Foundation grants are an important lifeline for music programs, music organizations, and musicians. However, performing arts grants also tend to be intensely competitive and represent an underfunded area of grantmaking. Foundations working in this space include large and professionalized institutions that are easily approached, and newer family foundations that are more difficult to access. While several film funders may only conduct grantmaking at the state or local level, they’ve also been included here to provide a fuller picture of music grantmaking.

All the funder profiles below are updated regularly and we often add new ones. Only paid subscribers can access these resources (subscribe here).

FUNDERS

3M FOUNDATION

The 3M Foundation funds a diversity of music organizations including jazz ensembles, orchestras, and symphonies.  

AEGON TRANSAMERICA FOUNDATION

The Aegon Transamerica Foundation tends to award music-related grants that support general operating costs rather than specific projects.

HERB ALPERT FOUNDATION

While the primary focus of grantmaking is jazz, the foundation also awards grants to support mid-career artists working within the music industry.

AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY

AAS funds fellowships that improve the American people’s understanding of pre-twentieth century history through music.

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN

This funder makes music grants to women academics and musicologists, and supports women and girls through activism and empowerment.


AMERICAN EXPRESS

American Express invests in music organizations across the globe.

AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL

Ameriprise Financial’s philanthropic giving focuses on opportunities to support and improve U.S. communities. Performing arts support aligns with the corporation's emphasis on “cultural enrichment.” 

AMON G. CARTER FOUNDATION

This funder makes grants to promote and strengthen Tarrant County, Texas, which includes Fort Worth.

THE ANDERSON CENTER

The Anderson Center is an artist community in rural Minnesota that provides opportunities for residencies and retreats. It supports music grantmaking in the upper Midwest.

ARIZONA COMMISSION ON THE ARTS

The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports music projects and organizations within the state.

ARTSKC REGIONAL ARTS COUNCIL

ArtsKC supports music projects and organizations within a five county region that includes Missouri and Kansas.

ARTS MIDWEST

The foundation primarily funds presenting organizations, which must be in the Midwest. But Arts Midwest backs efforts to bring musicians from anywhere in the world.

ASCAP FOUNDATION

This foundation’s grantmaking philosophy includes support of education and talent development programs.

ASTRAEA LESBIAN FOUNDATION FOR JUSTICE

Astraea funds grants for lesbians and queer women, trans and gender non-conforming people, intersex people, and people of color. The foundation also supports rights organizations that advance racial, economic, and gender-related justice.

THE AWESOME FOUNDATION

The Awesome Foundation is a collection of autonomous chapters, each tasked with promoting the cause of awesome.

AYRSHIRE FOUNDATION

Ayrshire's music grants are awarded through its Community Culture program.

CAMERON AND JANE BAIRD FOUNDATION

The Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation offers grants to a variety of music organizations across the United States.

FRANK AND LYDIA BERGEN FOUNDATION

This foundation focuses exclusively on music education programs. It prioritizes organizations located in New York and New Jersey, but it does not strictly limit its grantmaking to those two states.

BEST BUY FOUNDATION

The philanthropic arm of the consumer electronics retail giant funds hands-on educational programs that build technology skills among teens age 13 to 18. It supports programs across the arts.

BMI FOUNDATION

BMI awards annual grants to nonprofit music organizations. Musical efforts supported include, “classical music groups specializing in contemporary works," and organizations working toward the preservation of American forms like jazz and blues.

BNSF RAILWAY FOUNDATION

BNSF largely funds local and regional orchestras and symphonies, but also supports organizations from across the United States.

BOGLIASCO FOUNDATION

The Bogliasco Foundation, near Genoa, provides short residencies to scholars and creative artists from all over the world.

BOHEMIAN FOUNDATION

The Bohemian Foundation has a comprehensive musical grant initiative, but mainly supports organizations within the Greater Fort Collins area in northern Colorado.

THE BROWN FOUNDATION

The Brown Foundation prioritizes supports both large and small arts organizations in Texas, but conducts some work across the United States.

ADOLF BUSCH AWARD

This recently established annual monetary prize backs individuals and organizations that use music to promote a more civil and just society. Named for a German-born musician who opposed the Nazi regime.

CINTAS FOUNDATION

The Cintas foundation prioritizes grantmaking for creative artists with Cuban citizenship or who have a Cuban parent or grandparent. Its funding areas include architecture and design, music composition, the visual arts, and writing.

CHAMBER MUSIC AMERICA

Serves ensemble music professionals. Grants support composition and encourage connections between chamber musicians and presenting organizations.

COLBURN FOUNDATION

The Colburn Foundation supports the classical music community, mostly in the Los Angeles area and Greater Southern California.

AARON COPLAND FUND FOR MUSIC

The Aaron Copland Fund for Music supports contemporary American music. The fund has three grant programs including Performing Ensembles, Recording, and the Supplemental Program. Grant application deadlines are different for each program.

CRANKSTART FOUNDATION

The Crankstart Foundation broadly supports music organizations across the United States. It has a history of supporting symphonies.

DELUXE CORPORATION FOUNDATION

The Deluxe Corporation Foundation awards grants to music organizations in areas of the country in which it has an operational and employee presence.

DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Awarding grants to both singers and musicians, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is one of the largest arts grantmakers in the U.S. An important note—the foundation does have a deep and abiding love for jazz music, just like Ms. Duke herself.

DORSEY & WHITNEY FOUNDATION

This law firm funder supports arts organizations, including music programs, in the many areas where the firm has locations. It also has an open application process. 

MAX AND VICTORIA DREYFUS FOUNDATION

The foundation was created upon the death of famed music publisher Max Dreyfus, who worked with American greats like George Gershwin and Cole Porter. It provides smaller grants that can make a big difference.

ECOLAB FOUNDATION

Ecolab is committed to supporting the communities in which it has a corporate presence. Its foundation sees performing arts, including music, as an important component of its community involvement.

ENTERGY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Entergy invests in local music companies and organizations. 

EUCALYPTUS FOUNDATION

The Eucalyptus Foundation’s dedicated arts program broadly funds music projects across the United States. 

FENDER MUSIC FOUNDATION

Fender invests in school, local, and national music programs across the country. The foundation also offers support for music therapy programs. 

FIDELITY FOUNDATION

This corporate foundation makes arts and culture, including music, a primary focus of its philanthropic pursuits. In line with its corporate ethos, it takes a rigorous business model approach to the projects it funds, even in this realm.

FIRSTENERGY FOUNDATION

If you’re operating in a community that receives FirstEnergy services (and it’s a healthy list), the FirstEnergy Foundation is an avid supporter of music organizations and programming.

FLORA FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder makes substantial investments in arts and culture throughout the U.S., and this includes music. But the foundation doesn't accept unsolicited proposals. 

FORD FOUNDATION

With more than $11 billion in assets, the Ford Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. It prioritizes addressing inequality and fostering social change.

FOUNDATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS

The FCA, founded by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, is open-minded about the work it supports and so may be a good resource for artists some consider controversial.  

PHILIP AND IRENE TOLL GAGE FOUNDATION

The Philip and Irene Toll Gage Foundation’s music related grants tend to support formal organizations abroad rather than those based in the United States.

DAVID GEFFEN FOUNDATION

The David Geffen Foundation supports small and large music organizations across the United States.

GEORGIA-PACIFIC FOUNDATION

Philanthropic arm of the large paper manufacturer makes music-related grants through its community enrichment program; unique in that all giving funds general operating support.

HORACE W. GOLDSMITH FOUNDATION

 The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation broadly supports both large and small music organizations across the United States.

ANN AND GORDON GETTY FOUNDATION

There isn’t a whole lot of information available on the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. But the foundation gives a significant amount of money to theater companies, and has a strong affinity for musical theater.

GILDER FOUNDATION

The Gilder Foundation broadly supports music organizations across the United States and remains vague on music-related particulars.

GREEN MUSIC GROUP

In a bit of a break from the norm, Green Music Group awards grants to artists big and small who want to go green. Green Music Group is a part of the larger charitable foundation Reverb.

JOHN SIMON GUGGENHEIM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

One of the most prestigious awards in its field, the Guggenheim Fellowship is considered a mid-career award for those who are well established in their area of expertise.

THE HAMBRIDGE CENTER

The Hambidge Center’s residency program supports science and scholarship, architecture and design, culinary artisans, and artists of all disciplines, including musicians.

THE YIP HARBURG FOUNDATION

The Yip Harburg Foundation makes grants to support social and political activism in music.

HEARST FOUNDATIONS

This funder's focus on culture includes a substantial commitment to music. Support emphasizes artist development and outreach into underserved communities. Only well-established arts organizations are eligible. 

CLARENCE E. HELLER CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

The Heller foundation's music grantmaking go to symphonic and chamber music programs. Grants go nationwide but preference is given to California-based groups. 

CHARLES EVANS HUGHES MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial invests in music organizations across the United States.

JAPAN-UNITED STATES FRIENDSHIP COMMISSION

This funder is an independent federal government agency that supports music projects that highlight the cultural, educational, and intellectual exchange between the United States and Japan.

JUBILATION FOUNDATION

Jubilation funds individuals and organizations that help young people express themselves through music and dance.

THE KENTUCKY FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN

The Kentucky Foundation for Women prioritizes women and feminist artists in Kentucky.

KOVNER FOUNDATION

Founded in 1986, the Kovner Foundation is run by billionaire Bruce Kovner and his wife Suzie. The couple is passionate about music and has prioritized New York music institutions for years.

JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION

The Knight Foundation's grantmaking includes multiple genres including jazz, opera, global and symphonic. Knight does give special consideration to 26 cities in the United States, but it makes national grants, as well.

KRESGE FOUNDATION

The Kresge Foundation prioritizes funding organizations based in or that benefit the greater Detroit area. However, it makes grants beyond Michigan.

LEEWAY FOUNDATION

The Leeway Foundation supports women and trans artists who create art for social change largely in the greater Philadelphia area.

LINDEMANN CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

The Lindemann Charitable Foundation II.’s grantmaking includes support for opera institutions.

REVA AND DAVID LOGAN FOUNDATION

The Reva and David Logan Foundation awards music grants to organizations across the country; however, it prioritizes Chicago-area organizations in this grantmaking priority.  

MACY'S

Some of Macy's giving for arts, including music, happens through the foundation, but much more is funded directly by the corporation.

MAURER FAMILY FOUNDATION

The Maurer Family Foundation provides financial assistance to those organizations and institutions whose goal is to enrich their communities and the lives of their patrons through programs of cultural value.

ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION

A major funder for the performing arts. Offers multi-year grants to leading symphonies and orchestras in music, and to top dance and theater organizations. 

MICHELIN CORPORATE FOUNDATION

The Michelin Corporate Foundation supports a wide range of arts organizations around the world.

MID-AMERICA ARTS ALLIANCE

The Mid-America Alliance makes grants to individual artists and arts organizations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

MID ATLANTIC ARTS FOUNDATION

Music performance, engagement, and legacy are among this funder’s priorities—especially jazz—primarily through its support of presenting organizations.

MINNESOTA STATE ARTS BOARD

Minnesota State Arts Board supports arts projects and organizations within the state.

MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION

The Mississippi Arts Commission supports artists and arts organizations working in the state.

MISSOURI ARTS COUNCIL

The Missouri Arts Council broadly supports arts projects within the state.

NAMM FOUNDATION

The NAMM Foundation makes grants to help promote and strengthen the music products industry. It hosts the popular trade convention, NAMM Show.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

NEA is an iconic and independent government organization that funds art projects that celebrate American musical excellence.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

NEH is an independent government organization that funds projects to promote research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.

OPEN MEADOWS FOUNDATION

Open Meadows music grants support women and girls leading and benefitting from projects that address activism and social justice.

MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS FOUNDATION

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation makes grants to musical programs in schools. The foundation also donates musical instruments to schools in need. Mr. Holland’s Opus does not award grants for individual music lessons, events, concerts or festivals.

MUSIC DRIVES US

Music Drives Us grantmaking funds music education, preservation and awareness. The foundation likes to support education and awareness programs that focus on young children.

NEW ENGLAND FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS

Supports presenting organizations throughout its region that showcase musicians from the U.S. and beyond. The foundation encourages these organizations to seek new and interesting musicians to bring into their communities.

NEW MUSIC USA

New Music USA supports composers, ensembles, live music for dance orchestras, and much more.

NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL

The North Carolina Arts Council supports artists and arts organizations working in the state.

OPERA FOUNDATION

The Opera Foundation supports young American opera singers by sending them to study with select European opera companies. It supports four scholarships each year.

PAUL R. JUDY CENTER FOR APPLIED RESEARCH

Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research funds innovative ensembles that explore new models of operation.

PEW CENTER FOR ARTS AND HERITAGE

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage awards grants exclusively to organizations and individuals in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region. It supports artists and organizations with ambitious, imaginative projects.

PRUDENTIAL FOUNDATION

The Prudential Foundation awards its music grants through its arts and civic infrastructure program.

PUFFIN FOUNDATION

The Puffin Foundation supports a wide range of musicians and musical works. It does not impose restrictions on its grants based on genre, musical form or style.

ROCHE

Roche awards grants to organizations that encourage interactions with contemporary music and art.

SUSAN AND ELIHU ROSE FOUNDATION

The Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation's grantmaking includes funding New York City musical and performing arts institutions. 

SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION

The San Francisco Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the nation; it funds a broad range of equity-focused nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area.

HOWARD AND SARAH D. SOLOMON FOUNDATION

The Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation primarily funds grantmaking related to the performing arts, particularly opera.

SOUTH ARTS FUND

The South Arts Fund supports organizations that present touring artists from out of state, with an eye toward enriching the economic, social, cultural, and educational vitality of the South. The fund connects the arts to key state and national policies and advances excellence in the arts.

SOUTHEASTERN MINNESOTA ARTS COUNCIL

The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council supports artists and arts development in the region. Its grantmaking encompasses dance, literary arts, theatre, music, and the visual arts.

SPARKPLUG FOUNDATION

 The Sparkplug Foundation funds music development and projects that “launch new voices and ideas.”

SPREADMUSICNOW

SpreadMusicNow supports nonprofit organizations that expand access to music education, build awareness and support for music and arts education, and strengthen the nonprofit and music educations sectors.

SPRINT FOUNDATION

Sprint's music grants typically fund smaller organizations; however, it still supports organizations from across the United States. 

FLORA L. THORNTON FOUNDATION

The Flora L. Thornton Foundation typically funds music projects and organizations operating in large metropolitan areas across the United States.

ROBERT L. TURNER CHARITABLE TRUST

The Robert L. Turner Charitable Trust primarily funds the arts, particularly music and the opera, health, and human services.

UNION PACIFIC FOUNDATION

This funder emphasizes the arts and funding for music—particularly performance.

UNITED STATES ARTISTS

United States Artists gives unrestricted $50,000 grants directly to creative artists each year. Support for music is a significant part of this giving, but competition is stiff. 

U.S. BANCORP FOUNDATION

This is a significant grantor of music organizations, particularly performance groups, in 25 states. It gives grants through its arts and culture program, viewing this support as part of a larger context of community development and uplift. 

KURT WEILL FOUNDATION FOR MUSIC

Supports performance, scholarship and professional development related to the work and lives of Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya and Marc Blitzstein.

WELLS FARGO FOUNDATION

The foundation gives grants in 44 states, and arts and culture are high on the grantmaking agenda, with a strong emphasis on music.

WESTERN STATES ARTS FEDERATION

Grants primarily fund presenting organizations, and those must be in the West. But the artists who perform can hail from anywhere in the country—and music is at the forefront.

WYOMING ARTS COUNCIL

The Wyoming Arts Council supports music projects within the state.

BILL AND ANN ZIFF FOUNDATION

The Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation focuses its grantmaking in opera, symphonies, and music education and advocacy. Most of its giving is in New York.

Other Notable Funders

Many foundations focus their grantmaking in specific state or local areas that receive less funding from national grantmakers or have particularly active music grantmaking within a given area:

California

James Irvine Foundation –This foundation is one of the largest arts funders in California. Once focusing specifically on the Bay Area, the Irvine Foundation has spread its grantmaking to include all of California.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation awards grants to performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area and that focus is huge.

San Francisco Foundation: The foundation's Arts and Culture program focuses on small and mid-sized organizations with annual operating budgets of between $100,000 and $2 million located in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco or San Mateo Counties.

Colburn Foundation: Focusing on Southern California, Colburn emphasizes opera, chamber orchestras and symphonies. Give the grant application guidelines a peek if you live in Southern California.

New York

Bloomberg Philanthropies: Bloomberg Philanthropies awards millions to arts organizations in New York City every year.

New York Community Trust: The New York Community trust awards arts grants across all disciplines to mid-sized organizations. The trust accepts grant applications anytime, but only reviews them five times per year.

New Jersey

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation: Gives grants for operating costs and education programs to organizations either based in New Jersey or that contribute significantly to its local arts community.

Oregon

James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation: This foundation awards around $3 million in performing arts grants in Oregon each year. Take a look at the foundation's application guidelines for more grantmaking information.

Pennsylvania

Heinz Endowment: The Heinz Foundation awards performance art grants to organizations in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

William Penn Foundation: This organization focuses mostly on the greater Philly area, and its music grants are all made through its Creative Communities program.

Texas

Amon G. Carter Foundation: The Amon G. Carter Foundation focuses on symphonies, orchestras and few boys choirs. It certainly wouldn't hurt to check out its grants policies.

Houston Endowment: Awarding nearly $15 million in arts and culture grants, the Houston Endowment is worth looking into if you live in the area.