Short Primer on Grants for K-12 Music
Five Main Sources for Grants
There are essentially five sources for obtaining any grant.
You can apply for grants from the government, foundations,
non-profits, corporations, and individuals.
Federal funding distributions follow a top-down model:
Federal à State
à Local à
While the government does fund individual projects directly;
it will likely be beneficial for you to work the model in
reverse. Start with your local municipalities, foundations,
non-profits, corporations and people you know.
Local à State à
Foundations and Non-Profits
You, like most people, are probably familiar
with the concept of federally funded grants, but don’t forget
about foundations as a source for grants. There are many
wonderful foundations that fund music education and various arts
projects every year. Because most private foundations make
grants only to incorporated nonprofit organizations, individuals
or other entities that lack tax-exempt status must follow a
different path. You must research foundations that offer support
for individual projects or align yourself with non-profits with
similar funding goals. Non-profits can make and arrange grants
and should not be overlooked in your quest for funding. It is
not uncommon for a non-profit to use the grant money it received
to fund another program inline with the stipulation of the
Corporations also regularly fund projects that enhance the
community where they are located and to lower their tax
liability. It is best to first approach corporations in your
community who will we see first hand the impact their funding of
your project has made. Keep in mind, a corporation does not
necessarily mean a large company. Many small businesses fund
projects within the communities they serve.
Funding from individuals is probably the hardest to find.
Daniels Music Schools is currently seeking individuals to
sponsor deserving under-served students. If you would like to
sponsor a student or assist us in our search for sponsors,
please contact us at 617-275-4297.
How to Apply For a Grant
The key to applying for any grant is to match your project
idea to the funding agencies’ interests. Whether you are
applying for a grant from the government, foundations,
non-profits, corporations or individuals, remember that the
funding agency and the funds exist to solve a problem. Your
job when applying for funding is to show the agency how your
project will solve their problem. Each funding entity
has different requirements for submitting grant requests. Most
agencies will ask for an application, proposal or both an
application and proposal. You can get a really basic overview of
how to write a grant proposal from The Foundation Center website
(also available in Spanish) and http://fdncenter.org/for_individuals/.
Your first step is to find funding programs inline with your
project interests. Daniels Music Schools can help with this. We
have compiled a list of resources for schools, organizations and
families to obtain funding for music education and art in
general. Take a look.
Your second step is to find out more information about the
grant and its requirements by contacting the grant source. Call
and get the name of the person to contact, if you should need
advice (and you will). Call to get advice at each stage in the
process. Ask "<person’s name>, thanks for your
advice and assistance with <whatever task>. You have been
invaluable to me and I’ve done exactly what you said I should.
What’s the next step?" This stage is more about building
relationships than anything else and you should treat the
application process like you would in the final stages of good
job interview. No one wants to just give you money; remember to
speak to the funding agency using their own words to help
establish how you can help to solve their problem.
Once you begin to write your proposal, contact us. We can
supply you with promotional materials detailing Daniels Music
Schools programs and mission. A good rule of thumb is provide in
your proposal a way for the agency to evaluate your project.
This will further communicate how strong of an interest you have
in seeing that the funding agency’s needs are met. Daniels
Music Schools’ performance-based curriculum provides plenty of
opportunities for evaluation as we hold student recitals and
concerts throughout the year.
Finally, have at least two people critique your proposal for
typos, grammar errors, and overall clarity. There is nothing
more embarrassing than to have your proposal rejected because
you mistyped the funding agency’s name.
NOTE: The fiscal year for many organizations providing
grants is from March 1 to February 28. Now is a great time to
get started with your research!
List of Resources for Funding
We continually add new resources and information on grants. Check
back here frequently for updates. Here is the list of
sources for grants for music education related activities we
have compiled thus far:
Grants for Schools and Community Organizations
Education Grants for Individuals (DMS students & parents)
For schools and community
1. National Endowment for the Arts
Specific grants include:
advance arts education for children and youth. An
organization may request a grant amount from $5,000 to
$150,000. (Postmark deadline: June 12)
Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast-Track
Review Grants - To support projects that extend the
reach of the arts to under-served populations. Grants are for
$10,000. (Postmark deadline: June 1)Summer Schools in the Arts -This
program supports rigorous, challenging summer arts education
programs that enable children and youth to acquire knowledge and
skills in the arts as well as gain lifelong interests in the
arts and culture. (Statement of Interest deadline: May 22)
- Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth -
2. Musical Online
A compilation of funding resources
including foundations and associations, grants, scholarships,
3. BMI Foundations
The BMI Foundation, Inc., a
not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985, is dedicated to
encouraging the creation, performance and study of music through
awards, scholarships, internships, grants, and commissions.
4. The Mockingbird Foundation
The mockingbird foundation offers competitive grants to schools and
non-profit organizations. Private schools will need to affiliate with
a 501(c)(3) organization such as a church or parish. Public schools
are tax-exempt and so eligible for funding.
5. The Amateur Chamber Music Players, Inc.
ACMP Foundation was formed in 1993 to support the aims and purposes of ACMP,
an international organization that fosters the playing and singing of
chamber music for people of all ages and skill levels. The foundation
funds community music programs like schools and youth orchestras.
Applications are due in mid-December since calendar runs with academic
6. American String Teachers Association with National School Orchestra
PDF application: Application form download
The purpose of the Urban Outreach Program is to support
innovative projects that provide economically disadvantaged urban school
children, through grade twelve, the opportunity to study stringed
For Parents and Students - Arts
The Art DEADLINES List describes
numerous contests, grants, scholarships, fellowships, jobs and
internships in the arts -- visual arts, poetry, writing and
journalism, multimedia, film, photography, music, dance, etc.
American Symphony Orchestra League
Music Assistance Fund
The program is dedicated to the identification and support of
African-American and Latino string players who aspire to
For Parents and Students - Education General:
1. Fin Aid
2. Children's Scholarship Fund
The Children's Scholarship Fund
provides partial tuition scholarships to allow low-income
families to send their children to private and parochial
elementary schools (grades K-8).