Democracy Commission Small Grants

The United States Embassy in Tirana, pending availability of funds, is pleased to announce an open competition for assistance awards through this NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (NOFO) for the DEMOCRACY COMMISSION SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM.

Purpose of the Program   

DEADLINE:  The Program is accepting proposals until August 17, 2020 

The Democracy Commission Small Grants Program, administered by the Public Affairs Section, supports initiatives of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaged throughout Albania in a variety of fields, including:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Good Governance
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Human Rights/Minority Rights
  • Empowerment of Women and Youth,
  • Combatting Human Trafficking
  • Reforms
The program intents to award grants in the amount starting from $30,000 to $50,000.

Democracy Commission does NOT fund projects such as the following:
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Humanitarian assistance projects
  • Scientific research projects
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects being implemented by an organization
  • Projects submitted by for-profit, commercial organizations
  • Projects that support partisan political and/or religious activity
  • Conferences and individual trips abroad
  • Trade activities
Evaluation Process:

The U.S. Embassy has established the Democracy Commission which is the body that reviews and evaluates proposals for this program.  It will take the Commission up to a month after the application deadline to complete its review process.  Applicants may be contacted with questions during this review process and will be informed whether or not their proposal was selected via e- mail.

Evaluation Criteria

The Democracy Commission will assess the following when evaluating grant proposals:

  • The project proposal demonstrates that the organization has sufficient expertise, skills, and human resources to implement the project.
  • The organization demonstrates that it has a clear understanding of the underlying issue that the project is aiming to address and is able to articulate it with specificity and clarity.
  • The organization has consulted relevant resources, experts, and potential partner organizations during the project’s design phase.
  • The organization has identified appropriate beneficiaries or target groups in a way that maximizes project outputs and outcomes and the project has a clear focus and manageable scope.
  • The project’s idea and approach are innovative, yet capable of being completed with the program period. Proposed project activities must be concrete, detailed, and supported by a reasonable work plan.
  • The project’s budget is well organized, detailed, and reasonable.  There are no budget lines labeled “miscellaneous expenses.”  Entertainment and alcoholic beverage expenses are not included in the budget.  The budget demonstrates that the organization has devoted time to plan for and assess actual expenses associated with the project instead of providing rough estimates.
  • The organization has clearly articulated how it will assess and measure its own performance throughout the project implementation phase using concrete quantitative and qualitative assessment tools.
  • The project proposal describes clearly the approach that will be used to ensure maximum sustainability of the project’s results after its completion.
  • Past performance, including U.S. government funded grants, indicates reliability, responsible use of resources, and an ability to follow through with project aims.

Specific Guidelines: IMPORTANT! Organizations may submit only one proposal per program

  • The grant amount will be from $30,000 to $50,000
  • Grants are made on a one-time basis. A successful applicant may re-apply for a second grant, but the second proposal must be for a distinctly different project than the first project funded by the Democracy Commission.
  • Organizations are eligible to receiving funding from this program not more often than once in two years.
  • U.S. organizations and individuals are not eligible for grants under the program.
  • The application requires a clear description of the activity for which grant funds are being requested and a budget proposal broken down by expenditure category; otherwise it will not be considered.
How to Apply?

All applications are required to be in English. Applicants must complete the standard application forms in English. The forms are available for download below:

Your application should include:
  • Project title
  • Project goal
  • Project theme
  • Name, address, telephone/fax number, e-mail address of the organization and name of contact person
  • A description of the project and who the target audience is
  • Key project activities
  • Project dates (approximate time from the beginning to the completion of the project)
  • A description of the expected results
  • A brief description of how the success of the project will be measured and evaluated
  • A list of name and title of team members
  • A brief description of what the organization does
  • A summary of the budget (include attached a detailed budget in the Excel format)

Copies of the court decision registration, statute of the organization, and CVs of the main staff of the project must be included in the application package.  Any application that does not cover all the above points will not be considered.

Any questions concerning this NOFO should be submitted in writing to the Tirana Democracy Commission via email at

Please submit your application package to

Submission of the electronic version (only PDF – not scanned, and Excel format) of the application forms to is also mandatory. Please do not modify the application forms. Submission in WinZIP, WinRAR, WeTransfer, Google Drive, etc., is not allowed.

Applications that does not meet any of the above requirements and/or submitted after the deadline will be disqualified!