The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020 SMALL GRANTS Program Funding Opportunity

Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP): Preservation of the Mural Painting at Wat Baan Koh, Lampang

The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)
2020 SMALL GRANTS Program Funding Opportunity
Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand


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 2020 call for proposals for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Small Grants Program Funding Opportunity.

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.

Under the AFCP Small Grants Program, the minimum funding available for individual projects is US$10,000 per project and the maximum amount is US$200,000 per project. In 2019, awards ranged from US$25,000 to US$200,000. Past AFCP award recipients may submit applications for continuation funds under this opportunity. The deadline for submitting applications is December 10, 2019.

The AFCP 2020 Small Grants Program supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression. Appropriate project 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 needs assessment and treatment, inventory of a collection for conservation 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 2020 Small Grants Program annual competition, proposals for projects that directly support one or more of the following will receive additional consideration:

  1. Support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations
  2. Support U.S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategies
  3. Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas
  4. Support post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
  5. Preserve World Heritage sites

AFCP will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of these 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 or more than US$200,000
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas

AFCP Small Grants Program has a point-based rating system as follows:

  1. Purpose, Description, and Importance: 25 points max
  2. Urgency: 15 points max
  3. Maintenance Plan: 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: 10 points max

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.

Eligible project applicants are reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are registered and active in and able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. This may include non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. Past AFCP award recipients may submit applications for continuation funds under this opportunity. 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 AFCP awards.

Applicants 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 submitting full applications. It is mandatory for applicants to have a DUNS and registration. Note that the DUNS/NCAGE/ 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 project 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 2020 SMALL GRANTS Program: Project Name – Applicant Name” by midnight December 10, 2019. 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 Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Bangkok at Tel: 02-205-4640, Email:, or Ms. Kanchalee Jitjang, Senior Cultural Affairs Specialist, at Tel: 02-205-4597, Ms. Laila Bunnag, Cultural Affairs Specialist, at Tel: 02-205- 4490. For additional information about the fund, please visit the AFCP website

All information must be submitted in English

  1. Project basics, including title, project dates, AFCP focus area
  2. Project applicant information (name of organization, address, phone, fax, mobile, e-mail, website), including contact information, DUNS Number and SAM registration status
  3. Short description of the organization
  4. Project location
  5. 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, object, or collection
  6. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results
  7. Detailed project activities description that presents proposed tasks in a 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. Detailed 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 (five years); projects must begin before September 30, 2020, and be completed no later than September 30, 2025)
  9. Project participant information, specifically an estimated number of non-U.S. and U.S. participants and estimated number of primary and secondary participants,
  10. Resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and other primary project participants
  11. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural site, collection, or form of traditional expression
  12. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now
  13. Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms
  14. Statement of sustainability (Maintenance Plan) outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain and sustain 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
  15. Detailed project budget in US$ (no less than US$10,000 or more than US$200,000) demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2021, 2022, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories and identifies funds from other sources
    • Personnel
    • Fringe Benefits
    • Travel (including Per Diem)
    • Equipment
    • Supplies
    • Contractual
    • Other Direct Costs
    • Indirect Costs
    • Non-AFCP Cost Sharing
    • Other Funding Sources
  1. Budget narrative explaining line by line how costs were estimated (such as quantity x unit costs, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project) and any large budget line items (Note: Applicants may include narrative within the budget sheet)
  2. Justification for any proposed international travel costs, if any
  3. Supporting documents including, at a minimum and REQUIRED, five (5) high qualitydigital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual 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), any historical structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed projects
  4. Other organizations you applied to with the same project and status of your application