U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2023 Grants Program Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the 2023 call for proposals for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Grants Program. Since its inception in 2001, AFCP has helped preserve archeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression in Egypt and around the world.
The application process involves two rounds. The first round includes submission of project ideas in the form of concept notes, due to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on December 10, 2022. In Round 2, the Embassy will invite shortlisted applicants to submit full project applications, due April 1, 2023. Funding awards will range from $10,000 to $500,000 per project. The U.S. Department of State anticipates funding 20 to 30 projects worldwide from eligible countries. All applications should be submitted electronically to CairoAFCP@state.gov no later than December 10, 2022. No hard copies will be accepted. Failure to include any of the required information results in the automatic exclusion of the proposal.

For any inquiries regarding the submission process, please send inquiries to CairoAFCP@state.gov.
Appropriate project activities may include:
a) Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts);
b) Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site);
c) Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site);
d) Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition);
e) Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state);
f) Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition);
g) Restoration (replacing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and
historic buildings);
h) Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site).

AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and applications requesting 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 (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.
c) Preservation of hominid or human remains
d) Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.)
e) Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.)
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, documentation, or public diplomacy 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 or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts
w) Individual projects costing less than $10,000 or more than $500,000
x) Independent U.S. and foreign projects overseas that do not have a local partner or a preexisting formal agreement with the national cultural authority in the
specified country to conduct cultural heritage preservation activities


The AFCP defines eligible applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that can demonstrate that they have the requisite capacity and permission to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage in the specified country.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all entities must be registered and active in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) on www.SAM.gov.

Eligible implementors may include:

  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Museums
  • Educational Institutions
  • Ministries of Culture or similar institutions
  • U.S. based educational institutions and organizations

AFCP will not award grants to:

  • Individuals
  • Commercial entities
  • Past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous awards


Round 1 Concept Note Requirements (Deadline: December 10, 2022):

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Applications that do not meet the
requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.
Applicants must ensure:

  • The application clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  •  All documents are in English, and
  •  All budgets are in U.S. dollars

Concept Note Content:

The proposal should contain sufficient information so that anyone not familiar with the subject of the proposed project would understand exactly what the applicant intends to do.
Each concept note submitted must include:

a) Project basics, including working title, anticipated project length (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from AFCP; in U.S. dollars).
b) Project implementer information, including contact information
c) 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 they hope to gain from the project beyond the preserved heritage and how they plan to get there; 3,000 characters maximum).
d) Rationale for AFCP support, explaining why it’s in the interests of the U.S. government to fund the project, specifically:

  • how the project relates to U.S. Embassy goals and/or existing bilateral
    agreements, or other U.S. foreign policy objectives (1,000 characters
  • the projected public diplomacy benefits and impacts of the project (1,000
    characters maximum).

e) 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.).

Round 2 Full Application Requirements (Deadline: April 1, 2023):
Applicants selected in Round 1 to submit a full application must include the following:

  • Project Activities Description and Timeframe that present the project tasks in chronological order and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them (maximum of 60 months [five years]).
  • Statement of importance highlighting the historical, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural heritage.
  • Revised/detailed scope of work with (1) clear preservation goals and activities for achieving those goals, and (2) the host country or community’s intended broader goals and activities for achieving those goals (Note: When describing and ordering the activities for (1) and (2) above, highlight any major milestones and target dates for achieving them. Each set of activities should clearly lead to their corresponding goals with no gaps. The overall presentation should make a compelling case that the implementer has a clear and comprehensive sense of how to achieve the preservation and other goals).
  • 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.
  • Implementers public awareness plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, social media, and other means.
  • 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.
  •  Résumés or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants.
  • Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2023, 2024, 2025, 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; (Note: Use the AFCP budget template available on the US Embassy in Cairo website).
  • 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.
  •  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).
  • 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.
  •  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.).

Application Review Process
Each application submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo will be evaluated based on its technical eligibility, responsiveness to the AFCP program objectives, and the quality of the application contents. Specific criteria include the following:
a) Rationale for U.S. support and relevance to Embassy and Government of Egypt priorities.
b) Clarity and completeness of Scope of Work.
c) Clarity and completeness of application public awareness plan.
d) Organizational capacity.
e) Quality and feasibility of project idea.
f) Goals and objectives.
g) Budget and budget narrative.
h) Monitoring and evaluation plan.
i) Media outreach plan.
j) Supporting Materials (resumes, assessments, reports, images, etc.).

Amplifying AFCP via Current and Emerging Technologies:

The U.S. Department of State welcomes innovative ideas on how projects plan to use mobile and online technologies strategically to amplify AFCP support for cultural heritage preservation in Egypt and to share compelling project-related content with both targeted and broad audiences. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo strongly encourages applicants to include one or more virtual components, in coordination with the applicant’s public awareness plan, to complement the proposed project. Doing so can extend engagement beyond the project’s duration, increase its long-term value, and expand the audience for such work.