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Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
November 17, 2023

2024 Grant Program – Application Guide

1. Program Description: The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur  is pleased to announce the start of the 2024 grants cycle for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).

    1. The application process involves two rounds.
      1. In Round 1, the Embassy will collect project ideas in the form of concept notes, due January 15, 2024.
      2. In Round 2, the Embassy will invite promising concept notes to submit full project applications, due April 15, 2024.

Full implementation of the AFCP 2024 Grants Program is pending the availability of Fiscal Year 2024 funds.

2. 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:

a) reassembling a site from its original parts
b) addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site
c) connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site
d) recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an  object, site, or tradition
e) listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state
f) addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition
g) replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings
h) reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site

3. Eligible Project Implementers: Eligible implementers include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture, 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.

4. Round 1 Concept Note Requirements (Deadline: January 15, 2024):

    1. Project Basics, including working title, anticipated project length (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from AFCP; in U.S. dollars).
    2. Project Implementer information.
    3.  Project Scope of Work summarizing (3,000 characters maximum):
      1. preservation activities and goals
      2. related host country or community goals (i.e., what they hope to gain from the project beyond preserving heritage and how these goals will be achieved)
      3. anticipated strategic outreach activities to build awareness and engage communities and stakeholders.
      4. Rationale for AFCP Support, explaining why it’s in the interests of the U.S. government to fund the project.
      5. Five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, collection, or tradition and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.).

5. Round 2 Full Application Requirements (Deadline: April 15, 2024): The Embassy will invite projects selected in Round 1 to submit full applications by no later than Monday, April 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. EDT, they must include:

    1. Project Activities Description and Timeframe that present the project tasks in chronological order and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them.
    2. Statement of Importance highlighting the historical, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural heritage.
    3. 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.
    4. Public Outreach Plan describing how the implementing partner will build awareness and engage communities and stakeholders. Awareness-building activities typically include social media posts, ribbon cutting events, and news stories. Community and stakeholder engagement activities may include community-led or community-produced workshops, short videos, documentary films, oral histories, storytelling or interpretive exhibits, and educational or enrichment events tailored for specific audiences, such as young people.
    5. 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.
    6. Data and Media Access Plan outlining how the implementing partner will share, as appropriate, data and media generated from the project with the public and the Department of State.
    7. If applicable, explain how the proposed project or project staff are linked to other Department of State cultural, educational, or other exchange programs.
    8. Résumés or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants.
    9. Detailed Project Budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2024, 2025, 2026 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.
    10. Budget Narrative explaining how the costs were estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and any large budget line items.
    11. 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).
    12. 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.
    13. As appropriate, additional high-quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the heritage and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, extensive water damage, etc.).

6. Cost Sharing and Other Forms of Cost Participation: There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required. When an implementing partner offers cost sharing, it is understood and agreed that the partner must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the budget of the application and later included in an approved agreement. The implementing partner will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit.

7. Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs: AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and applications requesting AFCP support for any of these activities or costs are ineligible to receive funding:

    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.) unless the natural heritage has a cultural heritage connection or dimension.
    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 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, documentation, or public diplomacy 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 or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts.
    23. Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $500,000.
    24. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

8. Award Information:

    1. Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project
    2. Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $500,000 per project

9. 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. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/.

10. Disclaimer: Notification of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the AFCP program or the U.S. government. The U.S. government 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.

11. The following documents are required:
Mandatory Application Forms: 

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

12. Application And Submission Information
The mandatory application forms listed are available at Grants.gov. Interested applicants must submit the application and note on the subject line AFCP 2024 to PublicAffairsKL@state.gov Please email the same address if you have any questions.