2020 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Small Grants


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

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-JOR-FY20-001

Deadline for Applications:   December 1, 2019

CFDA Number: 19.025


A.    Program Description: The U.S. Embassy in Amman is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2020 Small Grants Competition of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).  Program Objectives: 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 Small Grants Funding Areas: The AFCP 2020 Small Grants Competition supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression. Appropriate project 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 needs assessments and treatment, inventory of a collection for conservation 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, indigenous languages 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 2020 Small Grants Competition: 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 Strategies
  • 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.  ECA encourages embassies considering preservation projects with a religious connection to contact the AFCP Program Director, Martin Perschler, Ph.D., AFCP Program Director, Cultural Heritage Center, at (202) 632-6308 or PerschlerMJ@state.gov.

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 (e.g., books, periodicals)

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 $10,000 or more than $200,000

y) Independent U.S. projects overseas


Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Program Authorization: Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, Pub. L. No. 87-256, § 102(b)(5)

CFDA Number: 19.025

Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project

Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $200,000 per project

Anticipated Number of Awards: 25-35

In FY 2019, awards made through this program ranged from US $25,000 to US $200,000.

This notice is subject to availability of funding.


  1. Eligible 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. Preference will be given to posts that place their AFCP project in the context of a greater PD programming arc promoting a specific foreign policy goal, and show they continue to monitor and utilize previous AFCP project sites.

2.Ineligible Project Applicants:

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

3. Cost Sharing:

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.




  1. Address to Request Application Package:

Application forms required below are available at: Grants.gov

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

2020 Application Form (to request a Word version of this Form send an email to AmmanAFCPgrants@state.gov. The form should include the following information:

  • 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), found on Grants.gov
  • Project Basics, including title, project dates, and AFCP focus area;
  • Project Applicant Information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM.gov registration status (it is important for the applicant to have this information prior to submitting the application);
  • Project Location Information;
  • Proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency, or organization that either owns or is otherwise responsible for the preservation of the site,
  • object, or collection. NOTE: In order to obtain a Letter of Endorsement for the proposed project from the Director General of Department of Antiquities (DoA) in Jordan, the applicant has the responsibility of ensuring that DoA has fully reviewed the technical details of the proposal and the budget.  The DoA should include in the Letter of Endorsement language that demonstrates that DoA has fully reviewed the proposed project of the applicant.  This is done to minimize any delays in obtaining approvals of DoA in case the project was approved for AFCP funding.
  • Project Purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
  • Project Activities description and timeframe that present the project tasks in chronological order and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them
  • Project Time Frame or Schedule that lists the major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them. (NOTE: Applicants may propose project performance periods of up to 60 months (five years) with five budget periods of one year each; projects must begin before September 30, 2020, and conclude no later than September 30, 2025.
  • Project Participant Information, specifically an estimated number of non-US and US participants and estimated number of primary and secondary participants, as well as resumes of the proposed project director and other primary project participants;
  • Statement of Importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious values of the cultural site, collection, or form of traditional expression;
  • Statement of Urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now;
  • Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media
  • platforms
  • Maintenance Plan outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain and sustain 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 b disseminate the documentation, knowledge, or skills gained from the project
  • Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2021, 2022, etc.), that lists all costs in approved cost categories and identifies funds from other sources (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs, Cost Sharing); indicates funds from other sources; and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs (request budget excel template from  AmmanAFCPgrants@state.gov )
  • Budget narrative explaining any large budget line items, detailing how costs were
  • estimated (e.g., quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project),
  • and justifying any proposed international travel costs (Note: Applicants may include narrative within the budget sheet)
  • Attachments and Supporting Documents including at, a minimum and REQUIRED, five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, or form of expression and, in the case of a site or object, or form of expression and, in the case of a site or object, show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing wall, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.), any historic structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed project.
  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 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 (below), 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.

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

  • Purpose, Description Importance: 25 points max
  • Urgency: 15 points max
  • Maintenance Plan: 10 points max
  • Rationale for U.S. Support: 15 points max
  • Media and Outreach Plan: 10 points max
  • Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max
  • Supporting Materials: 10 points max

For additional information about the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, please visit https://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center/ambassadors-fund-cultural-preservation


  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:  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 project scopes and budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the 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.


AFCP2020 Budget Sheet (PDF 143 KB)