The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2018


The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the 2018 call for proposals for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).

Since its inception in 2001, AFCP has helped preserve cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in Thailand and around the world. Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity. By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. shows its respect for other cultures

AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.

The minimum funding available for individual projects is US$10,000 per project and the maximum amount is US$200,000 per project. In 2017, awards ranged from US$24,000 to US$174,000. The deadline for submitting applications is December 31, 2017.

The AFCP program supports projects in three areas and adheres to international standards and guidelines for the preservation of cultural heritage. These activities may include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Specific to the AFCP 2018 annual competition, proposals for projects that directly meet one or more of the following criteria will receive additional consideration:

  1. U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural property agreements;
  2. Disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in seismically active and other disaster-prone areas;
  3. Post-disaster cultural heritage recovery; and
  4. Preservation of inscribed World Heritage sites.

Eligible project applicants are 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 that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. 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. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect 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.);
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  4. Preservation of news media (newspaper, 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 new or the 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. Digitalization 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 grant 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 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;
  23. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
  24. Individual project costing less than US$10,000;
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

AFCP point-based rating system is as follows:

  1. Purpose and summary, description, time frame, importance: 25 points max
  2. Urgency: 10 points max
  3. Sustainability: 10 points max
  4. Rationale for U.S. support: 15 points max
  5. Media and outreach plan: 10 points max
  6. Budget and budget narrative: 15 points max
  7. Supporting materials: 15 points max

Selected applicants requesting US$25,000 or more 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 receiving the grant. Note that this process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants. Applicants may acquire DUNS numbers at no costs by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award mission. Registration in SAM is free:

Suggested guidelines for proposal preparation and information to be provided are below. Each project proposal must be in English and should be emailed to with the subject line: “AFCP proposal: Project name” by midnight December 31, 2017. To determine if your projects fits into the AFCP guidelines, interested applicants can email a short one-paragraph description of their project to any time before the deadline for an initial review.

For more information, please contact Ms. Laila Bunnag, Cultural Affairs Specialist, Media and Cultural Section, U.S. Embassy Bangkok, at Tel. 02-205-4490, 02-205-4625, or For additional information about the fund, please visit the AFCP website

The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2018

All information must be submitted in English 

  1. Project basics, including title, project dates, AFCP focus area;
  2. Project applicant information, including name of organization, address, phone, fax, mobile, e-mail, website (a DUNS number and SAM registration status);
  3. A short description of the organization;
  4. Project location;
  5. Proof of official permission to undertake the project;
  6. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
  7. Detailed project activity description that presents proposed tasks in a chronological order;
  8. Project time frame or schedule that lists the major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them. NOTE that applicants may propose periods up to 60 months (five years). Projects must begin before September 30, 2018, and conclude no later than September 30, 2023;
  9. Project participant information, specifically an estimated number of non-U.S. and U.S. participants and estimated number of primary and secondary participants, as well as resumes of the proposed project director and other primary project 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 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;
  13. Detailed project budget in US$ (no less than US$10,000) demarcated in one-year budget periods (2018, 2019, 2020, 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
    • Other funding sources
    • Justification for any anticipated international travel costs (if any)
  14. Budget narrative explaining line by line how costs are estimated (quantity x unit costs, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and unique line items;
  15. Attachments and supporting documents including, at a minimum and REQUIRED, five (5) high quality digital images in JPEGs or audio-visual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, or form of expression and, in case of a site or object, show the urgency or need for the proposed project (such as collapsing wall, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.), any historical structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed project;
  16. Other organizations you applied to with the same project and status of your application