Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

The U.S. Embassy in Suriname announces a call for concept notes to put forward for the 2024 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) competition. 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. Pending availability of funds, awards will range from $10,000 to $500,000

Deadline for applications: midnight on December 13, 2023.

Who can apply?
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) to receive U.S. federal assistance. Go to for instructions on how to register and read also the “Note on SAM Registration” at the end of this announcement.

What can be funded?
Funding Areas:  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)

Sites and Objects Having 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 from, and is nominated solely on the basis of, architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.

What is not funded?
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:

  • a) 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.
  • b) 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.
  • c) Preservation of hominid or human remains.
  • d) Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.).
  • e) Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.).
  • f) Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use.
  • g) Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes.
  • h) Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project.
  • i) Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums.
  • j) Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example).
  • k) Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes.
  • l) Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances.
  • m) Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist.
  • n) Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another.
  • o) Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason.
  • p) Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation, documentation, or public diplomacy effort.
  • q) Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies.
  • r) 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).
  • s) Costs of fund-raising campaigns.
  • t) Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees.
  • u) Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer.
  • v) 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.
  • w) Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $500,000.
  • x) Independent U.S. projects overseas.

How do you apply?
This year, the process is thinned down and in multiple stages. For the first round, applicants should submit a concept note via email to Concept notes must be submitted by Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 11:59 p.m.
The concept note should include:

  • a) Project basics, including working title, anticipated project length (in months and up to 60 months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from AFCP; in U.S. dollars).
  • b) Project implementer information, including name and SAM registration status;
  • c) Project Scope of Work (3,000 characters maximum) summarizing:
    • the preservation activities and goals;
    • any broader host country or community goals (i.e., what you hope to gain from the project beyond the preserved heritage and how these goals will be achieved;
    • anticipated strategic outreach activities to build awareness and engage communities and stakeholders.
  • d) Five (5) 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.).

What are the deadlines?
The multi-stage application process begins with your initial submission of the above to the U.S. Embassy Paramaribo, with a deadline of midnight on December 13, 2023.

If selected for further consideration by the panel of experts in Washington, D.C., applicants will be asked to submit full applications by mid-March 2024.

For more on AFCP click here:

Note on SAM Registration
If chosen to compete in the final round of proposal evaluation, an implementing partner must be registered in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) prior to receiving U.S, federal assistance unless they meet one of the exemptions specified in the Federal Assistance Directive.

The SAM registration process can take weeks or months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.
SAM will assign a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) automatically to any entity registering or renewing its record in the system. Registration in SAM is free:

Disclaimer: Notification of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the AFCP program or the U.S. government. The 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.