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Ambassador's Small Grant Fund

Ambassador's Small Grant Fund


The Ambassador’s Small Grant Fund, offers financial support to Timorese nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations and independent local media organizations. 

What Types of Projects are Funded?

Grants will be awarded through a competitive process that is open to all well-developed and innovative grassroots initiatives aiming to support a democratic society, develop pluralistic communities, foster social responsibility, improve the livelihood of Timorese communities, and mitigate sources of potential conflict. 

Programs and activities eligible for funding could include those that support:

  • Democratic institutions and democratic reform;
  • Transparency in public institutions and anti-corruption;
  • Development of free and professional media;
  • Protection of the environment and the natural resources of Timor-Leste;
  • Improving health and education outcomes for Timorese communities;
  • Protection, preservation, and promotion of Timorese culture;
  • Social cohesion through conflict resolution and mitigation.

Projects not eligible for funding include:

  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Scientific research projects;
  • Projects submitted by for-profit, commercial organizations;
  • Projects that aim to support partisan political activity.

How To Apply?

Qualified organizations may submit proposals by completing an application and submitting it with the required supporting documentation to the U.S. Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste.  Applications and supporting documents can also be submitted electronically to  Applications must be in English or Tetum. 

Evaluation Process

The Embassy Evaluation Committee meets several times each year. The review and approval process can take several months.  Some applicants may be invited for an interview during the review process.

Evaluation Criteria

The committee will use the following general criteria to evaluate all submitted grant proposals:

  • The project proposal demonstrates that the organization has sufficient expertise, skills and human resources to implement the project;
  • The organization demonstrates that is has a clear understanding of the underlying issue that the project is aiming to address;
  • The organization has consulted relevant literature, 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 approach is innovative yet proposed project activities are concrete and detailed and supported by 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.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Timor-Leste.