2023 Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program

U.S. Mission to Nigeria

30 April 2023
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The U.S. Embassy Abuja announces an open competition for organizations to submit a statement of interest (SOI) to carry out projects through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (ASSH) Small Grants Program.

Please carefully follow all instructions below.

The submission of the SOI is the first step in a two-step process. Applicants must first submit a concise (two-page) statement of interest designed to clearly communicate program idea and objectives. This is not a full proposal.

The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants to submit program ideas for evaluation prior to requiring the development of a full proposal application. Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, selected applicants will be invited to expand on their program idea by submitting a full proposal application. Full proposals will go through a second merit review before final funding decisions are made.

Program Objectives:

ASSH is a grassroots grant assistance program that provides modest grants for small scale community development activities that improve living conditions. The program is intended to be flexible and allow the Ambassador to respond directly to requests from local communities for assistance with projects that have immediate impact, and further Mission priorities. ASSH is structured to encourage communities to be self-reliant and undertake similar activities on their own in the future. The U.S. contribution will be a set amount on a one-time basis only.


Economic diversification and creation of opportunities

Projects that generate sustainable revenue and create employment opportunities in local communities benefiting these beyond individual group members. Projects should advance economic diversification at the grassroots level and promote a culture of entrepreneurship, including women-led entrepreneurship and innovation that can be replicated locally. Projects should encourage the use of locally sourced natural resources for income generation through diversified agricultural practices.

Social inclusion and services

Projects that aim to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, the elderly and female heads of household. This includes access to basic services such as water and sanitation.

Youth and child development

Projects that create opportunities for youth, including employment, or enable access to and enhance early childhood and primary education.

Environment and community-based natural resource management

Projects that expand effective community ownership and management of natural resources, promote the conservation of natural resources, build resilience and increase the capacity to adapt to environmental changes.


To meet the following criteria to be eligible for consideration, projects must:

Help improve basic economic or social conditions on a small community scale and has a long-term value.

Have high impact, benefit a significant number of community members and have a high beneficiary to budget ratio.

Be initiated by the community, demonstrate strong community involvement and participation.

Be feasible and based on the socio-economic context of the community.

Include a community contribution of 10% or more of the total cost of the project. This may be in cash or in kind, such as volunteer time and labor, food, accommodation costs, donated land, transportation costs, equipment, and materials.

Aim to be completed within 6 – 12 months and be self-sustaining upon completion. The project plan contains pre-established long-term goals and a coherent plan to keep the project running in the future.

Identify a real need, demonstrate that benefitting community can maintain and operate the project as evidenced by implementing prior successful projects.

Show that applicant organization is financially responsible as evidenced by a bank account in its name.

Illustrate strong coordination and communication among the applicant, local leaders, and local government representatives.

Be submitted by an organized group that is motivated and a capable project manager who is a long-term resident in the community is responsible for the project.

Not request U.S. contribution amount above $10,000.

Have a project budget that is clear, complete, and well defined, and includes only items permanent in nature or technical assistance necessary for the completion of project.

Participants and Audiences:

· The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program will only accept proposals from non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations registered on the federal or state level in Nigeria that work directly with communities.

· Strong preference will be given to established, local, grassroots groups based within the communities where the projects are implemented.

· Groups that have been funded through the Ambassador’s Special-Self Help program in the past are not eligible.

· For-profit, commercial entities and private businesses are not eligible.

· Individuals are not eligible.

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully .

SOIs that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of SOI must include:

· Project name and location address, including geographic coordinates, legal name, status and address of applying organization, contact name, email address and phone number

· A brief project description summarizing goals, objectives, outcomes, performance indicators, description of target groups and number of direct and indirect beneficiaries, and proposed timeline. Please ensure that the proposal clearly addresses the objectives and project requirements stated in Section A of this notice.

· Introduction to the applying organization including a description of past and present operations as well as information on previous grants from the U.S. government and other donors.

· A clear statement of the applicant’s organizational capacity to carry out the proposed activity and manage U.S. Government funds.

· Total budget amount in U.S. dollars at the official rate including a brief description of costs and community contribution. Do not include Nigerian Naira amounts.

· Signature and contact information of a community leader residing in the beneficiary community. Community leaders include local municipal leaders, religious leaders, civil society leaders, or any governing body that has oversight over where the project will be implemented. One community leader can sign the statement of interest; however, multiple signatures are strongly encouraged.

Please ensure:

  • All documents are in English

  • All pages are numbered

  • SOI does not exceed 2 pages

  1. Submission Dates and Times

SOIs are due no later than April 30, 2023.

  1. Funding Restrictions

Any costs incurred in preparation of your proposal or in advance of an award will not be reimbursed.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

The SOIs are to be submitted via email to:


  • Subject line of the email should state: 2023 ASSH SOI – Name of applicant organization (as appropriate)

  • SOIs should be attached as one PDF document, submissions in other formats will deem the application ineligible.

  • We are unable to access google docs or other links, documents sent through a link will deem the application ineligible.

  • Documents that are not readable due to low scan resolution will deem the application ineligible.



• Non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations legally registered in Nigeria • Established, local, grassroots groups legally registered in Nigeria

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All information about this funding has been collected from and belongs to the funding organization
19 April 2023