U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. Embassy Tirana, Albania
Notice of Funding Opportunity (This notice is subject to availability of funding)
Funding Opportunity Title: Call for Proposals of the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)
Funding Opportunity Number: AFCPTIRFY23
Deadline for Applications: Round 1 due November 30, 2022
Assistance Listing Number: Program Authorization: Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended (P.L. 87-256, § 102(b)(5))
CFDA Number: 025
Total Amount Available: US $10,000 to US $500,000
The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce that we are now accepting project proposals for the 2023 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) – (US $10,000 to US $500,000) program. The AFCP is one of many ways that we partner with Albania to preserve its unique cultural heritage. Project proposals should be submitted to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov
Project proposals are due on November 30, 2022 and must strictly comply with the requirements and guidelines described below. If you have questions about this program, please contact us at CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov.
The application process is divided into two rounds: the first streamlined round will collect project ideas from applicants in the form of concept notes, due November 30, 2022. In Round 2, the Embassy will invite selected Round 1 applicants with promising ideas to submit full project applications, due March 15, 2023.
AFCP PROGRAM INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES
I. FUNDING AREAS
The AFCP Grants Program supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts. Appropriate project activities may include:
- Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
- Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site)
- Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site)
- Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition)
- Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state)
- Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition)
- Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)
- Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site)
II. SITES AND OBJECTS HAVING 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 AFCP 2023 Grants Program significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria. The U.S. Embassy encourages interested organizations considering preservation projects with a religious connection to contact us at CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov .
III. ELIGIBLE PROJECT IMPLEMENTERS
The Center defines eligible project implementers as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that can demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, non-for-profit museums, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based educational institutions and organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. 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 awards.
Potential implementers must be registered and active in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) to receive U.S. federal assistance. If an embassy’s project idea is advanced to Round 2 and the anticipated implementer is not registered in SAM, the Embassy recommends initiation of the registration process following guidance in SAM REGISTRATION Section IX below.
All applicants should familiarize themselves with 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.). https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-2/subtitle-A/chapter-II/part-200
The Embassy reserves the right to vet potential implementers for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities and ensure that they are able to receive U.S. federal assistance.
IV. INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES AND UNALLOWABLE COSTS
AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and the Center will deem applications requesting AFCP support for any of these activities or costs 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.) unless the natural heritage has a cultural heritage connection or dimension.
- 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, documentation, or public diplomacy 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 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 or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts.
- Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $500,000.
- Independent U.S. projects overseas.
V. Application Closing Dates
Round 1 Concept Note Requirements (Deadline: November 30, 2022):
The Embassy will accept initial project proposals in the required (LINK) sent to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov.
The Embassy cannot accept concept notes or applications submitted via Dropbox, WeTransfer, or Google files. Concept notes must be submitted by November 30, 2022, 16:30 CET.
Project abstracts and all required submitted documents must be in English. Project abstracts must include or address the following (Note: The list includes items required by 2 CFR 200 and State Department federal assistance regulations):
- Project basics, including title, project dates, location, and site
- Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status
- Project location and Special designations (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.)
- Scope of Work (preservation goals and activities for achieving them and any broader host country or community goals and activities for achieving them)
- Project Participant Information (key project participants and bios)
- Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (nonreligious) values of the site or collection
- Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now
- Max of ten (10) 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 Application Requirements (Deadline: March 15, 2023):
The Embassy will notify applicants of the Round 1 results by mid-February and will invite a subset of applicants to submit full applications no later than March 15, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CET. The applications must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and eligibility requirements. See application form for requirements of Round 2.)
- Revised project proposal (with the required updates)
- Application for Federal Assistance (SF‐424 set)
- 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
- 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 key project participants
- Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2023, 2024, 2025, 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
- 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
- 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 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
- 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
- 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)
VI. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE
The period of performance begins upon the Grants Officer’s signature and the awardee’s countersignature on a Notice of Award. A Notice of Award notifies an award recipient that an award has been made and that funds are available for use during the specified award period. Failure to produce a complete Notice of Award package may result in the nullification of the award.
VII. PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERABLES
AFCP 2023 award recipients must submit performance progress reports, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award. Upon completion of an AFCP project, the Center will also ask implementers to respond to an online survey about their project and experience with the AFCP program. In cases where the proposed public diplomacy or other expected impacts may not be fully realized at the immediate conclusion of the project, the Center may request continued voluntary reporting on specific topics. The Center may compile this information into reports to Congress and other documents.
VIII. SAM REGISTRATION:
An implementing partner must be registered in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) prior to receiving U.S, federal assistance unless they meet one of the exemptions specified in the Federal Assistance Directive (https://usdos.sharepoint.com/sites/A-OPE/FA/SitePages/Policy.aspx). The SAM registration process, which requires either a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) or a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, can take weeks or months, especially for non-U.S. applicants. Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx. SAM will assign a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) automatically to any entity registering or renewing its record in the system. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/
Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.
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.
Full and complete:
- Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) (PDF 163 KB)
- Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A) (PDF 1 MB)
- Assurances for Non- Construction Programs (SF-424B) (PDF 70 KB) (if applicable)
- Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) (PDF 203 KB)
- 2023 Budget Worksheet (Excel Document 24 KB)
- AFCP Application Form Guidance (Word Document 64 KB)