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Funding Opportunity: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
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Embassy of the United States of America in Bangladesh
CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTER
BUREAU OF EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL AFFAIRS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

 

U.S. AMBASSADORS FUND FOR CULTURAL
PRESERVATION

GRANTS PROGRAM

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
FISCAL YEAR 2024
(Submission deadline: Monday, January 15, 2024)

 

The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka is now accepting Concept Notes for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) fiscal year 2024 competition.  The deadline for the announcement to submit the concept notes to the U.S. Embassy is 11:59 p.m. Bangladesh Standard Time on Monday, January 15, 2024.  Submissions received after this date will not be considered.  Selected applicants will be asked to submit full project proposals shortly after.

AWARD INFORMATION:
  • Funding Opportunity Number: AFCP-2024-GP
  • Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Grants Program
  • Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Cooperative Agreement (as appropriate)
  • Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
  • Length of Performance Period: 12 to 60 months
  • CFDA Number: 19.025- U.S. Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation
  • Award Ceiling:  $500,000 per project
  • Award Floor: $10,000
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:

  • Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  • Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site)
  • Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site)
  • Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition)
  • Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state)
  • Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition)
  • Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)
  • Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site)
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING SITES AND OBJECTS HAVING 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 from, 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 that can demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage.  Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based education institutions and organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.

INELIGIBLE PROJECT APPLICANTS: 

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.

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 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 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 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.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Important:  Concept notes must be received by the Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka no later than 11:59 p.m. Bangladesh Standard Time on January 15, 2024.  All concept notes must be submitted via e-mail to DhakaGrants@state.gov.   Only selected applicants will be asked to submit full applications in March 2024 via e-mail from DhakaGrants@state.gov.  All documents must be in English.

Each concept notes (not to exceed two typed pages and must be written in English) must include:

  • Project basics (including) – 
  • Project title
  • Anticipated project length (in months)
  • Project location/site
  • Project cost estimate in USD (This may be modified if a full proposal is requested.  The U.S. Embassy’s current exchange rate is USD 1 = BDT 111).  Please note, considering the frequent fluctuations of exchange rate in Bangladesh, the mentioned rate might be revised before the finalizing the award.
  • Name of lead applicant organization and any partner organizations, including government institutions.
  • Scope of work summarizing:
  1. the preservation goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals; and
  2. any broader host country or community goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals; (i.e., what it hopes to gain from the project beyond the preserved heritage and how it plans to get there; 2,000 characters maximum).
  • 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.).

Embassy will only invite selected applicants to submit a full application which must include or address the following:

  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. Implementer 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. Date 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 requested by the Cultural Heritage Center or 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.).

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.

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.  The SAM registration process can take weeks or months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.  SAM will assign a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) automatically to any entity registering or reviewing its record in the system.  Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/.

APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS

The Center will begin its formal review of concept notes in early 2024.  It will review and select Round 1 project concept notes and full project applications (Round 2) in consultation with the regional bureau PD offices and taking into consideration the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and other application requirements.  The Center may deem concept notes and full applications ineligible if they do not fully adhere to AFCP 2024 Grants Program objectives, requirements, and other criteria stated herein.

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 project scopes and budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For final submission of proposals, please mail all required documents to Dhaka Grants Committee at DhakaGrants@state.gov.
For questions related to the application process, please reach out to Grants management team via email at DhakaGrants@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.