Grant Opportunities

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2021 Grants Program

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-COL-AFCP-2021

Deadline for Applications: November 12, 2020 (11:59p.m. U.S. Eastern time)

CFDA Number: 19.025

Total Amount Available: $6 million per year (estimated)


The U.S. Embassy to Sri Lanka and Maldives announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications for funding through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) to implement an individual project to preserve cultural heritage in a specific priority country.  Issuance of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government.  Full implementation of this program is subject to the availability of funds.  Please follow all instructions below.

Program Objectives

The Department of State established the AFCP at the request of Congress in Conference Report 106-1005 accompanying H.R. 4942 (October 26, 2000).  The Senate report on this bill noted that the preservation of cultural heritage “offers an opportunity to show a different American face to other countries, one that is non-commercial, non-political, and non-military.”

The AFCP Grants Program supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts.  Appropriate project activities may include:

a) Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts);
b) Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site);
c) Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site);
d) Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition);
e) Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state);
f) Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition);
g) 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);
h) Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site). 


Length of Performance Period:  12 to 60 months  Number of Awards Anticipated:  30-40 awards per year (dependent on amounts) Award Amounts:  Awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $500,000 Total Available Funding:  $6 million per year (estimated) Type of Funding:  Diplomatic Programs Public Diplomacy Funds  Anticipated Project Start Date:  Varies by project.

This notice is subject to availability of funds and an approved congressional spend plan.

Funding Instrument Types:   Grant, Cooperative Agreement (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.


Eligible Applicants:

The following entities are eligible to apply:

  • Foreign Institution of Higher Education
  • Foreign Organization
  • Foreign Public Entity
  • 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 are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite capacity and permission to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage in the specified country.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all entities must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on  Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.


Address to Request Application Package: 

The mandatory application forms listed in Annexure 1- General Information are available at 

Content and Form of Application Submission: 

Annexure 1 – General Information – will have detailed information of the submission guidelines.  Please follow all instructions provided in Annexure 1 – General Information carefully.  Applications that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Potential applicants may send Concept Notes at any time for consideration to ‘Grants Applications Manager’ at before the final closing date of this Notice of Funding Opportunity, which is on November 12, 2020 (11:59p.m. U.S. Eastern time).  NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE FOR LATE SUBMISSIONS. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that a Concept Note has been received in its entirety.

The Embassy bears no responsibility for Concept Notes not received before the due date or for data errors resulting from transmission.



Each application will be evaluated on its technical eligibility, responsiveness to the AFCP program objectives, and the quality of the application contents (Proposal, Attachments, etc., as stated above).

Review and Selection Process:

Review panels at the embassy, AFCP program, and bureau levels within the State Department will evaluate all eligible applications and recommend projects for funding.

Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

  1. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
  1. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;
  1. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.


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: 

Unless indicated otherwise in the Notice of Award, recipients shall request payment by completing form SF-270—Request for Advance or Reimbursement and submitting the form to the Grants Officer.  Unless otherwise stipulated, recipients may request payments on a reimbursement or advance basis.  Payments shall be made in a minimum of three (3) separate installments following approval by the Grants Officer, who may negotiate the exact number, amounts, and scheduling of the installments with the award recipient or set the number and amounts at his or her discretion.

Administrative and National Policy Requirements:

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at:  Note the U.S. Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.   

Reporting Requirements: 

Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and progress reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.    


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact the ‘Grants Applications Manager’ at


Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries.  If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program.  If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment. 

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.  

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories.  For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA.  Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.   

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.  It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues. 

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages. 


Contact ‘Grants Applications Manager’ at for specific submission instructions, including submission deadlines.  


Issuance of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the AFCP program or the U.S. government.  The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase application budgets and award amounts in accordance with the needs of the AFCP program and the availability of FY 2021 funds.

Small & Mighty Grants Program from November 6, 2020

The Small & Mighty Grants Program is funded by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo and is administered by Lanka Unites. This program promotes funding opportunities to smaller organizations and individuals with the capacity to lead and develop programs that may not have the infrastructure to compete in formal Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Link for Small & Mighty Grants Program administered by Lanka Unites: