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Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): AFCP Small Grant Program FY 2020
October 24, 2019


Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
(Deadline: Friday, December 6, 2019)

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu is now accepting project proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) fiscal year 2020 competition.  The deadline for submitting proposals to the U.S. Embassy is Friday, December 6, 2019.  Submissions received after this date will not be considered.  Full implementation of the program is pending the availability of FY 2020 funds.  Interested institutions are urged to consult with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible for details and guidance on the AFCP 2020 competition.

Through the AFCP Program, the Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three areas:

  • CULTURAL SITES—such as, but not limited to, historic buildings and archaeological sites;
  • CULTURAL OBJECTS AND COLLECTIONS from a museum, site, or similar institution—that include, but are not limited to, archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs;
  • FORMS OF TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSION—such as traditional music, indigenous languages, and crafts.

FUNDING PRIORITIES: Applications for projects that directly support one or more of the following will receive additional consideration in FY 2020:

  • S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural property agreements
  • Disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas
  • Post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
  • Preservation of inscribed World Heritage Sites
  • Partner, connect with or feed into other ECA programs

Special Note Regarding 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.

ELIGIBLE PROJECT APPLICANTS: The Cultural Heritage Center defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as 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, that are registered and active in SAM.gov and able to demonstrate requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage.

INELIGIBILE ACTIVITIES AND UNALLOWABLE COSTS: 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 proposal submission;
  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 a 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 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;
  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 U.S. $10,000;
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

INELIGIBLE PROJECT APPLICANTS: AFCP does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, embassies or past award recipients which have not fulfilled reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.


  • Funding Instrument Type: Grant
  • CFDA Number: 19.025
  • Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: U.S. $10,000 per project
  • Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: U.S. $200,000 per project

In FY 2019, awards made through this program ranged from U.S. $25,000 to U.S. $200,000.


Important: Proposals must be received by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu no later than Friday, December 6, 2019.  All proposals must be submitted via e-mail [cultureKTM@state.gov] and must include complete information as described in the requirements below.  Proposals including supporting documents (if any) must be in English.

Application requirements: Project proposals must include or address the following:

  • 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.
  • Project location 
  • Proof of official permission to undertake the project
  • Project purpose that summarizes project objectives and desired results
  • Project activities description that presents project tasks in chronological order
  • Project time frame or schedule that lists major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them (NOTE: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years]; projects must begin before September 30, 2020, and conclude no later than September 30, 2025)
  • Project participant information including resumes or CV’s of the proposed project director and other primary project participants
  • Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural 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 
  • Statement of sustainability outlining 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
  • Detailed project budget demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2021, 2022 etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs, Cost Sharing); indicate funds from other sources; and give a justification for any anticipated international travel costs (templates available upon request from the Center)
  • Budget narrative explaining how the costs are estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and any large budget line items
  • Attachments and supporting documents including, at a minimum and REQUIRED, five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that conveys the nature and condition of the site, object, or form of expression and, in the case of a site or object, show the urgency for the proposed project (collapsing wall, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.), any historic structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents 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 cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal 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 (https://usdos.sharepoint.com/sites/A 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 missions.  Registration in SAM is free: http://sam.gov.

Using a point-based system (below), the Cultural Heritage Center will rate all applications based on the program funding priorities; the quality, soundness, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget; the urgency of the proposed project; the quality and quantity of supporting materials, such as resumes of the key project participants, images of the resource, and notices of official permission from the responsible resource steward, such as a ministry of culture.

AFCP point-based rating system:  Proposals will be rated as follows:

  • Purpose, Description, and Importance: 25 points max
  • Statement of Urgency: 15 points max
  • Maintenance Plan (Sustainability 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

*To be written by the Embassy. Applicants are encouraged to outline a prospective media outreach plan as they envision specific to the proposed project.

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 U.S. Embassy and the Cultural Heritage Center reserve the right to reduce, revise, or increase application budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds.

For questions related to the application process, please reach out to Cultural Affairs Specialist Dhurba Shah via email at Shahdb1@state.gov or by phone at +977-1-423 4472.
For final submission of proposals, please mail all required documents to Cultural Affairs Officer Karl Rogers at culturektm@state.gov.
Learn more about AFCP on the web at http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/afcp.html

We look forward to receiving your proposals.  Thank you.


SF424A-V1.0 (004) (PDF 1MB)

SF424B-V1.1  (PDF 70KB)

SFLLL_1_2-V1.2 (1) (PDF 2014KB)

AFCP2020-Budget  (XLS 23KB)

SF424_2_1-V2.1 (PDF 265KB)