Democracy Grants

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine
Public Affairs Section
Democracy Commission Small Grants Program General Competition

Attention! The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program (general competition) has received a great deal of applications for this year and is not accepting any more applications at this time. Please continue to monitor this site for possible updates.

The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program began in 1996 to support initiatives that contribute to open and competitive political and economic systems and to the protection of human rights.  Since then, the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program has supported more than 1,000 projects implemented by Ukrainian NGOs.

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) Democracy Commission Small Grants Program supports projects that foster the development of civil society and public engagement in Ukraine.  The program provides seed money for unique and sustainable projects that focus on, but are not limited to, the below list of technical areas. 

Ukrainian non-governmental organizations may apply for up to $50,000 to support projects.  Most awards are approximately $25,000.  A panel of interagency representatives selects projects that demonstrate the ability to achieve impact related to the themes listed below.  There is no fixed application deadline.  PAS accepts applications on an on-going basis.  Grants are disbursed as funding is available.

  • Grants can only be given to Ukrainian NGOs (non-profit and non-governmental organizations) registered in accordance with Ukrainian law.  NGOs include, but are not limited to, civic organizations or associations, charitable foundations, and think tanks.
  • NGOs and their members cannot represent or be affiliated with any political party, or with appointed or elected officials.
  • Although the maximum funding available for a single grant is $50,000 U.S. dollars (USD), we anticipate most awards will be in the range of $10,000 – $24,000 USD.
  • U.S. or other third-country organizations and individuals are not eligible to apply for grants.
  • General competition applications must be submitted both in English and in Ukrainian.
  • In addition to this general competition, the U.S. Embassy will, from time to time, hold special regional or thematic competitions, which may have different rules regarding project eligibility. Please check the U.S. Embassy website and social media sites for announcements.
  • Project dates cannot exceed one year.

The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program seeks proposals for projects that support objectives that include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Developing civil society and fostering public engagement;
  2. Creating a more favorable environment for civil society including by working to protect activists;
  3. Promoting the rule of law;
  4. Promoting national and local government transparency and combating corruption;
  5. Defending and protecting human rights, including for minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; disabled persons; and other vulnerable groups;
  6. Promoting gender equality, encouraging political participation of women, and fighting all forms of discrimination against women;
  7. Ensuring a free, fair, and credible electoral system.


Organizations that are interested in applying for funding through the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program should send a concept note to .

The concept note should include the following information:

Organization name:

Website/Facebook, or other online presence:

Proposed project theme or title:

Organization physical address:

Main point of contact (i.e. project manager, organization director) name:

Contact email address:

Contact person’s mobile phone number:

Location of program implementation (i.e. national, Kharkiv oblast, etc.):

Project implementation period (i.e. how many months, up to one year):

Briefly describe (in 2-3 sentences for each question):

  1. Project summary (the issue you plan to address)
  2. How you will address the issue:
  3. Expected impact: What transformation/changes will you see? How will the project impact the target audience and community?
  4. How you will measure whether you solved the problem. We strongly encourage grantees to develop monitoring and evaluation plans to measure the impact of the program. You can build this into your budget.
  5. Estimated budget with a brief description of what will be covered with grant support:

If your project is aligned with our objectives the grants team will reply, inviting you to submit a more detailed proposal with detailed instructions.

The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program accepts applications throughout the year. There is no set deadline. PAS will disburse grants as funding becomes available.

Please note that to be eligible for the funding, applicants must obtain DUNS, NCAGE numbers and register in SAM.GOV. We recommend that you begin this process early as it can take several weeks to complete.

D-U-N-S number is a unique nine-digit identification number has been assigned to over 100 million businesses worldwide. This number remains with the company location to which it has been assigned even if it closes or goes out-of-business. DUNS number is requested for funding by over 50 international commercial and nonprofit institutions, including the UN, Federal Government, and European Commission. If your organization has already received funding from the State Department and possesses DUNS number, but you did not activate it for the last 6 months, please make sure it is still active. As soon as you receive DUNS number or activate the old one, please start the registration in SAM system right away.

There are two ways to obtain DUNS number:

1. Receive DUNS with the help of “Avesta–Ukraine” (official representative of Dun & Bradstreet in Ukraine.

Contacts of “Avesta–Ukraine”
22 Paladina Avenue, Office 212, Kyiv, 03142, Ukraine
Tel.: 8 (044)499-0099, 8(044) 499-0097
Fax: 8 (044) 499 0098

2. Register on-line

Be aware that DUNS number is issued for free!


All organizations applying to receive Federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS) before the application is submitted, a CCR (NCAGE) number, a letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator, and an active account with the System for Award Management ( before an award can be made.

Please note that process of registration on the portal can take substantial amount of time, so we recommend starting the process as early as possible.

Dun&Bradstreet DUNS – A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or requesting on-line at

The DUNS number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities. All organizations applying for U.S. government grant funds must have a DUNS number. To obtain a DUNS number, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to .
  2. Select the country where your organization is physically located.
  3. Complete and submit the form. Organizations will need to provide basic information, including physical and mailing addresses, name and title of the chief executive, primary Standard Industrial Code (SIC), and annual revenue. Typically, organizations can complete this process in one day and have a DUNS number emailed to them. For technical difficulties in obtaining this number, please contact D&B at:

System for Award Management (SAM) – SAM is a U.S.-government wide registry of vendors doing business with the U.S. federal government and requires annual renewal. The system centralizes information about grant applicants/recipients, and provides a central location for grant applicants/recipients to change organizational information. More information about and useful guides for setting-up a new account, updating an existing account, or renewing an expired account can be found at: .

Foreign-based applicants are strongly encouraged to review these guides when creating an account with Further, applicants must maintain an active account, with current information, while its application is under consideration for funding. To keep an active account, Applicants must renew it at least once each year. If an account expires, the Organization cannot submit a grant application until it is renewed.

Only individuals who are authorized to represent a particular entity, or individuals representing themselves as an entity, may register an entity in SAM. Accessing or using SAM, or information contained therein, for any unauthorized or illegal purposes, may have civil and criminal penalties, and may negatively impact the status of the SAM registration maintained for the entity.

Recommendations how to fill in the letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator:

  • Formally appoint an Entity Administrator for registration in SAM.GOV and the letter submission.
  • Use the letter template provided at and complete it.
  • Print the letter on your entity’s letterhead. If you don’t have letterhead, enter your entity’s legal business name and physical address at the top of the letter before printing.
  • Sign the completed letter. Make sure the person who signs the letter is someone with signatory authority, i.e. who can make commitments on behalf of the entity like an executive, officer, partner, or other authorized representative.
  • Scan the completed, signed letter. Submit a copy to the Federal Service Desk by creating a service ticket at and attaching the scanned letter.
  • In some cases you may be required to send a hard copy of the letter. For details please check
  • Ukrainian entities registering in SAM must NOT submit a notarized letter appointing their authorized Entity Administrator!

To create a new account on SAM.GOV, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to
  2. Select Create User Account, and then select Create an Account on the left-hand side of the screen under Individual Account Details. Organizations must have DUNS number and a CAGE number (US Domestic Organizations) or a NCAGE number (Foreign Organizations), to create an account.
  3. Complete and submit the online form. If the applying organization already has the necessary information on hand (see the SAM User Guide –, the online form takes approximately one hour to complete, depending upon the size and complexity of the applying entity. Because of the different steps in the process, it can take anywhere from three to fourteen days to complete the process of creating an account with the system.

For help with SAM.GOV, please visit their support page at: or contact them at: (+1) 334-206-7828.





Resources relevant to users registering an entity located outside the U.S. and its outlying areas in SAM.

  • Quick Start Guide for International Registrations (PDF 90 KB)
  • CAGE Code Search – The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) portal to search for domestic and foreign entity CAGE Code information.
  • DUNS Number Request – The web form where Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) provides a DUNS Number, a unique nine-digit identification number, for each physical location of your business. DUNS Number assignment and maintenance is free for all entities required to register with the U.S. government for contracts or grants.
  • NCAGE Code Request – The online portal for international entities to request a new NATO CAGE (NCAGE) Code or submit updates to an existing NCAGE Code record.

Although the maximum funding available for a single grant is $50,000 U.S. dollars (USD), we anticipate most awards will be in the range of $10,000 – $24,000 USD.  The program covers costs directly related to the project activities and encourages organizations to provide in-kind contributions and/or other donors’ funding to the projects.

Activities that may not be funded:

  1. Social welfare projects, including direct social services and consultations
  2. Organizational start-up costs
  3. Office rent and utilities
  4. Ongoing operating costs or capital improvements
  5. Buying furniture and office decorations
  6. Buying vehicles
  7. Setting up a center unless part of a broader project
  8. Projects that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to electoral campaigns
  9. Academic or analytical research (if not part of a larger project)
  10. Books writing and publishing
  11. Scholarships
  12. International travel
  13. Covering costs of international participants/guest speakers
  14. Citizen exchange programs with foreign countries
  15. One-of-a kind events such as conferences and round tables (if not part of a larger project)
  16. Medical and psychological research and clinical studies
  17. Provision of health care services
  18. Projects of a commercial nature
  19. Cultural presentations, cultural research, cultural clubs, and festivals etc.
  20. Language training courses, summer camps, language schools
  21. Entertainment costs (receptions, social activities, ceremonies, alcoholic beverages, cocktail parties, guided tours).