OVERVIEW: The Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation supports programs that involve musical entertainment, concerts, and recitals "appropriate for the education and instruction of the public in the musical arts." Special consideration is given to traditional classical music programs and educational programs that aid organizations in their efforts to present classical music to the public.
IP TAKE: The Bergen Foundation focuses on grants to organizations in the New York and New Jersey areas and strongly favor those that deal with classical music forms.
PROFILE: The Bergen Foundation provides funding to organizations that support musical performing arts and musical education programs, preferably in traditional classical music forms. Preference is given to programs that "arrange for musical entertainment, concerts, and recitals appropriate for the education and instruction of the public in the musical arts."
Predominant consideration is given to programs that deal with traditional classical music programs. They also seek to "aid worthy students of music to secure complete and adequate musical education" and support organizations that are presenting "fine music to the public, provided that such organizations are operated exclusively for educational purposes." There are no geographic limitations, but grants go primarily to organizations and individuals in New York and New Jersey.
They distribute around 26 per year, with most individual grants averaging between $5,000 and $20,000. Some past grant recipients include the Newark Boys Chorus School, which received $30,000, the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, which received $11,000, the All Season's Chamber Players, which received $5,000, and the Discovery Orchestra, which was awarded $20,000. Occasionally amounts can go as high as $70,000, but only in special cases.
All of the Bergen Foundation's grants are administered through Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services and applications can be done online. Applications are accepted year-round and there are no set deadlines; however, applications must be submitted by mid-July in order to be reviewed at the September grant meeting. All organizations submitting an application must be recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization. They also do require that all grantees submit a progress report within six months after receiving funds.
- Beth Renner, National Director for Philanthropic Services at Wells Fargo