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The Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2023
12 MINUTE READ
November 1, 2022

Alumni engagement innovation fund graphic

All U.S. Government exchange program alumni are invited to submit their proposals and compete for an award of up to U.S. $35,000 to make their community project idea a reality and implement their program within their community.

Read on for more details.

GENERAL PROJECT PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DETAILS

Proposals should be in the range of $5,000 to $35,000.
Alumni applicants must submit their proposals and budgets to:  IbrahimA1@state.gov.
To submit proposals, all alumni applicants must use the official AEIF proposal (in MS Word) and budget (in MS Excel) forms by Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Download documents here.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Each alumni team must use the official AEIF proposal (in MS Word) and budget (in MS Excel) forms to submit its respective project application.
  • Each project proposal must include the involvement of at least two alumni from any United States government-sponsored exchange program (for instance, Fulbright, IVLP, YES, SUSI, Sport Exchanges, IWP, etc.) or an identified team lead from an alumni association.
  • Applications from alumni associations will need to specify a team lead.
  • Proposals may request from $5,000 up to $35,000 in funding.
  • Items valued at $200.00 or more must be itemized.  Related costs should NOT be lumped together (i.e., lodging, meals, and per diem should be separate line items).

Submitted proposal must include a clear explanation of how the project advances the United States-Kuwait bilateral relationship by:

  • Enhancing shared safety and security through a strengthened U.S. and Kuwaiti partnership.
  • Promoting economic growth, prosperity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  • Promoting mutual understanding and people-to-people ties between Americans and Kuwaitis.
  • All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories.
  • U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project, however, there must be foreign alumni included in the project.  U.S. citizen alumni cannot be team leads on projects.
  • Projects may include alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
  • All proposals must identify the alumni involved in the project (alumni’s names, which exchange program(s) attended, and when – MM/YYYY).

Cost Share: 

  • Examples include in-kind support (services, labor, supplies/equipment, or volunteers), a business contributing food, an organization offering a venue at a discount or free of charge, an NGO sponsoring an activity, an expert donating time to facilitate a seminar, etc.
  • We encourage all proposals to include some form of cost sharing.

A note on Reasonable Costs: 

  • Project management costs should not be more than 30 percent of the total requested budget amount.
  • Project management costs include fees for speakers, trainers, and consultants.
  • We strongly encourage alumni to rent versus purchase if it is more cost-efficient.
  • Lodging costs should be for program activities during the project and not for long‑term rent for project team members.
  • Travel costs need to consider the most economic means of travel.

ALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES AND COSTS

AEIF 2023 can support the following budget items:

  • Intra-regional or in-country transportation.
  • Rental of venues for project activities.
  • PPE and sanitizing equipment.
  • Meals/refreshments integral to the project (i.e. working lunch for a meeting).
  • Reasonable costs to support virtual programming (i.e. subscription to Zoom, WebEx, camera/microphones for virtual meetings, mailing services, etc.).
  • Trainer or speaker honoraria expenses (i.e. maximum $200/day fee, travel, lodging, per diem).
  • Reasonable equipment and materials.
  • Communications and publicity materials, such as manuals or project advertisements.

UNALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES AND COSTS

AEIF 2023 will NOT support the following budget items:

  • Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses.
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs.
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments not integral to the project, or entertainment.
  • Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories.
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
  • Individual scholarships.
  • Social travel/visits.
  • Gifts or prizes.
  • Duplication of existing programs.
  • Institutional development of an organization.
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project.
  • Support for specific religious activities.
  • Fund-raising campaigns.
  • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation.
  • Academic or scientific research.
  • Charitable or development activities.
  • Provision of direct social services to a population

Some examples of successful AEIF 2022 projects are listed below.  Visit https://alumni.state.gov/aeif/congrats-2021-aeif-competition-winners to read more about these projects:

  • Example #1: Kenya:  Strengthening the Role of Women in Climate Change Advocacy will address climate change adaptation.  This project proposes working with 60 women group leaders in advocacy efforts to enhance uptake of clean domestic energy in rural Kenya while empowering themselves and their communities economically through the uptake and use of sustainable energy solutions such as briquettes.  The women group leaders will then do a cascade training for 600 women group members on clean energy for domestic use.
  • Example #2: Algeria:  The Algerian Media Literacy Collective will bring together 45 young online content creators from different regions in Algeria to learn about media literacy, countering mis/disinformation, combating hate speech, and creating online content.  The project team will facilitate mentorship opportunities for participants by high profile online content creators.  This project is expanding to multiple regions in the country and focusing on creating a collective/network of amateur content creators.  The project includes the creation of a website, where the collective shares activities, and provides online courses addressing media literacy.
  • Example #3: Albania:  Youth Lead the Change will empower Albanian youth of the remote and underserved Northern region to engage in activities of self‑development gaining entrepreneurial and job-readiness skills as well as learn how to initiate and create community-focused action projects.  A lack of self‑development opportunities and social activities profoundly affects youth from this area causing youth depopulation in the region.  This project will address the challenge of youth-flight by providing youth with the necessary tools to shape and build sustainable communities and model youth activism throughout Albania.
  • Example #4: Indonesia:  Deradicalize our class! will bring together university experts, local teachers, and education administrators to develop curricula designed to assist high school students in identifying and preventing violent extremist ideas in their community, helping to address intolerance and radicalization among youth in Makassar, South Sulawesi, a region with a history of ethnic and religious tensions.
  • Example #5: Chile:  Looking Back and Looking Forward:  200 Years of Chile‑U.S. Partnership celebrates the bicentennial of diplomatic relations between Chile and the United States in 2023.  Implemented by the two U.S. exchange alumni organizations in Chile, State Alumni Chile and Becarius for Impact, the project will culminate in public events in different regions throughout the country highlighting U.S. exchange alumni impact and the results of U.S-Chile bilateral relations collaborating on shared goals including climate change; social and economic inclusion; democracy and decentralization; and entrepreneurship and innovation.  A multimedia communications campaign in social and traditional media will showcase events and alumni and form a key component of the bicentennial celebration.

TIMELINE:

  • Application period:  November 1, 2022, until March 1, 2023.
  • End-March 2023:  Embassy submits short-listed project proposal to ECA Alumni Office in Washington, D.C.
  • April 2023:  Review of applications by ECA Alumni Office.
  • End-June/ early-July 2023:  Notification of proposal selection for funding.

For more details on AEIF 2023, visit:  https://alumni.state.gov/aeif