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Notice of Funding Opportunity: Julia Taft Refugee Fund 2023
January 13, 2023


Each year, the Julia Taft Refugee Fund awards grants of up to $25,000 per country to address gaps in refugee assistance by issuing grants to local nonprofit organizations for quick-impact, time-limited projects.  Grants are intended to address one-time needs or interventions, and/or respond to needs not addressed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), or other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving U.S. government funding.  The activities of the proposed project should not be directed to sustained, long-term programs.  We encourage community-based organizations (CBOs) and NGOs to submit proposals.  Please note the beneficiaries of your proposed project must be at least 50 percent refugees, internally displaced persons, vulnerable migrants, and/or stateless persons.  For FY2023, the U.S. Embassy may award multiple grants of up to $25,000 each, pending availability of funding.

Priorities for 2023


This year, we encourage applicant organizations to submit proposals that include at least one of the following areas of focus:


  • Legal Assistance, Protection, or Education for Newly Displaced Persons:  including activities that provide time-bound assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, and/or vulnerable migrants who were newly displaced into Malaysia during calendar years 2021 or 2022.  We will not consider proposals that duplicate the work or services provided by UNHCR, other UN agencies, or other U.S. Government assistance programs.


  • Stateless Persons:  including activities aimed at resolving, reducing, or preventing statelessness.


  • LGBTQI+ Persons:  including activities that provide innovative assistance, promote equal access to protection, and assist with durable solutions for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers, refugees, vulnerable migrants, and/or stateless persons.  We will not consider proposals that are focused primarily on research or surveying needs.

Grant Application Process and Timeline

Organizations interested in applying for the Julia Taft Refugee Fund should submit a complete proposal by 11:59pm (Kuala Lumpur time) on Friday, February 3, 2023.


Proposals must be sent via e-mail to KLJuliaTaftDL@state.gov and should include the applicants e-mail and telephone contact information.   In the subject line, please include the following:  Proposal for the Julia Taft Refugee Fund – [insert the name of the organization].  Organizations that submit a complete proposal will receive a confirmation of receipt via email.  If the submitting organization does not receive a confirmation email by Monday, February 6 at 5:00 pm (Kuala Lumpur time) please contact the U.S. Embassy at KLJuliaTaftDL@state.gov.


U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur will review the final proposals and will seek to inform organizations about funding decisions by July 2023.  Organizations will be expected to begin program activities by September 2023.   Funds are subject to availability and appropriations by the U.S. Congress.

Proposal Guidelines

Format:  The proposal must not be longer than (10) TEN PAGES.  All documents must be single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.  Format should be as a Microsoft Word document or PDF and include the following:


Summary/Cover Page (page maximum):  Cover sheet stating the applicant organization’s name, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, total budget requested, and brief purpose of the program (2 sentences maximum).


Proposal (pages maximum):  The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand what the applicant wants to do. The proposal should clearly address the goals and objectives of the funding opportunity notice posted on the U.S. Embassy website. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.


  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization Applying:  A description of the organization’s past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. or other governments.
  • Problem Statement:  Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem or issue to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable, time-bound, and measurable.
  • Program Activities:  Describe the specific program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and if possible, locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel:  Please include the names, titles, and roles of key personnel who will implement this program.  Please indicate what proportion of their time will be used to implement the program.  Please also indicate if the proposed program will require hiring new staff.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:  This is a crucial part of successful grants.  Please describe how your organization will monitor the activities to ensure they take place on schedule.  Please also describe how your organization will evaluate the program to ensure it meets the stated goals of the program.
  • Sustainability:  Please describe how the impact and outcomes of your program will last beyond the duration of the project.


Budget and Budget Justification Narrative (pages maximum):  Please submit the proposed budget in a separate section.  All budgets must be in U.S. Dollars. The budget section should include a numerical budget (in a table or bulleted list format).  On a separate page(s), please provide a “Budget Justification Narrative” that describes in words each of the budget categories in detail.  The budget and budget justification narrative must use the following categories:

  • Personnel and Fringe Benefits:  Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
  • Travel:  Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries.  If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.
  • Equipment:  Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.  (Note:  For many small grant proposals this category may be $0.).
  • Supplies:  List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program.  If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
  • Other Direct Costs:  Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories.  For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment, applicable taxes, rental fees, interpreter fees, etc.  All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained in the budget justification narrative.
  • Indirect Costs (optional category):  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  This is an optional category and, if used, should be no more than 10% of the total budget.
  • Cost Sharing (optional category):  If your organization or entities other than the U.S. Embassy will plan to contribute funding to this specific project, please note the amounts in the budget.   In-kind contributions can also include volunteers’ time and the cost of venues/rental space provided free of charge.  Cost-sharing is not required and will not affect how we evaluate your proposal.
  • Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that federal funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.


Organizational Registration (does not count against page limit): Please attach a copy of your organization’s registration certificate to the application, or a document that confirms the Malaysian government’s approval for your organization to operate in Malaysia and its territories.


Additional Information

  • Proposals must be submitted by a local community group (CBO/NGO) that is registered in Malaysia,and not by government officials or private individuals.  Projects that duplicate the work or services provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees or other multilateral refugee programs will not be funded.  The organization(s) selected will be required to submit registration documents to demonstrate status as a nonprofit organization authorized to operate in Malaysia. Groups must have diverse membership (no single families) and must be already established and operating.


  • Organizations must 1) register on SAM.gov and 2) have an active Unique Entity ID (UEI) before grants can be awarded.  For further information about SAM.gov registration and how to obtain a UEI, please refer to this guide.(PDF 814KB)


  • Ongoing administrative or operating costs, such as stipends or rent, may be included in the request, but should only account for a small portion of a comprehensive grant proposal.


  • Organizations are welcome to submit proposals ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 total.


  • All final proposals will require measurable results and indicators.  The U.S. Embassy will regularly monitor the progress of any approved and funded projects.


  • The U.S. Embassy may seek to promote funded projects by use of branding (i.e. U.S. flags) on project banners and/or materials, and also via social media or other publicity.


Please contact KLJuliaTaftDL@state.gov with any specific questions.




Q: Do you accept applications in Bahasa Malaysia (or another language)?

A: No, all proposal submissions must be in English.


Q: Can I submit multiple proposals if I have multiple project ideas?

A: Yes, organizations may submit more than one proposal.  If approved, however, organizations will receive a maximum of one (1) grant.


Q: Can I send in a proposal by postal mail?

A: No.  Proposals will only be received at the email address indicated in the announcement, by the specified deadlines.


Q: I am having difficulty registering SAM.gov and/or obtaining a UEI, even after reading the PDF guide (PDF 814KB).  Can you help?

A: The U.S. Embassy can provide additional guidance if your organization’s proposal is approved.  Please contact the Embassy at KLJuliaTaftDL@state.gov.