AMBASSADORS FUND FOR CULTURAL PRESERVATION (AFCP) 2020 – SMALL 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) – SMALL GRANTS COMPETITION (US $10,000 TO US $200,000) 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 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: 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.

INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES AND UNALLOWABLE COSTS: AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and the Cultural Heritage 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) c) Preservation of hominid or human remains
  • Preservation of news media (e.g., newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs)
  • Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (e.g., books, periodicals)
  • 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 $10,000 or more than $200,000
  • Independent U.S. projects overseas

ELIGIBLE PROJECT APPLICANTS: The Cultural Heritage Center defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, or similar institutions and organizations that can demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Embassies are responsible for vetting applicants for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities. Embassies must ensure the applicants are able to receive support from the U.S. Government and AFCP grants in accordance with AFCP program policies.

INELIGIBLE PROJECT APPLICANTS: 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.

AWARD INFORMATION: Funding for approved AFCP project proposals is provided through grants based on the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, Pub. L. No. 87-256, § 102(b)(5). Amounts for the Small AFCP projects vary from minimum of US $10,000 to max. US $200,000 per project.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Projects applications must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy via this email address CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov
All submitted documents must be in English. Project applications 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, and AFCP focus area
  • Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status, as applicable
  • 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 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, 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) (to request the excel copy of the budget, please send an e-mail to: CultureandEducationTirana@State.gov)
  • 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.

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.

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

APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS has two stages:

Stage 1: A U.S. Embassy based committee reviews received project proposals based on AFCP criteria and Mission priorities. The U.S. Embassy will submit the selected project application(s) electronically on behalf of applicant(s) through the AFCP application website.

Stage 2: The Cultural Heritage Center and other responsible offices in Washington DC review the submitted applications and make the final decision using the following point-based system:

  • Purpose, Description, and Importance: 25 points max
  • Urgency: 15 points max
  • Maintenance Plan: 10 points max
  • Rationale for U.S. Support: 15 points max
  • Embassy Media Plan: 10 points max
  • Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max
  • Supporting Materials: 10 points max
  • Innovative packaging with other ECA programs (optional): additional 10 points max

 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, 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.