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Accepting concept notes for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2024 Grants Program
November 8, 2023


The U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is now accepting concept notes (preliminary project proposals) for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2024 Grants Program!

AFCP supports the preservation of historic buildings, archaeological sites, manuscripts, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression such as indigenous languages and crafts in more than 120 countries around the world. Grants range from U.S. $10,000 to $500,000. Projects may range in length from one to five years.

Since 2001, the United States, through the AFCP, has spent more than $2.4 million on 23 projects dedicated to preserving cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including a number of proclaimed national monuments – the reconstruction of the structural foundation of the Ferhadija mosque in Banja Luka; the restoration of an Orthodox church and a Catholic church near Mostar; the restoration and conservation of the Old Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo; reconstruction of the 16th century bridge over the Zepa River in Rogatica; conservation and reconstruction work at the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the reconstruction of part of the historic building that houses the Museum of Contemporary Art of Republika Srpska, and an ongoing 2023 AFCP-funded project to restore and conserve the medieval Stari Grad Fortress in Travnik.

There are two rounds for the application process. In Round 1, the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina will collect project ideas in the form of concept notes (preliminary project proposals). The Embassy will review concept notes for competitiveness and submit the strongest ones to the Cultural Heritage Center (“the Center”) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State in Washington for review. The Center and the U.S. Embassy will ask organizations of selected projects to participate in Round 2 through a full application, providing more detailed and technical aspects of the proposed project.

The deadline for submitting project proposal concept notes to the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (BiH time). Completed concept note forms (preliminary project proposals) must be submitted electronically and in English to BHEXC@state.gov with “2024 AFCP Grant Competition – Project Title” in the subject line. Submissions received after this date and time and/or without the completed concept note form will not be considered.

Please note that only the selected applicants from Round 1 will be contacted to complete the full application for consideration in Round 2 of the selection process. Round 2 will entail a much more comprehensive AFCP grant application, including a more fully developed proposal, detailed project budget and budget narrative; résumés or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants; a public outreach plan; a data and media access plan; a maintenance plan explaining how the site, object, or collection will remain in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete; proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency, or organization that either owns or is otherwise responsible for the preservation and protection of the site or collection; and relevant supporting documentation.

Eligible Project Implementers: The Center defines eligible project implementers as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that can demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, government institutions such as 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.

Funding Areas: The AFCP Grants Program supports 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:

  1. Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  2. Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration of 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)

Funding Priorities: Specific to the AFCP 2024 Grants Program, proposals for projects that do one or more of the following will receive additional consideration:

  1. Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations.
  2. Directly support U.S. policies, strategies and objectives in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  3. Support disaster risk reduction and resilience for cultural heritage in disaster-prone or politically and economically unstable areas, or post-disaster cultural heritage recovery.
  4. Partner, connect with, or feed into other Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) or public diplomacy programs.

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.

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs:

AFCP will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of these 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.) unless the natural heritage has a cultural heritage connection or dimension.
  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, documentation, or public diplomacy 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 or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts
  23. Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $500,000
  24. Independent U.S. projects overseas


The 2024 AFCP Grant Competition is a two-round application process. During the first round, interested organizations are invited to submit project ideas in the form of concept notes (preliminary project proposals). To be considered for the competition, concept notes are due to the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina by December 7, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (BiH time).

ROUND 1 – Concept Notes

Information to be Included in Project Concept Notes (Preliminary Project Proposal):


  • Working title of the project
  • Anticipated project length (note: proposed project periods can be 12 to 60 months)
  • Location/site
  • Project cost estimate (amount requested in U.S. dollars)


  • Organization name (In original language and English)
  • Organization type (public, private, governmental, non-governmental, museum, educational institution, ministry, etc.)
  • Name, title, and contact information of the project coordinator and project director
  • Applicant SAM Registration Code (See information below, “How to Apply for Required SAM Registration.” Please indicate if you have initiated the processes but have not yet received the numbers and finalized the registration process.)

PART C – PROJECT PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF WORK (3,000 characters maximum)

  • Project purpose – Briefly explain the project objectives and desired results; describe what you hope to gain from the project beyond preserving heritage and how these goals will be achieved for your country and your community.
  • Project activities – Briefly explain the project activities.
  • Anticipated strategic outreach / public engagement activities to build awareness and inform, educate, and connect communities and stakeholders

PART D – STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE (1,000 characters maximum)

  • Briefly describe the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural significance of the cultural site, object, collection, or form of traditional expression.


  • Briefly describe the rationale for AFCP support, explaining why it’s in the interests of the U.S. government to fund the project, specifically how the project relates to existing bilateral relations, agreements (if applicable), or other U.S. foreign policy objectives.
  • Briefly explain the potential impact of the project locally and country-wide, as well as internationally.


  • REQUIRED: Five (5) high-quality, high-resolution digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, collection, tradition, or form of expression, and in the case of a site or object, show the urgency or need for the proposed project (e.g., collapsing walls, water damage, etc.). Each image must include a descriptive narrative text.

How to Apply for Required SAM Registration:

Potential implementing partners must be registered and active in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) to receive U.S. federal funding. Organizations can obtain this registration free of charge to receive a Unique Entity ID (UIE).

Any applicant with an exclusion 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.”

System for Award Management (SAM) requires all entities to renew their registration once a year to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov.

Notice on the Full Opportunity for Funding:

For your reference, the full details about the worldwide 2024 AFCP Grants Program and Notice of Funding Opportunity are here.

The U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina will review the Round 1 concept notes and notify selected organizations about the application procedures for Round 2.

Round 1 Application Deadline: December 7, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (BiH time)

Completed concept note forms (preliminary project proposals) must be submitted electronically and in English to BHEXC@state.gov with “2024 AFCP Grant Competition – Project Title” in the subject line.

For questions and clarification on how to apply for a 2024 AFCP grant in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please contact Elizabeta Delic, EOL Specialist, at delalice@state.gov or at +387 33 704 000. For questions about SAM registration or any other administrative issue, please contact Edin Gurda, Resource Coordinator, at gurdae@state.gov or at +387 33 704 344.