Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Round 1: Receiving Concept Notes from Nov 1 – Nov 30, 2021


Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) – 2022, Mongolia
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-Ulaanbaatar-001/FY2022
Deadline for Applications: November 30, 2021, 11.59 p.m. Ulaanbaatar time
Assistance Listing Number: 19.025
Total Amount, Pending Availability of Funds: $500,000
Award Amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $500,000
Number of Awards Anticipated in Mongolia: 1-3 awards (dependent on amounts)
Length of Performance Period: up to five years
Type of funding: Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended (P.L. 87-256, 102 (b) (5))
Anticipated Program Start Date: September 2022
Funding Instrument Type: Grant

The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar with the Cultural Heritage Center (“the Center”) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State 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. AFCP is an international program made available for countries based on their rankings in the 2020 U.N. Human Development Index.  Hence, this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available on and U.S Embassies/Consulates around the world are also conducting their own local competitions.

Round 1 Concept Notes for projects in Mongolia are due by 11:59pm on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 to Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia via

Competition Format: as mentioned above, the AFCP-2022 competition takes place in two stages. Projects that receive a positive rating in Round 1 will be invited to participate in Round 2. Eligible embassies will propose projects for funding. The Center will select from among them using a process with two rounds. During Round 1, embassies will submit concept notes. Embassies invited by the Center to participate in Round 2 will flesh out the technical aspects of the proposed projects and submit full applications. Awards will range from $10,000 to $500,000. The Center anticipates funding 20 – 30 projects around the world.

Program Objectives: The Department of State established the AFCP in 2000 at the request of Congress. The preservation of cultural heritage offers an opportunity for the United States to show respect for other cultures. AFCP projects help to preserve cultural heritage, strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world. In Mongolia, AFCP has given 1.3 million USD in implementing 20 projects over the years. These projects include restoration of Yadam Temple of the Choijin Lama Temple Museum in Ulaanbaatar, Barcoding Inventory Project within the National Museum of Mongolia, and Preservation of Deer Stones in Khanui Valley.


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:

  1. Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  2. Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site)
  3. Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site)
  4. Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition)
  5. Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state)
  6. Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition)
  7. 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)
  8. Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site).

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.  Applicants considering preservation projects with a religious connection are encouraged to contact the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy at with any questions.


Some of the most impactful AFCP projects have been designed as part of a greater PD programming arc promoting specific U.S. policy goals and host-country or community objectives. Accordingly, in FY 2022, ECA will give preference to projects that do one or more of the following:

  1. Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations
  2. Directly support U.S. policies, strategies and objectives in a country as stated in the Integrated Country Strategy or other U.S. government planning documents
  3. Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas or post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
  4. Support conflict resolution and help communities bridge differences
  5. Partner, connect with, or feed into other public diplomacy programs.


Eligible Project Applicants: The AFCP defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable noncommercial 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.  The U.S. Embassy vets applicants for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities.

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

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs: AFCP will 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 $500,000
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas


All interested applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early to allow time to address technical difficulties that may arise before the deadline.  ‘Concept Notes’ suggested template that one may use is available here.  The following are items required from each concept note:

  1. Project Basics, including working title, anticipated project length (in months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from AFCP; in U.S. dollars)
  2. Project Applicant/Implementer Information, including name, SAM and DUNS registration status (if obtained)
  3. Project Scope of Work that summarizes (1) preservation goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals; and (2) 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 (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.)
  5. Budget Estimate using the budget worksheet provided here.

Note: Cost Sharing and Other Forms of Cost Participation: There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required. When an implementing partner offers cost sharing, it is understood and agreed that the partner must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the budget of the application and later included in an approved agreement. The implementing partner 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.


The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar must receive all proposals by 11:59pm on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Project Concept Notes are received only in English language via email
The U.S. Embassy’s AFCP Selection Committee will shortlist nominations by December 20, 2021 for reviewers in the Center, ECA, and the U.S. Department of State’s in Washington, DC.
Reviewers in Washington DC will conduct its review in late 2021/early 2022. On or around April 18, 2022, the Round 2 results will be announced and a subset will be invited to submit full project proposals for Round 2.
Round 2 full project proposals will be submitted in April 2022. Reviewers of AFCP will rate full applications using point-based system. This selection period takes another 3-4 months.
Award announcement for AFCP 2022 Grants Program will occur during July-August of 2022.


Issuance of this Notice of Funding Opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government.  AFCP/Cultural Heritage Center reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and availability of funds.


An implementing partner must have a unique entity identifier (UEI), such as 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 receiving U.S. federal assistance. The DUNS, NCAGE, and processes can take weeks or months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

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 Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at 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 missions. Registration in SAM is free:


Other Resources: Applicants may refer to the resources available below.

  1. Suggested Template for ‘AFCP 2022 Grants Program – Round 1 Concept Note’
  2. Budget Template
  4. AFCP Image Guidelines

Embassy Contact: Please direct inquiries to Cultural Programs Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar via The embassy with the support of the Cultural Heritage Center in ECA has expertise in the preservation of cultural heritage and is available for technical guidance.