Ambassadors Fund For Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020 – LARGE GRANTS COMPETITION

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce that we are now accepting project proposals for the 2020 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) – LARGE GRANTS COMPETITION (US $200,000 TO US $800,000) 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, 2019 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

AFCP PROGRAM INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES

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 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

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.

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, 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 reservation 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.

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:

  • 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 (e.g., physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils)
  • Preservation of hominid or human remains
  • Preservation of news media (e.g., newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs)
  • 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 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 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
  • Travel or study outside the host country for professional development
  • Individual projects costing less than US $200,000 or more than $800,000
  • Independent U.S. projects overseas

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.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION: The application process for the AFCP Large Grants Program consists of two rounds: Round 1 (project abstract) and Round 2 (full application). U.S. embassies in eligible countries shall submit completed Round 1 abstracts electronically on behalf of applicants through the AFCP application website. The Center considers each abstract on its own merit. If invited to submit full applications to Round 2, the AFCP Program Office will include detailed instructions on how to do so in the Round 2 invitations.

Application Closing Dates:

Round 1 abstracts should be submitted via email to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov no later than Sunday, December 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m.

  • Project Abstract Screening (Round 1): The Center will screen all project abstracts for technical eligibility based on the objectives, priorities, requirements, ineligible activities, and unallowable costs contained in this funding opportunity. It will forward the technically eligible abstracts to the relevant regional bureaus for comment. The Center may forward project abstracts for advisory peer review to other federal agency personnel with relevant experience. On or around January 10, 2020, the Center will notify embassies of the Round 1 results and invite a subset to submit full applications.

Round 2 applications should be submitted via email to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov no later than Thursday, January 30, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

  • Full Application Review and Selection (Round 2): The Center will convene a technical advisory panel of subject matter experts from elsewhere within the U.S. government to review the applications and provide comment. ECA may consult with the Senate Committee on Appropriations prior to making the funding recommendation.

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.

DUNS NUMBER AND SAM REGISTRATION: Applicants 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 full applications. It is mandatory for applicants to have a DUNS and SAM.gov registration unless they meet one of the exemptions specified in the Federal Assistance Directive. The DUNS/NCAGE/SAM.gov process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants. 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 here. Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code here. SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. government. SAM.gov replaced the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in July 2012. SAM.gov collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award missions. Registration in SAM is free: http://sam.gov 

ROUND 1 PROJECT ABSTRACT REQUIREMENTS (Deadline: Sunday, December 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m): 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):

  • 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)
  • 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.)
  • Law(s) protecting the site or collection (citations only)
  • Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results
  • Project activities description and time-frame 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
  • 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
  • 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 urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.)

ROUND 2 FULL APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS (Deadline: Thursday, January 30, 2020): The Center may invite embassies to submit full project applications upon favorable review of their abstracts. The applications must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and the eligibility requirements specified above. Furthermore, to be considered complete, they must include:

  • Revised project abstract, if needed
  • Revised SF-424, if needed
  • 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 time-frame 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 (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
  • 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 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)

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.

PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERABLES: AFCP 2020 award recipients must submit performance progress reports, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award. The Center will also ask embassies to respond once per year to an online success story survey on the impact of AFCP projects on their diplomatic efforts.