U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2022 Grants Program

U.S. Embassy Podgorica

Notice of Funding Opportunity


Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2022 Grants Program

Funding Opportunity Number: AFCP-2022-PASPodgorica

Deadline for Applications: November 29, 2021

Assistance Listing Number: 19.025            

Floor on amount of individual awards: $10,000

Ceiling on amount of individual awards: $500,000


Issuance of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the AFCP program or the U.S.  government.  The Cultural Heritage Center Center reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase project scopes and budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds.

All application materials must be submitted by email to PodgoricaGrants@State.Gov by Monday, November 29, 2021, 5PM Montenegro time.




The Cultural Heritage Center (“the Center”) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is pleased to announce the start of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2022 Grants Program.  The application process involves two rounds: In Round 1, the Center will collect project ideas from embassies in the form of concept notes.  In Round 2, the Center will invite embassies with promising ideas to submit full project applications, due April 2022.

The U.S. Embassy in Podgorica / Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for eligible applicants to submit concept notes to carry out a program to support the preservation of archeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts.

Appropriate project activities may include:

  • Anastylosis (resembling a site from its original parts)
  • Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site)
  • Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site)
  • Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition)
  • Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or unifying characteristic or state)
  • Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition)
  • Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)
  • Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site)

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 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.

U.S. Embassy Podgorica may select up to three concept notes to submit to the global Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) competition run by the Cultural Heritage Center (the Center).  The Embassy will submit the concept notes from Montenegro through an online system to qualify for the first round of the global AFCP competition.

Should a concept note from Montenegro enter the second round of the global AFCP competition, the successful applicant/s would be invited to submit a full application by April 2022.  Note: The successful applicant/s would receive detailed guidance from the Embassy about the second round requirements before the April 2022 deadline.

In round 1, applicants are invited to submit concept notes by Monday, November 29. 


Each concept note submitted must include:

  1. Project basics, including working title, anticipated project length (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation; in U.S. dollars).
  2. Project implementer.
  3. Scope of work, summarizing: the preservation goals and the activities planned to achieve these goals; any broader host country or community goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals (i.e., what they hope to gain from the project beyond the preserved heritage and how they plan to get there; 2,000 characters maximum)
  4. Five high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, collection, or tradition and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.).

Priority Region: Montenegro

Program Objectives:

The Department of State established the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, a competitive global fund, in 2001, at the request of Congress, to help countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures.  The projects selected to receive funding under this program will advance U.S. diplomatic goals and demonstrate the depth of U.S. respect for the cultural heritage of Montenegro.


Length of performance period: 1-5 years

Anticipated program start date: The period of performance begins upon the Grant Officer’s signature and the awardee’s countersignature on a Notice of Award, no earlier than September 30, 2022.

Award amounts: award/s may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $500,000

Program authorization: Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended (P.L. 87-256, § 102 (b)(5))

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant



  1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible project implementers (applicants) are reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that can demonstrate that 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.gov) to receive U.S. federal assistance.  Potential implementers should start the process of SAM.gov registration immediately, in case the project advances to Round 2 of the global AFCP 2022 competition, so that the registration is in place in the event the project is ultimately selected for an award.  See paragraph D.5. for information on how to register.

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost sharing required.  When an applying organization offers cost sharing, it is understood and agreed that they must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the budget of the application and later included in an approved agreement.  The organization 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.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.5. for information on how to obtain the registration.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

  1. Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs: AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and the Center will deem applications requesting AFCP support for any of these activities or costs 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 and 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.
  • Archeological 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.
  • Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archeological sites, for example).
  • Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes.
  • 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 form 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 of 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. projects overseas.


  1. Please download the Application form attached with this Notice of Funding Opportunity on U.S. Embassy Podgorica’s website.
  2. Make sure not to propose or budget for any of the activities/categories of costs from the (above) listed Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs.

Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

  1. Please ensure:
  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • Stay within the character limit (which includes spaces and special characters) in sections II and III of the application form.
  • You should have at a minimum obtained DUNS (UEI) number by the deadline for submission of concept notes under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, November 29, 2021, as the first step toward fully registering in SAM.gov – a prerequisite for receiving a U.S. award (see section D.5. Required Registrations for full info on the mandatory, free of charge registrations). Organizations that have obtained SAM.gov registration by November 29, 2021, will receive special consideration.


  1. Attachments:
  • Five high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, collection, or tradition and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.).
  1. Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

An implementer must be registered in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM.gov): https://sam.gov/, prior to receiving U.S. federal assistance.  The SAM.gov 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.aspxSAM.gov will assign a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI, previously known as DUNS number) automatically to any entity registering or renewing its record in the system. 

All mandatory registrations are free of charge:

  • Unique Entity Identifier (formerly known as DUNS number)
  • NCAGE code
  • SAM registration

If you experience any problem in registering in SAM.gov use the following link to register for a live chat, so the SAM administrators can answer your questions. Working hours for this service are from Monday through Friday after 14:00 Montenegro time.




An Embassy merit review panel will evaluate concept notes based on the quality and feasibility of project idea.

Applicants will receive an email notification noting the status of their submitted application/concept note by the end of 2021.



  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 NOFO 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.

Payment Method: Dynamics of grant payment would be discussed with grant recipient, and once agreed upon they will be stated in the award document.

Reporting Requirements: Award recipient will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.


  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements


Notices of Award for AFCP projects incorporate terms and conditions subject to OMB Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200): Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al.).  All applicants should familiarize themselves with these requirements.  Other requirements and guidance will appear as program-specific provisions or be incorporated by reference in the Notice of Award.