U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Grants Program

Funding Opportunity Title:                U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Grants Program
Funding Opportunity Number:          FY24-BSB-410602
Opening Date:                                     November 25, 2023
Deadline for Applications:                 December 26, 2023
Total Amount Available:                     US$10,000 – $500,000
Assistance Listing Number:             19.025 – U.S. Ambassador Funds for Cultural Preservation

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil announces an open competition for organizations to submit ROUND 1 project proposals for funding through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) to carry out an individual project to preserve cultural heritage in Brazil. The deadline for submitting ROUND 1 proposal to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil is Tuesday, December 26, 2023 by 23:59 (Brasilia Time).  Submissions received after this date and time will NOT be considered.

Full implementation of the program is pending the availability of FY 2024 funds.  Interested institutions are urged to consult with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates as soon as possible for details and guidance on the AFCP 2024 competition.

Through the AFCP Program, the Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three areas:

  • CULTURAL SITES: This might include (but is not limited to) historical buildings and sites, sacred places, monuments, and archaeological sites. Proposals in this category may involve, for example, restoration of an historic building, an archaeological survey as a component of a preservation plan, preservation management planning for a site, or documentation of sites in a region for preservation purposes.
  • CULTURAL OBJECTS AND COLLECTIONS: from a museum, cultural site, or similar institution. This includes archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, photographic and film collections, and general museum conservation activities. Proposals in this category may involve, for example, conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; 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.
  • FORMS OF TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSION: This includes traditional music, rituals, knowledge, languages, dance, drama, and crafts. Proposal in this category may involve documenting and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms as part of a tradition expression and making the information and recordings available, or support for training in preservation or traditional arts or crafts that are threatened by extinction.

AFCP Program Objectives:  

AFCP was established to help countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures. The aim is to preserve cultural sites or objects that have an historical or cultural significance to the cultural heritage of Brazil.

AFCP gives top priority to project activities in keeping with international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage. An appropriate preservation activity is one that protects the values of the site, object or collection, or form of traditional cultural expression, as they are understood by stakeholders. Stakeholders may include national, regional, or local cultural authorities, the local community, and others with vested interests in the site and the outcome of a project.

Mission Brazil Objectives: 

In the 2024 funding cycle, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil will give preference to projects that focus on one of more of the following three areas: the preservation of culture that is affected by the climate crisis; Afro-descendent culture in Brazil; the culture of indigenous peoples in Brazil.

Competition Format:  

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil will select proposals through a two-part process. Applicants must first submit a concept note, which is a concise, 3-page concept note designed to clearly communicate a program idea and its objectives before the development of a full proposal application. The purpose of the Concept Note process is to give candidates the opportunity to present program ideas to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil for evaluation before the submission of full proposal applications becomes required. Selected applicants will be extended invitations by U.S. Mission Embassy and Consulates in Brazil to convert their concept notes into comprehensive proposal applications following to a review of such notes.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of Performance Period: 12 to 60 months
Number of Awards Anticipated: 1-3 awards.
Award Amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of US$10,000.00 to a maximum of US$500,000.00.
Type of Funding: Diplomatic Programs Public Diplomacy Funds
Anticipated Project Start Date: October 01, 2024
Funding Instrument Types: Grant, Cooperative Agreement, Fixed Amount Award (as appropriate)

Project Performance Period: Proposed projects should be completed in 60 months or less. The Department of State will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the project, and a  determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

Eligible Applicants:  The following entities are eligible to apply:

  • Foreign Institution of Higher Education
  • Foreign Organization
  • Foreign Public Entity, where permitted
  • U.S. Non-Profit Organization (501(c)(3))
  • U.S. Institution of Higher Education

Cost Sharing or Matching:

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 application 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.

Other Eligibility Requirements:

The AFCP further defines eligible applicants as reputable and accountable entities that can demonstrate that they have the requisite capacity and permission to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage in Brazil.

To be eligible to receive an award, all entities must have a valid and active registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain this registration.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. Address to Request Application Package: Application forms required below are available at embassy website.
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application:

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.

Phase I Concept Note – Open for all interested candidates.

1. Concept Note (not to exceed three [3] pages in Microsoft Word) that includes:

A. Project Basics:

  1. Project title.
  2. Project length (in months- Not to exceed 60 months)
  3. Location site.
  4. If part of an inscribed World Heritage Site, the name of the World Heritage Site:
  5. Project cost estimate in U.S. Dollars -please refer to the attached budget template.

B. Project Applicant Information:

  1. Organization name
  2. Organization type
  3. Name, title, and contact info of project coordinator

C. Project Scope of Work that briefly explains the project objectives and desired results:

D. Proposed Activities that explain all activities in a logical order:

E. Desired results that explain how the activities will contribute towards achieving desired results:

F. Statement of Importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural site, object, collection, or form of traditional expression.

G. Statement of Urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now.

H. 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 either resulting or gained from the project.

I. Attachments and other supporting documents, such as:

REQUIRED: Minimum of five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, or form of expression and, in the case of a site or object, show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing wall, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.)

For all Concept Note documents please ensure:

  1. All pages are numbered.
  2. All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper: and,
  3. All documents are single-spaced, 14-point Calibri, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10-point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables can be reformatted to fit within one page width.

Phase II Full Application Requirements- Open to selected candidates.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil will contact candidates eligible to submit a full proposal. 

A. Project dates (maximum of 60 months [five years]).

B. Statement of importance highlighting the historical, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural heritage.

C. 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).

D. 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.

E. 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.

F. 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.

G. Résumés or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants.

H. Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods ( 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; Budget template will be made available to selected candidates.

I. 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.

J. 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).

K. 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.

L.  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.).

Other Submission Requirements: All application materials must be submitted by email to brazilgrants@state.gov .

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Criteria: The Public Affairs Office of the United States Embassy and Consulates in Brazil will review and evaluate concept notes and determine which projects will be submitted to the Cultural Heritage Center for grant consideration. In phase I, project proposals are evaluated based on the project theme, the development of defined goals and target groups, project sustainability, and the applying organization’s competence to carry out the project aims.  In the 2024 funding cycle, priority will be given to projects focused on Afro-Brazilian culture, Indigenous culture, or preserving cultural heritage that is affected by the climate crisis.

Projects selected for Phase II will be rated with the following point-based systems:

  • Purpose, Importance (10 points max)
  • Clarity and completeness of activity description for preservation work (15 points)
  • Clarity and completeness of activity description for work to achieve broader goals (10 points)
  • Clarity and completeness of applicant public awareness plans (5 points)
  • Budget and Budget Narrative (15 points max)
  • Supporting Materials (resumes, images, etc.; 10 points max)
  • Innovative integration, collaboration, or coordination with other ECA and public
  • diplomacy programs (10 points max)

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

  1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this Call for Proposal does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Grant awards will be made in three or more installments in bank transfers. The first installment will be transferred to the bank account of the grantee organization prior to the beginning of the project. The applicant must provide an interim report about the use of the first installment of funds before additional funds will be released.  If no interim report is provided, no additional funds will be released.

Upon completion of the project, all grantee organizations must complete a formal report, which consists of a narrative and a financial report, and submit it to the U.S. Embassy. Form for narrative report and guidelines for financial report can be obtained from the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING

AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: brazilgrants@state.gov

H. OTHER INFORMATION

  • Read once again the guidelines that describe the AFCP Program. Make sure you understand those guidelines and that your proposal fits the purposes it discusses.
  • Carefully review the application to make sure it is complete and free of errors.
  • Ask someone who does not know anything about your project to read your proposal to determine if it is understandable. Remember that the U.S. Embassy will not know anything about your proposal until they read it.  If they cannot understand it simply by reading what you have written, it will not be approved.
  • Ask someone with experience applying for grants to look at the application and provide advice on improving it.
  • Make sure the application is neatly typed and easy to read in English. Perfect English is not required but the proposal must be understandable to an English speaker.
  • Applications which do not include the required information or do not comply with the requirements of the Program guidelines will not be reviewed.

Attachment I : Funding Restrictions

AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Preservation of hominid or human remains.
  • Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.).
  • Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.).
  • Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use.
  • Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes.
  • Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project.
  • Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums.
  • Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes.
  • Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example).
  • Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances.
  • Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist.
  • Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another.
  • Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason.
  • Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation, documentation, or public diplomacy effort.
  • Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies.
  • 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).
  • Costs of fund-raising campaigns.
  • Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees.
  • Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer.
  • 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.
  • Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $500,000.
  • Independent U.S. and foreign projects overseas that do not have a local partner or a pre-existing formal agreement with the national cultural authority in the specified country to conduct cultural heritage preservation activities.