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Resources for Peace Corps Small Grants Program

The Peace Corps Small Grants Program includes: Small Project Assistance (SPA), Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), Volunteer Activities Support and Training (VAST), Feed the Future (FTF), Global Education Framework (GEF), and Energy Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA). Though each program is supported by different funding sources, they all share the same goal: to facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable grassroots small grant projects that build capacity in communities where Volunteers serve.

Regardless of the funding source, all small grants fall under the same guidelines and use the same materials and resources. Please use the button below to access the Peace Corps Grants Online (PCGO) system to apply for a grant. All Volunteers should review the Small Grants Program Volunteer Handbook (linked below) for guidance on planning and applying for a small grants project. Volunteers may also contact their small grants coordinator at post if they have any questions about applying for a small grant.

  • Handbooks

    • Small Grants Staff Handbook (PDF)

      The Small Grants Program Staff Handbook provides information on the basic rules and requirements that will be applicable for all small grants. It also includes recommendations on post-level management of small grant programs, and links to tools that are intended to help posts run effective small grant programs.

    • Small Grants Volunteer Handbook (PDF)

      The Small Grants Program Volunteer Handbook provides guidance on the processes, procedures, materials, and requirements for the Peace Corps Small Grant Program. Volunteers should read this handbook thoroughly to understand the basic rules and requirements that are applicable for all small grants.

      Please note , in cases where posts have implemented more stringent policies, PC/headquarters will defer to post-level guidance. Volunteers should contact their post's small grants coordinator to follow up with questions that may arise in the process of developing, writing, implementing, and completing small grant projects.

  • PCGO Step-by-Step Guide

  • Completion Report (FY13 and Prior)

    • Completion Report (XLS)

      This Excel version of the small grants completion report is ONLY to be used by Volunteers with a project funded prior to September 30, 2013. This report will not be accepted for projects funded after October 1, 2013.

  • FAQs

    1. I am having trouble registering on PCGO - A “new user” error message pops up.
      If an error message pops up, contact your Grant Coordinator at post who will submit a Track -it ticket through the local IT specialist. Please include all information about your error and take a screen shot if possible.

    2. Is PCGO compatible with PCs and Macs?
      Yes. The PCGO application portal is compatible with both PCs and Macs.

    3. Can a Volunteer print or download a blank copy of his or her application via the PCGO portal?
      Yes. First the Volunteer must register in the PCGO portal. Then he/she must fill out the first four required fields (only the first four red stars are required in order to print a blank application – for SPA applications, the first five fields are required). The Volunteer should save and close Part 1. At that point, the system will allow the Volunteer access to Part 2, where the Volunteer can select the “Documents and Printout” tab to download the application to their system and save it to their computer. From here, the Volunteer may print the application or complete it offline on their computer. Please note that to submit the application, information will need to be transferred from the downloaded file back into the PCGO portal: uploading applications is not available at this time. See part 4 of the PCGO Volunteer Step-by-Step guide for instructions on downloading a blank application.

    4. Does a Volunteer have to be connected to the internet to complete the PCGO application?
      Yes. For Volunteers with limited internet availability, the Volunteer may download a blank application form from the PCGO application portal upon registration in the system. The Volunteer may then work on the application offline, and must then return to the internet to copy/paste the application information into the PCGO online application form. See the PCGO Volunteer Step-by-Step Guide for how to fill in an application through the PCGO portal.

    5. How does the information from the off-line solution link with the PCGO online system portal?
      Volunteers can download an offline solution (in Word, PDF or Excel) to fill out off-line. Once they are ready to return to an internet source, they can sign into the PCGO portal and copy/paste the information into the PCGO portal and submit the application for review.

    6. Can the Handbooks be customized to include post-specific information?
      The Small Grants Team at headquarters supports the creation of complementary post-specific guidelines or handbooks. Please note, in cases where posts have implemented more stringent policies, PC/headquarters will defer to post-level guidance. Volunteers should contact their post's small grants coordinator to follow up with questions that may arise in the process of developing, writing, implementing, and completing small grant projects.

    7. What is a third-party contribution?
      Third-party contributions are given by an entity outside of the community. These contributions may be in the form of cash or in-kind support for a project, but must be represented separately in the project budget. Volunteers should work with their communities and post to determine how best to classify the organization, individual or entity.

      • A local business, governance body (mayor's office, ministry of education, local NGO) should be included as a community contribution.
      • Large, International NGOs (CARE, World Vision, Save the Children, Plan International, UN organizations etc.) that are located in or near a Volunteer's community, are considered third-party contributors.
      • International NGOs located outside of the Volunteer's country are considered a third-party contributor.

      It is important for Volunteers to understand that including a third-party contribution will increase the total project budget, which will, in-turn, increase the required community contribution amount of 25%. (The total budget includes the amount requested from the Small Grants Program, the third-party contribution, and the community contribution.) This ensures that the community is fully invested in the project, and that third-party contributors are not leading or overtaking the project based on their own mission or goals. In some cases, third-party contributions raise the project total significantly, requiring the community contribution to increase as well, in order to maintain the minimum percentage.

      Volunteers should also be aware that funds from third-party contributors, particularly those larger, international organizations, may encounter some logistical challenges in the transferring of funds to the project. Volunteers should not manage third-party funds; any funds from the third-party must be directly given to the community or managed by local representatives of the third-party organization. While third-party contributions are certainly an option for cost sharing, projects should never be designed around the option of having a third-party contribution.

Click here to access Peace Corps Grants Online (PCGO)!

Last updated Oct 17 2012