U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Small Grants Program

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) / Cultural Heritage Center through the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines is now accepting applications for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2019 Small Grants Program. The deadline for submitting proposals is November 21, 2018.

The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the AFCP 2019 Small Grants Program. The program provides funding to projects in eligible countries that preserve cultural heritage in line with the U.S. foreign policy objective of protecting and promoting cultural heritage worldwide. Full implementation of the program will be contingent on the availability of FY 2019 funding.

We invite your organization to submit a cultural heritage preservation proposal in accordance with the following guidelines:


The AFCP Program supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression. 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 treatment for an object or collection of objects from a museum, site, or similar institution that include, but are not limited to, archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections; and
  • 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

Proposals that directly support one of the following funding priorities will receive additional consideration:

  • S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural property protection agreements;
  • S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategy (ICS) goals;
  • Disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas;
  • Post-disaster cultural heritage recovery; and
  • Preservation of inscribed World Heritage sites


Funding will be through the grant mechanism. The floor on the award amount is US$10,000 per project, while the ceiling is US$200,000 per project.


Project proposals must contain the following elements:

  1. Full and complete Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), 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 (see Item G below);
  4. Project location;
  5. Proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency or organization that owns, or is otherwise responsible for the preservation and protection of the site/object that is the subject of the proposed project. If the site/object is included in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Properties (PRECUP), an official clearance from the concerned national cultural authority is required;
  6. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
  7. Project activities description that presents the specific project tasks in chronological order (Note: If the proposed project is part of a larger effort involving multiple projects supported by other entities, the plan must present the full scope of the preservation effort and the place of the proposed project within that larger effort);
  8. Project timeframe or schedule that lists the major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them (Note: applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months, and approved projects must begin before September 30, 2019, and be completed no later than 30 September 2024);
  9. Project participant information, including the CVs of the proposed project director and all other key project participants, the estimated number of non-U.S. and U.S. participants, and the estimated number of primary and secondary participants;
  10. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural site, collection, or form of traditional expression;
  11. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now;
  12. Statement of sustainability outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project has been  completed; 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 (2019, 2020, 2021, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (i.e., 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 (AFCP Detailed Budget Template);
  14. Budget Narrative explaining line by line how costs are estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and unique budget line items;
  15. Attachments and 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 wall, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.), any historic structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed project.

Proposals must be submitted in English. 


Eligible project applicants include reputable and accountable non-commercial entities such as non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations that are able to demonstrate the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Applicants will be vetted for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities. The program does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients who have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.


AFCP will not support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

  • 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;
  • Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
  • Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  • Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
  • Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  • Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  • Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
  • Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  • Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
  • Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
  • Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
  • Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
  • Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
  • Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
  • Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
  • Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
  • Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
  • Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to 5 years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund);
  • Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
  • Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
  • Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer;
  • International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  • Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
  • Project costing less than US$10,000; &
  • Independent U.S. projects overseas.


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 instance, 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.


Applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting full applications. Please note that the process could take weeks especially for non-U.S. applicants, so applicants are encouraged to begin the registration process early.


There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required. However, 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.


Proposals will first be screened for technical eligibility based on the objectives, priorities, requirements, ineligible activities and unallowable costs contained in this call for proposals. Then, all technically eligible applications proposals will be rated using the following point-based system:

  • Purpose and Summary, Description, Time Frame, Importance: 25 points max
  • Urgency: 10 points max
  • Sustainability: 10 points max
  • Rationale for U.S. Support (Embassy-supplied): 15 points max
  • Media and Outreach Plan (Embassy-supplied): 10 points max
  • Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max
  • Supporting Materials: 15 points max

Applications must be submitted electronically to AFCPManila@state.gov on or before 4:30 pm of the deadline date. The Project Proposal must be in MS Word format, while the Detailed Grant Budget must be in MS Excel format.  Incomplete submissions as well as applications submitted after the cut-off dates and times will be considered ineligible for consideration.


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.

Thank you and good luck.


  1. SF-424 Application Form Cover Sheet (PDF 265 KB)
  2. SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (PDF 323 KB)
  3. SF-424B Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (PDF 116 KB)
  4. SF-424LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (PDF 204 KB)
  5. AFCP Grant Proposal Template (DOC 154 KB)
  6. AFCP Detailed Grant Budget Template (XLSC 22 KB)