Ambassadors Fund For Cultural Preservation (Small Grants)

Funding Opportunity Description

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to issue a notice of funding opportunity for the 2020 Small Grants Competition of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). The deadline for submitting applications to the Center is December 1, 2019.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.  Administration of this program will be subject to the availability of funds for fiscal year (FY) 2020.

Purpose of the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) and Background:  The AFCP supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 countries around the world, including Nigeria. The funding advance U.S. foreign policy goals and show American respect for cultural heritage. AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.

Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity.  By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. demonstrates its respect for other cultures.

The Department of State established the AFCP at the request of the Congress, reflected in the Conference Report on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2001 (P. L. 106-553).

  1. Award Information 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

Floor of Individual Award Amounts:  $10,000

Ceiling of Individual Award Amounts: $200,000

Funding Areas:  The Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three areas:

  1. Cultural Sites – conservation of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation


  1. 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; and,

  1. Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression such as traditional music, indigenous

languages, and crafts.

Funding Priorities – General:  The 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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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 AFCP 2020:  Proposals for projects that meet one or more of the following criteria will receive consideration in FY2020:


  1. Support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations
  2. Support U.S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategies
  3. Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas
  4. Support post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
  5. Preserve World Heritage sites
  6. Partner, connect with or feed into other ECA programs


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 Information:

Eligible project applicants include 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.  All applicants must register for a DUNS number which is a unique nine-digit identification number.  DUNS Number assignment is free for organizations required to register with the federal government for grants. Begin the process here:  Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) is also required:

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

  1. 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
  2. Preservation of natural heritage (e.g., physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils )
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains
  4. Preservation of news media (e.g., newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs)
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  6. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  7. Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
  8. Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  9. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
  10. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
  11. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
  12. Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
  13. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
  14. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
  15. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
  16. Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
  17. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
  18. 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);
  19. Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
  20. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
  21. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the grants officer;
  22. International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  23. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
  24. Individual projects costing less than $10,000 or more than $200,000
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

AFCP does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or to embassies or past award recipients which have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards. 

  1. Application Submission and Deadline

Proposals should be submitted online to the U.S. Mission to Nigeria at the following email address:  Applications are accepted in English only.  Final grant agreements will be concluded in English.

The proposal deadline is December 1, 2019, 11:59p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Applicants must submit a full project description including:

  • 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),

  • Project basics, including title, project dates, and AFCP focus area
  • Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status
  • Project location
  • 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

  • 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 (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years])
  • Resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and other primary project participants
  • Project participant information, specifically an estimated number of non-U.S. and U.S. 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 (nonreligious) values of the 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 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
  • 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)
  • Supporting documents including, at a minimum and required, five (5) high quality digital

images (JPEGs preferred) 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, show the urgency or need for the proposed project (e.g., collapsing walls, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle), any historic structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed project

In addition to the project description, applicants must also submit:

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State will not consider proposals that do not include the above components.

There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition. 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.

  1. Review and Selection Process

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria will assess all applications based on:

  • Purpose and Summary, Description, Time Frame, and Importance
  • Urgency
  • Maintenance Plan
  • Rationale for U.S. Support
  • Media and Outreach Plan
  • Budget and Budget Narrative
  • Supporting Materials

.     Innovative packaging with other ECA programs

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State will review the U.S. Mission’s recommendations, and make the final selection.  The U.S. Mission to Nigeria will communicate the final award decision to all applicants.

  1. Award Administration 

Award Notices:  The grant award or cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by a Grants Officer of the U.S. Mission to Nigeria.  The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements.  The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, and it will be provided to the recipient.  Organizations whose applications will not receive funding will also be notified in writing.

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

All awards will be made with terms and conditions subject to OMB Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200): Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al.) unless otherwise specified in additional Department guidance.  Potential applicants should be familiar with these requirements.  Other requirements and guidance are incorporated by reference in the Notice of Award.

Reporting Requirements:  AFCP 2019 award recipients must submit performance progress, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award.  AFCP will compile this information in a report to Congress, as required, and in a published annual report of completed projects.