Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020 Small Grants Competition

(DEADLINE: November 30, 2019)

Embassy New Delhi and its Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata are accepting project applications accepting project applications for the 2020 Small Grants Competition of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).  The deadline for submitting AFCP 2020 applications is November 30, 2019. Full implementation of the AFCP 2020 program is pending availability of FY 2020 funds.  


  • Floor on Amount of Individual Grants/Awards: US $10,000 per project.
  • Ceiling on Amount of Individual Grants/Awards: $200,000 per project.

Application and Submission Information

Completed project applications will be accepted electronically through NDBox, GrantApplications:
Please note that only the winning applicants will be contacted. Due to the volume of applicants and inquiries, we don`t accept letters of intent, concept papers, or requests for meetings or phone calls prior to application.

Eligible Project Applicants:  Eligible project applicants are reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are registered and active in 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.

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.

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:

  • 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
  • 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 collections

c)    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 do one or more of the following will receive additional consideration in FY 2020:

a)       Support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations

b)      Support U.S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategies

c)       Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas

d)      Support post-disaster cultural heritage recovery

e)       Preserve World Heritage sites

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:

a) 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

b) 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

d) Preservation of news media (e.g., newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs)

e) Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (e.g., books, periodicals)

f) Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use

g) Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes

h) Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project

i) Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums

j) Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example)

k) Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes

l) Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances

m) Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist

n) Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another

o) Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason

p) Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort

q) Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies

r) 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)

s) Costs of fund-raising campaigns

t) Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees

u) Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer

v) International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project

w) Travel or study outside the host country for professional development

x) Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $200,000

y) 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:  All technically eligible applications will be rated using the following point-based system:

a) Purpose, Description, and Importance: 25 points max

b) Urgency: 15 points max

c) Maintenance Plan: 10 points max

d) Rationale for U.S. Support: 15 points max

e) Embassy Media Plan: 10 points max

f) Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max

g) Supporting Materials: 10 points max

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 registration unless they meet one of the exemptions specified in the Federal Assistance Directive ( The DUNS/NCAGE/ 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 Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. government. replaced the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in July 2012. collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award missions.

Registration in SAM is free:

Application Requirements: All submitted documents must be in English.

From the Implementer:

a) 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)

b) Project basics, including title, project dates, and AFCP focus area

c) Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status, as applicable

d) Project location

e) 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

f) Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results

g) 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])

h) Resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and other primary project participants

i) Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (nonreligious) values of the site, collection, or form of traditional expression

j) Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now

k) Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms

l) 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

m) 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

n) 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)

o) 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

Award Announcement:  The State Department will announce the results of the AFCP 2020 Small Grants Competition once the Department’s FY 2020 funding levels are known.  Competition results are announced mostly around July each year.

Please check the Request for proposal page for all the documents related to the grant.