2016 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation



The U.S. Embassy in Amman is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2016 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).  The Fund was established by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 2001, to help countries preserve their cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for different cultures around the world. Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project. Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: $200,000 per project. In FY 2015, awards globally ranged from US $32,500 to US $200,000.

The deadline for submitting applications (in English) to the U.S. Embassy in Amman is close of business (5 p.m.) on Thursday, December 31, 2015. Recipients will be notified in approximately September 2016.

This document details program guidelines, eligibility requirements and application procedures. Please adhere to all written deadlines and procedures.

Program Guidelines

AFCP supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three categories:

  • Cultural Sites such as, (but is not limited to) historic buildings and archaeological sites.
  • Cultural Objects and Collections from a museum, site, or similar institution that include, but are not limited to archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts and general museum conservation needs.
  • Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression such as traditional music, indigenous languages and crafts.

Funding Priorities – General:

AFCP will recommend for funding those proposals that include project activities in adherence to the following guidelines and to international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage. These activities may include:

  • Cultural Sites: Conservation of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation purposes.
  • Cultural Objects and Collections: Conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.
  • Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression: Documentation and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms for broad dissemination as the means of teaching and further preserving them, or support for training in the preservation of traditional applied arts or crafts in danger of extinction.

Funding priorities specific to the AFCP 2016 Annual competition:

Proposals for projects that meet one or more of the following criteria will receive consideration in FY 2016:

  • Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural property protection agreements.
  • Support the preservation of inscribed World Heritage sites.
  • Support risk reduction and disaster preparedness for cultural sites and collections in seismically active and other disaster-prone areas.
  • Engage women, youth, or under-served communities.

Additional Program Information

  • The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation does NOT support the following:
  • 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 proposal submission.
  • 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 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 re-creation 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 five 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.
  • International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project.
  • Travel or study for professional development.
  • Individual projects costing less than $10,000.
  • Independent U.S. Projects overseas.

Special note regarding sites and objects that have a religious connection:

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 example, 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.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations that are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. AFCP does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or to embassies or past award recipients which have not fulfilled the reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.

DUNS Number, NCAGE Code and SAM registration:

Applicants requesting $25,000 or more in federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting applications.

DUNs Number: Applicants may acquire DUNs numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online.

NCAGE Code: Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code

SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. SAM.gov collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award mission. Registration in SAM is free

Cost Sharing and other forms of cost participation:

There is no minimum or maximum percentage required for this competition. However, AFCP encourages cost sharing, in-kind contributions, and other forms of cost participation. 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. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.

Project Schedule

Applicants may propose project performance periods of up to 60 months (five years) with five budget periods of one year each; projects may begin by September 30, 2016, and conclude no later than September 30, 2020.

How to Apply

Proposals should be submitted electronically to Cultural Affairs Assistant Reem Abdel Hadi at AbdelhadiR@state.gov and Cultural Affairs Officer Tobias Bradford at BradfordTA@state.gov and.

All proposals should be submitted using the attached application form and the Budget worksheet and include all supporting documents.

The deadline for submission of applications is close of business on Thursday, December 31, 2015. 

Performance and deliverables

AFCP 2016 award recipients must submit performance progress, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award.

Selection Criteria

The proposals will first be screened for technical eligibility based on the criteria contained in this request for grant proposals and against the lists of AFCP program-specific ineligible activities, costs, and applicants.

Using the below point-based system, applications will be rated based on the program funding priorities; the quality, soundness, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget; the urgency of the proposed project; the rationale for U.S. support of the project supplied by the applying U.S. embassy; the quality and quantity of supporting materials, such as resumes of the key project participants, images of the resource, and notices of official permission from the responsible resource steward, such as a ministry of tourism or department of Antiquities.

22. AFCP POINT-BASED RATING SYSTEM: Proposals will be rated as follows:

  • Purpose and Summary, Description, Time Frame, Importance: 20 points max
  • Urgency: 10 points max
  • Sustainability: 10 points max
  • Rationale for U.S. Support: 15 points max
  • Media and Outreach Plan: 15 points max
  • Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max
  • Supporting Materials: 15 points max

Additional information about the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.