2020 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:
- Raising the professional standards of Ukrainian journalists by:
- Training journalists in media ethics, countering disinformation, cyber security, and new media.
- Encouraging cooperation and partnership between regional journalists.
- Training newly privatized media to develop organizational capacity including by building sustainable business models; increasing audience understanding; and providing marketing and sales training.
- Supporting investigative journalism by developing professional standards and encouraging well-researched and balanced analyses of social and economic issues, especially at the regional level.
- Sustaining a favorable environment for the development of Ukrainian media by:
- Strengthening institutions that oversee ethics in media, including by creating regional networks to safeguard media ethics at the local level.
- Monitoring violations of the rights of journalists.
- Preventing the use of paid for materials (jeansa), disinformation, and manipulations in media.
- Supporting the development of small, local media to promote a more independent and competitive media sector.
- Promoting the critical role of media in democracy by:
- Ensuring and supporting media as a critical civic actor to ensure government transparency and accountability.
- Supporting dialogue between the government, media, and civil society by training government press officers; and holding joint seminars, working meetings, and roundtables.
- Bolstering the quality of Ukrainian journalism education by:
- Providing student internships and mentorships at leading national and regional media outlets.
- Offering advanced training in print, broadcast, and digital news reporting, analytics, and data journalism.
- Upgrading radio and TV training studios at journalism schools (as part of a larger project such as creating campus media outlets).
- Developing and introducing courses in media management to improve institutional capacity of media outlets (such as in human resources and strategic planning).
In addition to general competition, the Embassy holds thematic or regional competitions. Check this website and local media for announcements.
How to Apply
Media outlets and organizations that are interested in applying for funding through the Media Development Fund should send a concept note to KyivMDF@state.gov. The note should be no more than one page. If your project is aligned with MDF objectives and demonstrates how it can create measurable impact, the grants team will advise you to submit a more detailed proposal through our required application.
All applicants must have DUNS numbers to apply and be eligible for funding (individuals are not required to have DUNS numbers). Organizations that are approved for funding must also register through SAM.GOV. We recommend that you begin this process early as it can take several weeks to complete. Note that SAM.GOV registration expires after 12 months.
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.
Concept Note Template
Organization / media outlet name and location:
Website / social media presence:
Main point of contact (i.e. project manager, organization / media outlet director) name, email address and cell phone number:
Please provide brief (1-2 sentence) responses to the below:
- Project summary (briefly describe the issue you plan to address and why is it important):
- Summary of activities:
- Expected impact: What transformation/changes you expect to make with your project? How will the project impact the target audience and community?
- 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.
- Itemized budget breakdown (i.e. salaries – $… , admin costs – $…, etc.)