2020 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Large Grants


Funding Opportunity Title: 2020 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Large Grants

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-JOR-FY20-002

Deadline for Applications:   December 1, 2019

CFDA Number: 19.025



The U.S. Embassy in Amman is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2020 U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Large Grants Program.

Program Objective: The Department of State established the AFCP in 2000 at the request of Congress (Conference Report 106-1005 accompanying H.R. 4942).  At the time, the Senate noted that the preservation of cultural heritage “offers an opportunity to show a different American face to other countries, one that is non-commercial, non-political, and non-military.”  The projects recommended for funding advance U.S. foreign policy goals and show American respect for cultural heritage.  Cultural preservation is effective public diplomacy that resonates deeply with opinion leaders and local communities, even in countries where ties may be otherwise limited.  AFCP projects strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world.

AFCP Large Grants Funding Areas: 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. Appropriate project activities may include:

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

Funding Priorities: Applications for projects that do one or more of the following will receive additional consideration in FY 2020:

  • Support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations
  • Support U.S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategy (ICS) goals
  • Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas
  • Support post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
  • Preserve World Heritage sites
  • Partner, connect with or feed into other ECA programs

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.

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs: AFCP does not support the following

activities or costs, and the Center will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:

a) 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.

b) Preservation of natural heritage (e.g., physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils)

c) Preservation of hominid or human remains

d) Preservation of news media (e.g., newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs)

e) Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.)

f) Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use

g) Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes

h) Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project

i) Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums

j) Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example)

k) Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes

l) Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances

m) Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist

n) Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another

o) Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason

p) Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort

q) Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies

r) 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)

s) Costs of fund-raising campaigns

t) Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees

u) Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer

v) International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project

w) Travel or study outside the host country for professional development

x) Individual projects costing less than US $200,000 or more than $800,000

y) Independent U.S. projects overseas




a)      Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

b)      Program Authorization: Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended (Pub.L. 87-256, § 102(b)(5)

c)      CFDA Number: 19.025

d)      Floor on Amount of Individual Awards:  US $200,000 per project

e)      Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $800,000 per project

f)       Anticipated Number of Awards: 5-10


In FY 2019, awards made through this program ranged from US $245,000 to US $500,000.


This notice is subject to availability of funding.


  1. Eligible Project Applicants:

The Center defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are registered and active in SAM.gov and able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. This may include non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. Embassies must vet applicants for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities and ensure that the applicants are able to receive U.S. federal assistance.

Past AFCP award recipients may submit applications for continuation funds under this opportunity. The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.

2. Cost Sharing and Other Forms of Cost Participation:

There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition. When an applicant offers cost sharing, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its application 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.


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.


  1. Address to Request Application Package:

Application forms required below are available at: Grants.gov

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

The application process for the AFCP Large Grants Program takes place in two rounds: Project Abstract (Round One) and Full Project Proposal (Round Two). All interested applicants must submit Project Abstracts for Round One via email to AmmanAFCPgrants@state.gov by close of business (5 p.m.) on Thursday, December 1,  2019.

Applicants will be notified if their project abstracts received a favorable rating in which case they would be required to submit complete project proposals to Round Two.

Past recipients of AFCP Large Grants Program support may submit proposals for continuation funds.


Applicants interested in participating in the AFCP Large Grants Program must first submit a project abstract document describing the proposed activity. The project abstract must include the following information items in the following order:

a) Full and complete Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), including Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A), Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B), and, if applicable, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL)

b) Project basics, including title, project dates, location, and site

c) Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status

d) Special designations (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.)

e) Law(s) protecting the site or collection (citations only)

f) Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results

g) Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (nonreligious) values of the site or collection

h) Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now

i) 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 urgencyor need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.)

 Applicants may be invited to submit full project proposals for Round 2 upon favorable review of their abstracts.  If an abstract is approved, the applicant will have to submit a full proposal.


The proposals must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and the eligibility requirements specified above. Furthermore, to be considered complete, they must include:

a) Revised project abstract, if needed

b) Revised SF-424, if needed

c) Proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency, or organization that either owns or is otherwise responsible for the preservation and protection of the site or collection

d) Project activities description and timeframe that present the project tasks in chronological order and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years])

e) Resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants

f) Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2020, 2021, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (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. Applicants should use the budget template provided with this announcement.

g) Budget narrative explaining how the costs were estimated (e.g., quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project) and any large budget line items

h) Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social mediam platforms

i) Maintenance plan outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete; or, in the case of forms of traditional cultural expression, to preserve and disseminate the documentation, knowledge, or skills gained from the project

j) 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

k) 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)


Applicants may propose project performance periods of up to 60 months (five years) with five budget periods of one year each; projects must begin no earlier than September 30, 2020, and conclude no later than September 30, 2025.

  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

The DUNS/NCAGE/SAM.gov process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, if your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F. http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:


For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.


The Center will conduct a review process throughout the spring of 2020. It will review and select Round 1 project abstracts and full project applications (Round 2) in consultation with the regional bureaus and taking into consideration the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, ineligible activities and unallowable costs, and other application requirements. The Center may deem abstracts and applications ineligible if the project abstracts or the full project applications do not fully adhere to AFCP 2020 Large Grants

Program objectives, requirements, and other criteria stated herein.


  1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least three installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at:  https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: AFCP 2020 award recipients must submit performance progress, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award.

DISCLAIMER:  Explanatory information that contradicts published language is not binding.  Issuance of this Notice of Funding Opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government.  AFCP/Cultural Heritage Center reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and availability of funds.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: Amman AFCPGrants@state.gov.

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.


Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel: 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. 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.

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.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

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 or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

Information on previous awards is available from the Cultural Heritage Center and the AFCP Web site: http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/afcp.html . The Center has expertise in the preservation of cultural heritage and is available for technical guidance.


AFCP2020 Budget Sheet (PDF 143KB)