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2023 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation – Call for Concept Notes for Sindh and Balochistan
November 15, 2022


The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation is the U.S. government’s flagship program to promote cultural heritage preservation and protection worldwide. U.S. Consulate in Karachi is accepting concept notes for 2023 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).  

Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project 
Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $500,000 per project  

Deadline for Submission: Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Complete concept notes should be emailed to: KarachiAFCP@state.gov. Please carefully follow the guidelines and concept note format described below. Selected project abstracts, approved by Washington, will be notified and invited to submit a full proposal by March 15, 2023.

Past AFCP projects in Pakistan : AFCP Pakistan – Catalog

For more information, please contact the U.S. Consulate Karachi’s Public Diplomacy Section via email at KarachiAFCP@state.gov


The fund was established to help countries preserve their cultural heritage. For Pakistan, it is aimed at preserving major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, major museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression that have historical or cultural significance and are accessible to the public. The projects selected to receive funding through the AFCP Grants Program will advance U.S. diplomatic goals and demonstrate the depth of U.S. respect for the cultural heritage of Sindh and Balochistan. Proposals shall will advance U.S foreign policy objectives and demonstrates U.S. leadership in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage around the world.  


The U.S. Consulate General, Karachi 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, 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. If a concept note advances to round two (submission of complete proposals) and if the anticipated implementer is not registered in SAM.gov, they should initiate the registration process immediately so that it is in place in the event the project is ultimately selected for an award. The registration process can take several weeks to complete so it is important to avoid any delay. If a project is selected for an award and the registration is not completed, the award could be delayed to the next Fiscal Year, pending the availability of funding. 

Funding Areas:

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 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 and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria. ECA encourages embassies considering preservation projects with a religious connection to contact the AFCP Program Director

Funding Priorities:  Applications for projects that directly support one or more of the following will receive additional consideration in FY 2023:

  1. Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations.
  2. Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas, or post-disaster cultural heritage recovery.
  3. Partner, connect with, or feed into other ECA or public diplomacy programs.

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs: 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:  

  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.  

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. 

Application/Concept Note Requirements:

Each concept note submitted must include:

  • Project Basics, including working title, anticipated project length (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from AFCP; in U.S. dollars).  
  • Project Implementer.  
  • Scope of work summarizing (1) the 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; 3,000 characters maximum) 
  • 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 agreements or other U.S. foreign policy objectives (1,000 characters maximum).  The projected public diplomacy benefits and impacts of the project (1,000 characters maximum). 
  • 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.).

Project Design Tips: 2023 AFCP Design Tips

If your concept note advances to round 2, this additional information may be helpful.

Additional Information: 2023 AFCP – 2023 AFCP – Additional Information