2021 Media Development Fund General Competition
The U.S. Embassy invites independent media outlets – including print, radio, TV, or electronic media to submit project proposals to the Media Development Fund. The Media Development Fund program accepts applications throughout the year. There is no set deadline. PAS will disburse grants as funding becomes available.
Major Program Requirements
The Media Development Fund grant program is administered by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. The fund supports the development of free and independent media in Ukraine and provides financial grant support to Ukrainian journalists, media organizations and other non-governmental organizations for media-related projects.
The Media Development Fund welcomes proposals from independent Ukrainian media outlets- including print, radio, TV or electronic media. Ukrainian state or communal media and political party media outlets are not eligible to apply. Funding is also available to individual journalists and staff from all Ukrainian media outlets (organizations), private or state. Non-governmental organizations may seek funding if their proposals directly support the development of Ukrainian media.
The Fund does not support advertising newspapers; NGO informational leaflets; specialized publications covering narrow professional issues and projects aimed at partisan political purposes.
The maximum amount of a grant is $50,000, though average project budgets are between $15,000 and $25,000. The actual amount of a grant awarded depends on the scope of activities and duration of projects, which range from one month to a year. The Media Development Fund encourages cost-sharing for organizations to seek additional funding from other sources.
General Competition Project Themes
The Media Development Fund seeks proposals for projects that support objectives that include, but are not limited to the following:
Providing survival tools for media during COVID pandemic by:
- Training media, especially on the local level, to effectively manage budgets, develop advertising strategies, conduct audience studies, monetize online content, and use social media effectively.
- Sharing best practices in financial stability by introducing membership strategies, innovative ways to attract subscribers and crowdfund.
- Encouraging cooperation and partnership between regional journalists.
- Training journalists in media ethics, countering disinformation, cyber security, and new media.
- Improving media content quality by training journalists in explanatory and solutions journalism, investigative reporting, story-telling, and news and content production for different platforms.
Bolstering the quality of Ukrainian journalism education by:
- Providing internships and mentorships at leading national and regional media outlets.
- Launching and upgrading training studios at journalism schools.
- Supporting cooperation between journalism schools and local media communities.
- Offering advanced training (including online) in print, broadcast, and digital news reporting, analytics, and data journalism.
- Promoting journalism in professional topics (such as economic, cultural, medical journalism, etc.)
Sustaining a favorable environment for the development of Ukrainian media by:
- Strengthening media watchdog organizations and institutions that oversee media ethics.
- Promoting self-regulation of journalists.
- Monitoring violations of the rights of journalists.
- Promoting media literacy; training to identify paid content (jeansa), disinformation, and information manipulations in media.
- Supporting the development of small, local media to promote a more independent and competitive media sector.
In addition to general competition, the Embassy holds thematic or regional competitions. Check this website and local media for announcements.
Application and Submission Information
The following documents are required:
1. Mandatory application forms
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)
- SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
- See sections DUNS Registration and SAM Registration Requirements for more information regarding the process to obtain required registrations.
2. Proposal (5 pages maximum): MDF has a suggested application form available here. You may also use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below. The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with the topic would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.
- Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
- Introduction to the Organization: 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. This should include information about the organization’s total potential audience reach via online, print, television and social media activities. In the case of media organizations, please note many members of online followers.
- 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.
- Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe 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.
- Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful
3. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.
- 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
- Organization registration documents
- Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
All application materials must be submitted by email to KyivMDF@state.gov.
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.
2. Register on-line https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
Be aware that DUNS number is issued for free!
SAM Registration Requirements
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ORGANIZATIONS APPLYING FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE
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 (SAM.gov) before an award can be made.
Please note that process of registration on the SAM.gov 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 www.dnb.com.
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:
- Go to https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/pages/CCRSearch.jsp .
- Select the country where your organization is physically located.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 SAM.gov and useful guides for setting-up a new account, updating an existing account, or renewing an expired account can be found at: https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/learning-center-system.do?sysparm_system=SAM .
Foreign-based applicants are strongly encouraged to review these guides when creating an account with SAM.gov. Further, applicants must maintain an active account, with current information, while its application is under consideration for funding. To keep an active SAM.gov 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 https://www.fsd.gov 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 https://www.fsd.gov and attaching the scanned letter.
- In some cases you may be required to send a hard copy of the letter. For details please check https://www.fsd.gov.
- 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:
- Go to http://www.sam.gov
- 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.
- Complete and submit the online form. If the applying organization already has the necessary information on hand (see the SAM User Guide – https://www.sam.gov/SAM/SAM_Guide/SAM_User_Guide.htm), 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.