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 Volunteer Handbook

The Small Grants Program Volunteer Handbook provides guidance on the processes, procedures, materials, and requirements for the Peace Corps Small Grants 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/Washington will defer to 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 grants.

PCGO Volunteer Step-by-Step Guide (v10)

This guide contains the live links to the PCGO Portal and will lead a Volunteer step-by-step through the application.

The Small Grants Example Projects tool is designed to be used by Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts to inspire small grants projects by providing excellent examples of projects that were previously implemented across different regions and sectors. 

Each project sector listed below links to a PDF which contains a number of example projects. Each example includes a summary as well as the full PCGO application and completion report.

Volunteers should not copy information from these examples into their own projects, but instead should use them to help generate project ideas with their community and also as a guide to the type of information that should be included in a grant application and project budget. If Volunteers have questions about small grants, they should contact their small grants coordinator.


You are welcome to work on any portion of your grant application or completion report offline, by downloading an Excel document linked to the PCGO portal. This document is compatible in Mac or Windows operating systems, but you must have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer to use it. Please follow the steps in the “Working on an Application Offline” Section of the PCGO Volunteer Guide, starting on page 32. This Quick Guide has been created to show you the basics of downloading and uploading your grant's offline workbook.

The Excel application form mirrors all of the same information in the online portal. It can be downloaded or uploaded at any time and your progress on the application will be transferred from the online portal to the Excel document and vice-versa. Please note that the more information you are transferring at the point of download or upload, the longer it will take. Download/Upload times can also be affected by your internet speed. Downloading the file with the maximum amount of data filled out may take around 8 minutes and uploading a file with the maximum amount of data may take around 5 minutes. Please be patient. If you are working with a slow connection, it is highly recommended to just fill out the minimum required application fields before downloading.

For uploading the application, you may upload the same document multiple times without downloading in between, but please note that any data in the budget, timeline, goals and objectives, and referrals grids that were previously uploaded will be duplicated if they are still in the document for subsequent uploads. Do not clear any data from the General and Narrative fields if you do not wish to remove the information you entered in those fields.

Each grant application or approved project will remain linked to the unique Excel file(s) downloaded for that particular record and any copies of the downloaded file. Any uploads of Excel documents linked to that grant/application record will replace or add to the information pertaining to that record. For this reason,

X DO NOT send an Excel application or completion report document that you downloaded from the portal for one of your own projects to another Volunteer for them to fill out their own grant application. 

X DO NOT use an Excel template that you received from another Volunteer for your own application. 

X DO NOT fill out an application for another grant using the same file that you downloaded for a previous grant.

If you are having difficulties uploading or downloading the application, please follow the troubleshooting steps in the document below. If you are unable to upload or download after trying the troubleshooting steps, your grant coordinator should be able to upload or download the document for you.  

Troubleshooting PCGO Offline Application

Offline application and completion report demonstration.

Watch Video

M&E Resources for Small Grants: Theory of Change and Logic Model

This tool helps Volunteers in the planning of their projects, helping to ensure that the project and its impact are well-designed. The logic model walks Volunteers through the steps of inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact to ensure sound project design.

Guidance for Determining Participants vs. Beneficiaries

This tool assists Volunteers in completing a section of the Peace Corps Standard Small Grants Indicators of a grant application, clarifying the differentiation between participants and beneficiaries.

Estimating the Value of In-Kind Contributions

This tool provides Volunteers guidance on how to determine the value of in-kind contributions made by the community. Much of the required 25% community contribution can be in the form of materials, space, labor, etc.; this document helps to determine the value of these components of a project.

Financial Management and Capacity Building Assessment Tool

This tool assists Volunteers in determining how to manage funds for their grants appropriately, who should manage the funds (Volunteers and/or the community), and how to ensure that their grants build local capacity.

Managing Grant Funds and Project Closeout

This tool provides Volunteers with a concise guide to managing their funds during the project implementation phase, including procedures to ensure safety/security and financial accuracy/accountability. This document also includes all of the financial requirements for closing a grant.

Well Project Requirements and Considerations

This tool provides Volunteers with guidance on planning, implementing, and monitoring well projects to ensure water safety, security of the water supply, and other aspects necessary to implement a success well project.

Small Grants Water Quality Assurance Plan Templates

This tool provides Volunteers with three templates for Water Quality Assurance Plans required for small grants projects involving water provision. Volunteers will select which template best fits the type of project they are implementing.

PCPP: A Volunteer’s Guide to Raising Awareness and Engaging with Donors

This presentation provides guidance for how to raise awareness of PCPP projects that are currently fundraising online, how to use social media to help meet fundraising goals, and how to interact with donors before and after donations are made to projects.

External Funding – Volunteer Do’s and Don’ts

This document provides brief guidelines for how PCVs can access external funding for their communities in the most appropriate and allowable way.

Key Takeaways for Volunteers from the SPA IV (FY13-17) Evaluation

This is a summary highlighting findings from a recent evaluation of the SPA program. There are numerous recommendations within worth considering as you work on your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you see an error message referring to your username or password, you may choose to have your username or a temporary password emailed to you. If you have trouble with this, please contact your Post Grants 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 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 your Post’s Small Grants Coordinator. Please include in your message what operating system and browser you are using and a screenshot.

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

Yes. Please see detailed instructions in the "Working Offline" section above.

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.

The Small Grants Team at PC/Washington supports the creation of complementary Post-specific guidelines or handbooks.

Please Note: In cases where Posts have implemented more stringent policies, PC/Washington 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.

Third-party contributions are given by an entity outside of the community.These contributions may be int he 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, WorldVision, 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.

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