_Belize_Inclusive STEAM Curricula_Budget.xlxs

Please include in the body of the email a project capsule summarizing your project in four sentences or less. A Justification with any additional information regarding the local context or priorities the review committee may not be aware of in relation to this project. And explain how this project fits and helps your community and/or alumni.

We encourage to send a proposal with the estimated budget at least two weeks before the deadline to BelmopanPA@state.gov if you would like feedback to help determine the competitiveness of the project idea.

Forms should be submitted in the format provided here (PDF and Excel) to BelmopanPA@state.gov by COB on Friday, February 2, 2024.Posts will learn about final funding decisions no later than May 15, 2024.


Budget

Proposals may request funds from US $5,000 to US $35,000. The template incorporates sections for the budget justification narrative as well as a second tab providing instructions on what to include in the various budget categories. The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF 2024 budget form.

Cost Share: Examples include in-kind support (services, labor, supplies/equipment, or volunteers), a business contributing food, an organization offering a venue at a discount or free of charge, an NGO sponsoring an activity, an expert donating time to facilitate a seminar, etc. We encourage all proposals to include some form of cost sharing.

A note on reasonable costs: During the development and review of proposals at post, please make sure cost categories are reasonable. Project management costs should not be more than 30% of the total requested budget amount. Project management costs include fees for speakers, trainers, and consultants. Lodging costs should be for program activities during the project and not for long term rent for project team members. Travel costs need to consider the most economic means of travel.

Supported Activities and Costs

AEIF 2024 can support the following budget items:

  • Intra-regional or in-country transportation
  • Rental of venues for project activities
  • PPE and sanitizing equipment
  • Meals/refreshments integral to the project (i.e., working lunch for a meeting)
  • Reasonable costs to support virtual programming (i.e., subscription to Zoom, WebEx, camera/microphones for virtual meetings, mailing services, etc.)
  • Trainer or speaker honoraria expenses (i.e., maximum $250/day fee, travel, lodging, per diem)
  • Reasonable equipment and materials
  • Communications and publicity materials, such as manuals or project advertisements

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.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an integral part of project management. A well designed and executed M&E plan will provide the Embassy and alumni with quantifiable information on the progress and desired outcome of the project.  Did the time and resources invested in the project move the needle on priority issues identified? Did it result in new ways of engaging with hard-to-reach communities? The AEIF application form incorporates an easy to follow-template and is a mandatory part of the application process.

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.

While the project is ongoing, we encourage you to share with us any events or activities through email or social media. Please tag @USMissionBelize @InternationalExchangeAlumni (Facebook), @ExchangeAlumni (Twitter), @#ExchangeAlumni – Alumni Affairs – State Dept.  (LinkedIn) and @VoicesofExchange (Instagram) and add #AEIF2024 and #ExchangeAlumni when posting about AEIF projects.


Questions about the grant application process and/or submission of proposals should be directed to BelmopanPA@state.gov