U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
AMBASSADORS FUND FOR CULTURAL PRESERVATION (AFCP)
2023 GRANTS PROGRAM
Call for Concept Notes
The U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is now accepting Round 1 project proposal concept notes (DOCX 64KB) for cultural heritage projects ranging from $10,000 to $500,000 for the 2023 AFCP Program.
There are two rounds for the application process. In Round 1, the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina will collect project ideas in the form of concept notes. The Embassy will review concept notes for competitiveness and submit the strongest one(s) to The Cultural Heritage Center (“the Center”) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State in Washington for review. Those selected by Washington to participate in Round 2 will flesh out the technical aspects of the proposed project and submit a full application (details to follow).
Awards will range from $10,000 to $500,000 and the Center anticipates funding 20 to 30 projects globally. Full implementation of the 2023 AFCP Program is pending the availability of FY 2023 funds.
The deadline for submitting project proposal concept notes to the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. (BiH time). Completed concept note forms must be submitted electronically and in English to BHEXC@state.gov with 2023 AFCP Grant Competition and the project’s title in the subject line. Submissions received after this date and time and/or not in the correct format will not be considered.
Please note that only the selected applicants from Round 1 will be contacted to complete the full application for consideration in Round 2 of the selection process.
The AFCP Program aims to preserve historic buildings and monuments, archaeological sites, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts.
Since 2001, the United States, through the AFCP, has spent more than $2 million on 22 projects dedicated to preserving cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among these projects were the restoration of an Orthodox and a Catholic Church near Mostar; the reconstruction of part of the historic building that houses the Museum of Modern Art of the Republika Srpska; restoration of part of the historic Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo; and conservation and preservation of the collections of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Funding Priorities: Specific to the AFCP 2023 Grants Program, proposals for projects that do one or more of the following will receive additional consideration:
- Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations.
- Directly support U.S. policies, strategies and objectives in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas or post-disaster cultural heritage recovery.
- Partner, connect with, or feed into other Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) or public diplomacy programs.
AFCP will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of these activities or costs below will be deemed 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 US $10,000 or more than $500,000
X) Independent U.S. projects overseas
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 and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.
Eligible Project Implementers: The Center defines eligible project implementers 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 educational institutions and 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 awards.
Potential implementers must be registered and active in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) to receive U.S. federal assistance. If an embassy’s project idea is advanced to Round 2 and the anticipated implementer is not registered in SAM, the embassy may initiate the registration process immediately so that it is in place in the event the project is ultimately selected for an award. See below for information on how to register. The registration process can take several weeks to complete so it is important to avoid any delay. If a project is selected for an award and the registration is not completed, the award could be delayed to the next FY, pending the availability of funding.
The AFCP small and large grant programs are combined into a single program. The 2023 AFCP Grant Competition is a two-round application process. During the first round, interested organizations are invited to submit project ideas in the form of concept notes. To be considered for the competition, concept notes are due to the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina by November 30, 2022.
ROUND 1 – Information to be Included in Project Concept Notes:
PART A – PROJECT BASICS:
- Title of the Project
- Anticipated Project Length (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months.)
- Project Cost Estimate (Amount requested from AFCP in U.S. dollars)
PART B – PROJECT APPLICANT INFORMATION
- Organization Name
- Organization Type
- Name, Title, and Contact Information of Project Coordinator
- Applicant NCAGE Code and SAM Registration Code (Please also indicate if you have initiated the processes but have not yet received the numbers and finalized the registration process.)
PART C – PROJECT PURPOSE AND ACTIVITIES
- Project Purpose – Briefly explain the project objectives and desired results.
- Project Activities – Briefly explain the project activities.
PART D – STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
- Briefly describe the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural significance of the cultural site, object, collection, or form of traditional expression.
PART E – RATIONALE for AFCP SUPPORT
- Briefly describe the 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 Bosnia and Herzegovina’s priorities, existing bilateral agreements, or other U.S. foreign policy objectives.
- Briefly explain the potential impact of the project.
PART F – ATTACHMENTS and OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
- REQUIRED: Five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, collection, tradition, 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, etc.).
ROUND 2 – Full Application Requirements (Deadline: April 28, 2023):
The Center will invite embassies selected in Round 1 to submit full applications for Round 2 no later than Friday, April 28, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EDT. The applications must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and eligibility requirements. Furthermore, to be considered complete, they must include:
From the implementer:
a) Project activities description and timeframe (maximum of 60 months/five years) that present the project tasks in chronological order and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them.
b) Statement of importance highlighting the historical, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural heritage.
c) 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.
d) Implementer’s public awareness plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, social media, and other means.
e) 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.
f) Résumés or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants.
g) 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.
h) 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.
i) 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).
j) 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.
k) As requested by the 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.).
Application Review Process
- Concept note review and selection (Round 1): ECA will determine which project ideas advance to the Round 2 application stage:
- In early 2023, ECA will notify embassies of the Round 1 results and invite a subset to submit full project proposals to Round 2.
The AFCP Grants Program has a point-based rating system as follows:
- Clarity and completeness of Scope of Work (20 points max)
- Importance (10 points max)
- Clarity and completeness of applicant public awareness plan (10 points)
- Clarity and completeness of embassy outreach plan (10 points)
- Maintenance Plan (10 points max)
- Budget and Budget Narrative (20 points max)
- Supporting Materials (resumes, assessments, reports, images, etc.) (10 points max)
- Innovative integration, collaboration, or coordination with other ECA and public diplomacy programs (10 points max)
Note on Cost Sharing: 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 proposal and later included in an approved agreement. The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.
Note on 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, which requires either a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) or a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, can take weeks or months, especially for non-U.S. applicants. Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx. SAM will assign a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) automatically to any entity registering or renewing its record in the system. http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/.
For more information, please contact Cultural and Educational Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elizabeta Delic at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +387 33 704 000.