Ameriprise Financial: Grants for Music

OVERVIEW: Ameriprise Financial is committed to grantmaking that creates “positive change” in the communities across the U.S. This includes not only meeting “basic needs” but also supporting “community vitality.”

IP TAKE: Ameriprise Financial’s philanthropic giving focuses on opportunities to support and improve U.S. communities. Performing arts funding, including that for music, is a well-regarded aspect of this giving because of the importance the corporation places on cultural enrichment.

PROFILE: Ameriprise Financial, the U.S. financial services company, steers its philanthropic giving in a manner similar to many other corporate entities: It seeks to give back to the communities in which it operates, or as it states on its website, “where we live and work.”

First, some geographic logistics that flow right out of that sentiment: If you’re looking for a grant from Ameriprise Financial, your best bet is to be creating music experiences within 30 miles of Boston, Chicago, Green Bay (WI), Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland (OR), or Providence (RI). If you’re not in one of those geographic zones, it doesn’t exclude you (see some recent theater grants below), but it does make it all the more critical to make sure you’re hitting the bullseye with Ameriprise Financial’s arts-giving mission.

What makes Ameriprise Financial a happy funder for arts organizations is that this is a corporation that views the arts as an integral aspect of bettering a community.

Ameriprise Financial has two principle areas of focus for that community betterment: Meeting Basic Needs and Supporting Community Vitality. It further breaks down Community Vitality into two program areas: Community Development and Cultural Enrichment. Within Cultural Enrichment—which, of course, is where music resides—Ameriprise Financial prioritizes:

  • Arts education
  • Access for underserved populations
  • “Diverse artists and performances that spark topical community conversations.”

Why do we lay all of that out for you here? Because it’s essential to understand the reasons that Ameriprise Financial values music—and therefore how you can best communicate how Ameriprise Financial should value your music program.

One recent music grant went to the Shrevport Opera to bring interactive opera programming into children’s hospitals, community centers and schools across Louisiana, Mississippi, eastern Texas and southern Arkansas.

Other music programs receiving Ameriprise Financial grants in 2013-2014 include The Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), MacPhail Center for Music (Minneapolis), Minnesota Opera Company (Minneapolis), Minnesota Orchestral Association (Minneapolis), the National Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorale of Montgomery County (MD), the Portland Youth Philharmonic Association (OR), and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (MN).

An extra word about audience engagement, which is critical to the music performance community already. Ameriprise Financial says that if you’re actively engaging its employees, you’re better-positioned to receive Ameriprise Financial Funding: 

Whether it’s serving on a nonprofit board, engaging friends, clients and community members in volunteering or providing skills-based support, our relationships with nonprofits go deep. For this reason, we give priority across all focus areas to applications where there is active volunteer engagement of Ameriprise advisors and employees.

So give Ameriprise Financial employees comp tickets to your next music experience in order to introduce yourself, and put its grant application deadlines on your calendar: mid-January and mid-May of each year.

PEOPLE:

  • Deidre D. McGraw, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Corporate Communication and Community Relations.

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