Call for Project Abstracts and Full Proposals: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation – Large Grants Program

U.S. Mission Maputo is calling for project abstracts and full proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020 Small Grants Program.  Project abstracts submitted via email at will be accepted until 17:30 on November 14, 2019.  For proposal abstracts that advance to Round 2, the deadline for the finalized project abstract is 17:30 on December 19, 2019.

About AFCP

The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world.  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. 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.  Individual awards can range from $200,000 to $800,000 per project.

Special priorities for the 2020 AFCP competition:

U.S. Mission Mozambique particularly encourages projects that:

  1. a) Support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations;
  2. b) Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas;
  3. c) Support post-disaster cultural heritage recovery; or
  4. d) Preserve World Heritage sites. 

Funding areas

The AFCP Large Grants Program supports the preservation of major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, and major museum collections that are accessible to the public and protected by law in the host country. Appropriate project activities may include:

  1. a) Preventive conservation (addressing conditions that damage or threaten the site);
  2. b) Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance [e.g., settling, collapse] of a site);
  3. c) Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to a collection or sites);
  4. d) Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of a site);
  5. e) Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts); or
  6. f) Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of a site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings).

Special note regarding sites and objects that have 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.

What kind of organization can apply for an AFCP grant?

U.S. Mission Mozambique encourages AFCP proposals from reputable and accountable noncommercial 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, such as:

  • Non-governmental organizations;
  • Museums;
  • Ministries of culture; or
  • Similar institutions and organizations similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.

Ineligible project applicants

AFCP does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.

Ineligible projects and specific line items

U.S. Mission Mozambique will not consider the following types of projects or specific line times for AFCP:

  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 (e.g., physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils)
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains
  4. Preservation of news media (e.g., newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs)
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (e.g., books, periodicals)
  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. Digitization 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 award 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 per 2 CFR 200.458 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 projects costing less than US $200,000 or more than $800,000
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas

Proposal process

U.S. Mission Mozambique’s AFCP Small Grants Program competition process is divided into three rounds:

  1. Round 1 – Project abstract (due 17:30 on November 14, 2019); and
  2. Round 2 – Finalized project abstract (due 17:30 on December 19, 2019)
  3. Round 3 – Full Proposal

Round 1

The project abstract must include the following items:

  1. Project Basics, including title, project dates, location, and site;
  2. Project Applicant information, including contact information;
  3. Special Designations (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.);
  4. Law/s Protecting the Site or Collection (citations only);
  5. Project Purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
  6. Statement of Importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the site or collection; and
  7. Statement of Urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now.

Project abstracts must be submitted via email to by 17:30 on November 14, 2019.

Round 2

U.S. Mission Mozambique will invite shortlisted institutions to submit finalized project abstracts upon favorable review of the abstracts from the first round competition. The finalized version of the project abstract must be submitted via email to by December 19, 2019. The proposals must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and the eligibility requirements specified above. 

Organizations applying for an AFCP Large grant must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting applications. Applicants may acquire DUNs numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. Registration in SAM is free:

Round 3

The Department of State in Washington will make the selection of project abstracts that proceed to Round 3 of the competition.  These organizations will be contacted will all the requirements to submit a full and complete proposal.


All project abstracts and supporting materials must use English.  Proposals in Portuguese will not be accepted.