"NEXT STEP" ALUMNI GRANT

Between AVC and our sister organization Birthright Armenia, we have an international alumni base of over 2200 and this number continues to grow by 300+ each year. Investing in our participants’ desire to further engage with Armenia is key. To date, 23 “Next Step” alumni grants have been funded. For several years these grants were capped at $2500, which alums used to leverage tens of thousands of more dollars for development projects in Armenia. In 2018 we increased the scope and size of the “Next Step” grants, in hopes of seeing more project implementation, new and creative collaborations amongst alums, and projects with long-term impact. This year we look forward to reviewing top notch proposals and giving our alumni the opportunity to shine bright and leave their mark on Armenia.

 

 

Grant Process Overview

The grant process is outlined below. Your thorough understanding of this process will increase your chances of submitting a successful application.

  • Carefully read  the details below to better understand the eligibility criteria, restrictions, timeframes and deadlines, and grant review considerations.
  • “Next Step” grants are competitive, with multiple grants being awarded in each calendar year.
  • Should you have questions at any time while preparing your proposal (prior to submitting your grant request), we encourage you to reach out to the Birthright Armenia Alumni Program Coordinator for guidance and assistance by emailing alumni@birthrightarmenia.am.

 

 

Eligibility Criteria

All proposals submitted for funding consideration must include the below mentioned sections:

  • Projects should have a direct benefit in Armenia and must include at least one implementing partner on the ground in Armenia, as local partners are key to successful outcomes. Implementing partners must be a non-profit organization registered in Armenia.
  • Project budgets can range from $5,000 – $35,000 USD.  Projects under $5,000 USD are funded at 100%. Projects over $5,000 USD are funded at 100% for the initial $5,000 USD, and then matched 1:1 for the portion above $5,000 USD (up to a maximum of $20,000 USD funded by Birthright Armenia/AVC). This would allow for projects with a maximum budget of 35,000 USD. For projects over $5,000, Birthright Armenia funding will be released once proof of required matching funds has been presented. Recipients will receive a written grant award letter, which must be signed by the organization they are partnering with.
  • Project timelines should show project completion within a maximum 12-month time period. At least 80% of the awarded grant must be spent in Armenia, with a maximum of 20% spent for indirect costs.
  • Proposals must be for initiatives based in Armenia for which alumni are taking a lead position in its implementation.
  • To be eligible for a Next Step grant, you must be a Birthright Armenia or Armenian Volunteer Corps alum in good standing. This is defined as having successfully completed the program, having met all volunteer requirements in a timely and professional manner, while exhibiting leadership and initiative.

 

 

Proposal outline/components

  • Executive Summary
  • Needs Statement
  • Project Outline
  • Short-term and Long-term goals
  • Implementation Plan and Timeline of Completion
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
  • Measurable quantitative and qualitative impacts
  • Budget narrative
  • Budget

 

 

Restrictions

  • There are no age-related restrictions. If you meet the eligibility criteria above, you may apply.
  • Airline travel should be based on the most economical itinerary.
  • Apartment rentals and hotel stays will not be covered as project expenses. Alums are welcome to utilize our homestay living options, apply for Pathway to Armenia, or find other lodging on their own.
  • No salary may be included except for direct program services, as no project manager compensation will be covered for the alum submitting the proposal.
  • A maximum of 20% of the grant total can be used for indirect costs, including travel.
  • If a grant request is not coming from a non-profit entity, either a US 501(c)(3) or a registered non-profit elsewhere, then the grants’ expenditure responsibility will be retained by Birthright Armenia (i.e. Birthright Armenia will pay all expenses as needed, and not just send full amount of the grant upon acceptance).

 

 

Application Calendar & Submission Process

[NOTE: The deadline for submissions has passed. Stay tuned for the next submission deadline announcement]:

  • Complete proposals must be emailed to alumni@birthrightarmenia.am on or before the deadline: Sunday June 30th, 2019.
  • The targeted turnaround time from submitting a complete proposal and answering questions the reviewer may have to receiving news of the grant is 30 days.
  • Any and all changes that may occur after proposal submission must be brought to our attention immediately. After approval, no further changes may occur.
  • Short-listed proposals will be submitted for a second and final review by the Board of Directors for their final approval.
  • All proposals must be approved by a majority of the reviewers. Any reviewer shall recuse themself for any proposals submitted by family members.

 

 

Grant Review & Considerations

All submitted proposals will undergo a first-round review to be conducted by Alumni Program staff. During this review, we will consider the following prior to finalizing our recommendations for funding:

  • Does the proposal have a realistic implementation plan, including clearly defined goals, and identified steps outlined to accomplish those goals?
  • Which proposals have the highest expected impact while serving/affecting a large group of beneficiaries?
  • Do the majority of grant funds get spent in Armenia?
  • Is this a one-time initiative/activity or will more funds be required for sustainability? Is the sustainability plan realistic?

Preference will be given to those projects that can show leveraged funding or pledged support from other sources.

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