Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Large Grants Program

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)-Cultural Heritage Center through the U.S. Embassy Kolonia is now accepting applications for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020 Large Grants Program.  The deadline for submitting project abstracts is December 15, 2019.  For abstracts that advance to Round 2, the deadline for submitting full project applications is January 21, 2020. The program provides funding to projects in eligible countries that preserve cultural heritage in line with the U.S. foreign policy objective of protecting and promoting cultural heritage worldwide.  Full implementation of the program will be contingent on the availability of FY 2020 funds and an approved congressional spend plan.


We invite your organization to submit a cultural heritage preservation proposal in accordance with the following guidelines:


This Program consists of two rounds: Round 1 (Project Abstract) and Round 2 (Full Project Application).  In Round 1, embassies shall submit project abstracts developed in conjunction with eligible applicants. Upon favorable review, rating and ranking of the abstracts, eligible applicants will be invited to advance to Round 2, which will require the embassies’ submission of the full project applications on the applicants’ behalf.

For purposes of this Program, eligible applicants would refer to reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are registered and active in, and are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects on preserving cultural heritage.  Eligible applicants may include non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions.  They will be vetted for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities.  The Program does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients who have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.


The AFCP Large Grants Program supports the preservation of major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, and major museum collections that are accessible to the public and protected by law in the host country.  It gives top priority to project activities that are appropriate and in keeping with international cultural heritage preservation standards.  Project activities may include:

  • Preventive conservation (addressing conditions that damage or threaten the site);
  • Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance [settling, collapse, etc.] of a site);
  • Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to a collection or site);
  • Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of a site);
  • Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts); and
  • Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of a site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings).


Funding will be through the grant mechanism.  The floor and ceiling amounts are US$200,000 and US$800,000 per project, respectively.


Round 1 Project Abstract Requirements (submission deadline November 21, 2019):

  1. Full and complete Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A), Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B), and, if applicable, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL);
  2. Project basics, including title, project dates, location, and AFCP focus area;
  3. Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status (see Item G below);
  4. Special designation (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.);
  5. Law(s) protecting the site or collection (citations only);
  6. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
  7. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (i.e., non-religious) values of the cultural site or collection;
  8. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now;
  9. At a minimum and required, five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.).

Round 2 Full Project Application Requirements (submission deadline January 21, 2020):

  1. Revised project abstract, if applicable;
  2. Revised SF-424, if applicable;
  3. Proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency or organization that owns, or is otherwise responsible for the preservation and protection of the site/object/collection that is the subject of the proposed project [NOTE: If the site/object is included in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Properties (PRECUP), an official clearance from the concerned national cultural authority is required];
  4. Project activities description that presents the specific project tasks in chronological order, and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them [NOTE: If the proposed project is part of a larger effort involving multiple projects supported by other entities, the plan must present the full scope of the preservation effort and the place of the proposed project within that context];
  5. Project time frame or schedule that lists the major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them (applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months);
  6. Project participant information, including the CVs of the proposed project director and all other key project participants, the estimated number of non-U.S. and U.S. participants, and the estimated number of primary and secondary participants;
  7. Statement of sustainability outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project has been  completed (or in the case of forms of traditional cultural expression, to preserve and disseminate the documentation, knowledge or skills gained from the project) ;
  8. Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2021, 2022, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (i.e., Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs), indicates funds from other sources, and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs;
  9. Budget narrative explaining how costs are estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and any large/unique budget line items;
  10. Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms;
  11. As requested by the AFCP Program Office or as appropriate, additional high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or museum collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (e.g., collapsing walls, extensive water damage, etc.); and
  12. Relevant supporting documentation, such as historic structure reports, restoration plans and studies, conservation needs assessments and recommendations, architectural and engineering records, etc., compiled in preparation for the proposed project.


AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

  • Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application;
  • Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
  • Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  • Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
  • Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  • Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  • Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
  • Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  • Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
  • Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
  • Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
  • Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
  • Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
  • Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
  • Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
  • Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
  • Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
  • Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to 5 years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund);
  • Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
  • Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
  • Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer;
  • International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  • Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
  • Individual projects costing less than US$200,000 or more than US$800,000; and
  • Independent U.S. projects overseas.


The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution permits the government to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions.  For instance, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.


Applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting full applications.  Please note that the process could take weeks especially for non-U.S. applicants, so applicants are encouraged to begin the registration process early.


There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required.  However, when cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved agreement.  The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit per 2 CFR 200.  Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.


  • Round 1: The Center will screen all project abstracts for technical eligibility based on the objectives, priorities, requirements, ineligible activities, and unallowable costs contained in this funding opportunity.  It will forward the technically eligible abstracts to the relevant regional bureaus for comment.  The Center may forward project abstracts for advisory peer review to other federal agency personnel with relevant experience.  On or around January 10, 2020, the Center will notify embassies of the Round 1 results and invite a subset to submit full applications.
  • Round 2: The Center will convene a technical advisory panel of subject matter experts from elsewhere within the U.S. Government to review the applications and provide comment.  It will also forward the applications to the relevant regional bureaus for comment.  ECA will submit a comprehensive funding recommendation to the Department’s Bureau of Budget and Planning (BP) and request that BP make funds available to the embassies through the Department’s regional bureaus for the recommended AFCP projects.

The Center may deem abstracts and full applications ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the AFCP 2020 Large Grants Program objectives, eligibility requirements and other criteria stated herein.

Applications (i.e., Project Abstract) must be submitted electronically to on or before 4:30 p.m. of the deadline date.  The Abstract (and the Full Project Application, in case the application advances to Round 2) must be in MS Word format, while the Detailed Grant Proposal Budget (part of the Full Project Application) must be in MS Excel format.  All submitted documents must be in English.  Incomplete submissions as well as applications submitted after the cut-off dates and times will be considered unresponsive and therefore ineligible for consideration.


Issuance of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the AFCP Program or the U.S. Government. The Center reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase application project scopes and budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds.

AFCP 2020 Project Abstract Template (DOCX 100 KB)
SF424 Application for Federal Assistance (PDF 265 KB)
SF424A Budget Information for Non Construction Programs (PDF 322 KB)
SF424B Assurances for Non Construction Programs (PDF 115 KB)
SF424LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (PDF 203 KB)