U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2020 Small Grants Program Funding Opportunity

Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2020

Small Grants Program Funding Opportunity

 

Summary:

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Cultural Heritage Center (“the Center”) is accepting project applications for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020 Small Grants Competition.  The deadline for submitting applications to the Center is December 15, 2019.  Full implementation of the AFCP 2020 program is pending the availability of FY 2020 funds and an approved congressional spend plan.

Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project

Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $200,000 per project

    • Deadline for submission: Monday, December 15, 2019 at midnight
    • Format: Please submit your proposals to hubbardld@state.gov
    • Recipient: please address your projects to Robyn Remeika, Cultural Affairs Officer
    • Questions: Questions regarding this process must be sent to hubbardld@state.gov 
AFCP Program Objectives:

The Department of State established the AFCP in 2000 at the request of Congress (Conference Report 106-1005 accompanying H.R. 4942). At the time, the

Senate noted that the preservation of cultural heritage “offers an opportunity to show a different American face to other countries, one that is non-commercial, non-political, and non-military.” The projects recommended for funding advance U.S. foreign policy goals and show American respect for cultural heritage. Cultural preservation is effective public diplomacy that resonates deeply with opinion leaders and local communities, even in countries where ties may be otherwise limited. AFCP projects strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world.

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, museums, ministries of culture, 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 preservation 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. Preference will be given to posts that place their AFCP project in the context of a greater PD programming arc promoting a specific foreign policy goal, and show they continue to monitor and utilize previous AFCP project sites.

 

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:

  1. In the case of 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
  2. In the case of 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 collection
  3. In the case of 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 directly support one or more of the following will receive additional consideration in FY 2020:

  1. Support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations
  2. Support U.S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategy (ICS) goals
  3. Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas
  4. Support post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
  5. Preservation of World Heritage sites
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 Center will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs 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 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
  23. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development
  24. Individual projects costing less than $10,000
  25. 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 Rating Criteria:

The Center will first screen all applications for technical eligibility. It will then rate applications before sending them first to public diplomacy offices in regional bureaus for ranking. The Center will then convene a review panel to recommend applications for funding. The Center will screen applications for technical eligibility based on the objectives, priorities, requirements, ineligible activities, and unallowable costs contained in this funding opportunity. The Center may deem applications ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the criteria stated herein. The Center will rate all technically eligible applications using the following point-based system: 

  1. Purpose and Summary, Description, Importance: 25 points max
  2. Urgency: 15 points max
  3. Sustainability: 10 points max
  4. Rationale for U.S. Support: 15 points max
  5. Media and Outreach Plan: 10 points max
  6. Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max
  7. Supporting Materials: 10 points max
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 application 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 (http://a.m.state.sbu/sites/OPE/FA/SitePages/Policy.aspx).  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 at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx. 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 mission.  Registration in SAM is free: http://sam.gov

Application Requirements:

All submitted documents must be in English.

Project applications must include or address the following

  1. 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)
  2. Project basics, including title, project dates, and AFCP focus area
  3. Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status, as applicable
  4. Project location
  5. 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
  6. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results
  7. 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])
  8. Resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and other primary project participants
  9. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (nonreligious) values of the site, collection, or form of traditional expression
  10. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now
  11. Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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)
  15. 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