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  Grant Primer

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 Grants  | Music Advocacy

Short Primer on Grants for K-12 Music Education


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 Individual

Government
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.

Individuals à Local à State à Federal

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 grant.

Corporations
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.

Individuals
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 at http://www.fdncenter.org/learn/shortcourse/prop1.html (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:

Music Education Grants for Schools and Community Organizations

Music Education Grants for Individuals (DMS students & parents)

 


For schools and community organizations:

1. National Endowment for the Arts
http://arts.endow.gov/grants/apply/Music.html
http://arts.endow.gov/grants/apply/Artsed.html

Specific grants include:

  • Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth - To 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)

2. Musical Online
http://www.musicalonline.com/foundation_grants.htm
A compilation of funding resources including foundations and associations, grants, scholarships, and organizations.

3. BMI Foundations
http://www.bmifoundation.org/home.asp
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
http://www.mockingbirdfoundation.org/funding/guidelines.html
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.
http://www.acmp.net/
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 school year.

6. American String Teachers Association with National School Orchestra Association
Web: http://www.astaweb.com/foundation/AwardsGrants.htm
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 instruments.

 

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For Parents and Students - Arts Specific:

Art DEADLINES
http://custwww.xensei.com/adl/

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
http://www.symphony.org/artistic/musassis/index.shtml
The program is dedicated to the identification and support of African-American and Latino string players who aspire to orchestral careers.

 

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For Parents and Students - Education General:

1. Fin Aid

2. Children's Scholarship Fund
http://www.scholarshipfund.org/
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).