Call for Proposals – Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2020 Small Grants Program (Deadline: December 15, 2019)


Federal Awarding Agency: U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh
Announcement Type: Grant Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-CB-600-20-PAS-0002
Funding Opportunity Title:  Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
Opportunity Category Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 19.025 — Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
Application Deadline: December 15, 2019
Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project
Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $200,000 per project
Anticipated Award Date: September 2020
Anticipated Project Completion Date: Within 5 years
Eligible Applicants:  AFCP defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations that are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage.


The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the fiscal year 2020 call for proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.  The Fund is aimed at preserving cultural sites or objects that have historical or cultural significance for Cambodia.  Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project. Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: $200,000 per project.  In fiscal year 2019, awards made through this program ranged from US $25,000 to US $200,000.


The Fund was established to help countries preserve their cultural heritage.  For Cambodia, it is aimed at preserving cultural sites and objects that have historical or cultural significance.   The projects selected to receive funding through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) will advance U.S. diplomatic goals and demonstrate the depth of U.S. respect for the cultural heritage of Cambodia.

The AFCP Small Grants Program supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression.  Appropriate project activities may include:

Cultural Sites:  conservation of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation purposes.

Cultural Objects and Collections:  conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects from a museum, site, or similar institution—that include, but are not limited to, archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection 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:  documentation and audiovisual recording of traditional music, indigenous languages and dance forms for broad dissemination as the means of teaching and further preserving them, or support for training in the preservation of traditional applied arts or crafts in danger of extinction.


Proposals for projects that directly support one or more of the following criteria will receive additional consideration in FY 2020:

  1. U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural property protection agreements;
  2. Disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas;
  3. Post-disaster cultural heritage recovery;
  4. Preservation of World Heritage sites.


The Embassy defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, 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.  


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


The deadline for submitting a proposal (in English) is December 15, 2019.  Proposals shall be submitted in both paper and soft copy to:

Public Affairs Section (PAS)
U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh
1, Street 96, Phnom Penh

Re:  Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2020_Small Grants Program

Project proposals must include or address the following:

  1. Full and complete Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), including Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A), Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B), and Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL);
  2. Project Basics, including title, project dates, AFCP focus area, and other top-level information;
  3. Project Applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration.


Applicants requesting $25,000 or more in federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting applications. NOTE:  This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.  Applicants may acquire DUNs numbers at no cost by requesting a number online here. SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award mission.  Click here to register in SAM.

  1. Project Location;
  2. Proof of Official Permission to undertake the project;
  3. Project Purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
  4. Project Activities Description that presents the project tasks in chronological order;
  5. Project Time Frame or Schedule that lists the major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them (NOTE: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years]; projects must begin before September 30, 2020, and conclude no later than September 30, 2025);
  6. Project Participant Information, specifically an estimated number of non-US and US participants and estimated number of primary and secondary participants, as well as resumes of the proposed project director and other primary project participants;
  7. Statement of Importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural site, collection, or form of traditional expression;
  8. Statement of Urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now;
  9. Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how you intend to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms;
  10. Maintenance Plan outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain and sustain 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;
  11. Detailed Project Budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2021, 2022, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs, Cost Sharing ); indicates funds from other sources; and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs (templates available upon request from the Center). See budget worksheet at the last page of this announcement.  Attach a detailed budget as necessary.
  12. Budget Narrative explaining line by line how costs are estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and unique budget line items;
  13. Attachments and Supporting Documents including, at a minimum and REQUIRED, 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.), any historic structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed project;


There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost sharing required for this competition.  When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal 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.


The Embassy will review all proposals for technical eligibility as well as program design based on the criterial contained in this request for grant proposals.  Proposal will be screen against the lists of AFCP program-specific ineligible activities, costs, and applicants. All applications will be rated based on the program funding priorities; the quality, soundness, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget; the urgency of the proposed project; the quantity and quality of supporting materials, such as resumes of key project participants, images of the resource, and notices of official permission from the responsible resource steward, such as the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

Following is AFCP Point-Based Rating System:

Purpose and Summary, Description, Time Frame, Importance: 25 points max
Urgency: 15 points max
Sustainability: 10 points max
Rational for U.S. Support: 15 points max
Media and Outreach Plan: 10 points max
Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max
Supporting Materials: 10 points max


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.


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

  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 (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  4. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  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 $10,000 or more than $200,000;
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

For more information, please contact the Public Affairs Section at 023-728-048 or 023-728-179 or email:

The following documents may be helpful as you develop your proposal.