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.
Small Grants Staff Handbook
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
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.
- Small Grants Staff Handbook (PDF)
PCGO Step-by-Step Guide
PCGO Volunteer Step-by-Step Guide (V3) (PDF)
This guide contains the live links to the PCGO portal and will lead a volunteer step-by-step through the application process.
- PCGO Volunteer Step-by-Step Guide (V3) (PDF)
If you choose to complete your application offline, please read the instructions. These Excel spreadsheets can be used instead of entering the budget and timeline sections in the Word application. The one titled “Budget Worksheet” is for the initial grant application and the one titled “Final Report Project Log” is for the final completion report.
- Instructions for Working on an Application Offline (PDF)
- Small Grants Budget Worksheet (XLS)
- Small Grants Application Timeline (XLS)
- Final Report Project Log (XLS)
If you are able to access the online portal at a later time and copy and paste the information from the offline application into the portal, we encourage you to do so, so that you may submit your application yourself.
If it is difficult for you to access reliable internet for long enough to copy and paste all of the information into the online application form, you may request that the HQ PCGO team upload your application for you to PCGO. Once completed, the Word document and Excel spreadsheets must be emailed to the Grant Coordinator at your post for review. Once approved, these documents will be sent to HQ to upload to PCGO. Once the application has been uploaded, you will be able to access your grant in the portal to work on the completion online report or download your filled-out grant form containing what you have written up to this point, so you may work on the completion report offline if necessary.
I am having trouble logging on to PCGO – An error message pops up.
If you see an error message referring to your user name or password, you may choose to have your user name or a temporary password emailed to you. If you have trouble with this, please contact your post grant coordinator for assistance.
If an error message saying “An error with Peace Corps' servers has affected access to PCGO”, when attempting to access the PCGO portal, please refer to the PCGO Browser Configuration document (PDF) to ensure that your browser is properly configured to use PCGO. If your browser is up-to-date and you are still seeing an error message, please contact PCGO@peacecorps.gov. Please include in your message what operating system and browser you are using and a screenshot.
Is PCGO compatible with PCs and Macs?
Yes. The PCGO application portal is compatible with both PCs and Macs.
Can a Volunteer print or download a blank copy of his or her application via the PCGO portal?
Yes. Please see detailed instructions in the “Working Offline” section above
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; please see detailed instructions in the “Working Offline” section
How does the information from the off-line solution link with the PCGO online system portal?
Volunteers can download an offline file (Word document) 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. If they are unable to access the portal with a strong enough internet connection to do this, they may send their offline application to the Grant Coordinator at post to review and then send to the PCGO team at Peace Corps HQ to upload to the system.
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.
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.
Last updated Oct 17 2012