2021 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)

2021 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)



Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Grants Program
Funding Opportunity Number: AFCP-2021-2022-GP
Deadline for Applications: Novembre 10, 2020 for Round I Concept Notes
CFDA Number: 19.025
Length of Performance Period: 12 to 60 months
Number of Awards Anticipated: 30-40 awards per year worldwide (dependent on amounts)
Award Amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $500,000
Total Available Funding: $6 million per year (estimated)
Type of Funding: Diplomatic Programs Public Diplomacy Funds
Anticipated Project Start Date: Varies by project

This notice is subject to availability of funds and an approved congressional spend plan.

The Cultural Heritage Center in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia are pleased to announce the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2021 Grants Program.

This competitive global fund was established to help countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures. The projects selected to receive funding under this program will advance U.S. diplomatic goals and demonstrate the depth of U.S. respect for the cultural heritage of Tunisia. The Fund is aimed at preserving cultural sites or objects that have a historical or cultural significance to the cultural heritage of Tunisia.

This opportunity consists of two application rounds: Round I (Project Ideas and Concept Notes) and Round II (Full Proposal).

‘Concept Note’ suggested template, that one may use to cover all the required information, is available here.

During Round I, the Applicants are due to submit completed Concept Notes in English electronically to PASTunisLargeGrants@state.gov  by November 13, 2020.

A U.S. Embassy review panel will evaluate and score eligible Concept Notes and nominate the successful applicant to the Cultural Heritage Center for consideration for advancement to Round II.

Applicants invited to advance to Round II will be asked to submit a full project proposal by March 22, 2021.

All proposals must comply with the regulations and guidelines below. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.



The Cultural Heritage 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, museums, educational institutions, Ministry of Culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based education 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.


The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.


  • Completed Concept Notes must be submitted in English electronically to PASTunisLargeGrants@state.gov by November 13, 2020.
  • Concept Notes must not include ineligible activities or unallowable costs according to the list below.
  • Concept Notes must address one or more of the eligible activities (funding areas) stated below.


The AFCP 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 [settling, collapse, etc.] 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)

Priority will be given to applications that clearly demonstrate the impact of the grant on the local community and Tunisia’s development and cultural preservation. In addition, the U.S. Embassy welcomes project proposals that connect to U.S. priorities and other existing partnerships in Tunisia, including ongoing AFCP projects or other cultural cooperation. More can be found about U.S. priorities in the Integrated Country Strategy.


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 (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.)
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains
  4. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.)
  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 fee
  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. Independent U.S. projects overseas
  25. Individual projects costing less than $200,000 or more than $800,000

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 significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.

The AFCP proposal should include: 

  • Applicant’s information, including name, address, SAM registration status, contact phone number and organization leadership
  • A brief description of the project
  • Project location, timeframe, purpose, objectives, proposed activities, and desired results
  • How the project contributes to the local community and Tunisia’s overall development and cultural preservation
  • Five high quality digital images that show the nature and condition of the site, collection, or tradition, and the need for the proposed project
  • Proposed budget in U.S. dollars (not to exceed $500,000 USD). Cost sharing is encouraged but not required.

The U.S. Embassy is available to answer questions and provide consultation on Concept Notes.  Please email us at PASTunisLargeGrants@state.gov

Mandatory Application Forms for Round II:

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) at Grants.gov
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) at Grants.gov
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) at Grants.gov

Summary Page:

Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), proposal date, project title, proposed project start and end dates, amount of funds requested, and brief description of the project.


The proposal should contain sufficient information so that anyone not familiar with the subject of the proposed project would understand exactly what the applicant intends to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.

  • Project applicant information, including contact information
  • Project location (project must be located within one of the priority countries listed in Section A)
  • Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives, proposed activities, and desired results, including any intended contributions to broader host country or community aims or objectives
  • 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]) ·Theory of change that describes how the project activities and outputs will help achieve any broader host country or community aims or objectives. For example, if a broader goal is economic development, how will the activities and outputs directly contribute towards achieving that goal?
  • Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (nonreligious) values of the site, collection, or form of traditional expression
  • 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
  • Implementer public awareness plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms
  • Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2021, 2022, 2023, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs) and indicates funds from other sources 5 4. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.


  • CVs or résumés of key personnel who are proposed for the project
  • 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, show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.), any historic structure reports, restoration plans and studies, conservation needs assessments and recommendations, architectural and engineering records, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed project
  • 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, object, or collection
  • PDF of your most recent NICRA if your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget.

Required Registrations:

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. All organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge: · Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)