Music Grants for Nonprofits
Music Grants for Nonprofits in the United States
Looking to find the best music grants for nonprofits to keep supporting the arts? Keep scrolling to find a list of music grants for nonprofits as well as music education grants for nonprofits. Grant funding can be a great way to sustain arts programming.
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Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Note: While we’re open to new ideas and projects, funding for unsolicited requests is very limited.
Education - Advancing Afterschool
We work to increase access to quality educational opportunities for all children — particularly those from low-income families and underserved communities.
Preparing a child for the future doesn’t end when the school bell rings.
How it Works
The hours before and after school — and during the summer months — provide opportunities for children and youth to engage in learning, and the space for the kinds of activities that encourage curiosity, creativity and confidence.
Students who attend afterschool and summer programs are better prepared for work and life. They attend school more, make gains in reading and math, improve their grades and have higher graduation rates. And they develop positive social skills and improve their behavior during the school day.
Our interest in afterschool and summer learning programs spans 85 years of support, from the early development of community schools through our partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. Now serving more than 1.7 million children and youth at 11,000 sites across the country, these local programs provide a wealth of practical information and data on the impact of and need for afterschool and summer learning opportunities.
Mott is dedicated to making afterschool and summer learning programs available for every child and family who needs them. Through our support of afterschool networks in all 50 states, as well as key national education organizations, our grantmaking helps to inform policies, develop partnerships and shape practices that will sustain and increase the quality of local programs across the U.S.
Currently, our grantmaking focuses on three areas:
Building an Afterschool Infrastructure
Our grants support a national infrastructure of organizations dedicated to increasing the quality of afterschool programs for children, youth and families.
We make grants to:
- organizations helping to strengthen the capacity of 50 statewide afterschool networks through technical assistance that will improve program quality and data collection practices; and
- nonprofit groups supporting the sharing of best practices, research and communication strategies throughout the network.
Fostering Afterschool Policy
Our funding supports efforts to inform the development of effective policies and partnerships to increase quality afterschool programs for children, youth and families.
We make grants to:
- national nonprofit groups that work to inform state, federal and local policies to increase access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs; and
- organizations that support strategic communications aimed at improving access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs at the local, state and national levels
Improving Afterschool Quality & Innovation
Our grantmaking advances research and exemplary models that increase student engagement in learning and prepare students for college and career. We make grants to:
- organizations conducting research to identify the impact of quality afterschool programs on children, youth and families;
- national nonprofit groups with expertise in research-based practices that include: digital media and learning; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); music and the arts; and service learning; and
- organizations supporting initiatives to test and expand research-based models/approaches in education and afterschool.
Entergy Charitable Foundation
Entergy’s Open Grants Program focuses on improving communities as a whole. We look for giving opportunities in the areas of arts and culture, education and workforce development, poverty solutions and social services, healthy families, and community improvement.
Arts and Culture
The arts are expressions of ourselves – our heritage, feelings and ideas. To cultivate that, we support a diverse range of locally based visual arts, theater, dance and music institutions. Our long-term goal is to increase the access to contemporary art for a wider public, including children and the financially disadvantaged.Community Improvement/EnrichmentEntergy supports community-based projects that focus community enrichment and improvement. A few examples include civic affairs, blighted housing improvements, and neighborhood safety. By giving to communities in this way, we actually help them become more self-sufficient.Healthy FamiliesChildren need a good start to grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults. With that in mind, we give to programs that have a direct impact on children educationally and emotionally. We’re also interested in family programs, like those that better prepare parents to balance the demands of work and home. The amount and nature of an organization’s request will determine which type of grant the organization would need to apply for.
Laird Norton Family Foundation
Note: If you have thoroughly reviewed the Foundation’s priorities and grantmaking activity on the website and you believe your organization is a good match for our mission, you can fill out an information form here. Please be aware that the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or formal letters of inquiry and rarely makes grants to organizations that we first learn about through the information form—so we urge you to carefully review your fit with our organization’s priorities before investing time in filling out our information form. Full applications may be submitted by invitation only.
Laird Norton Family Foundation
The Laird Norton Family Foundation (LNFF) is a private family foundation in Seattle, Washington, with a mission to 1) honor and reflect the family’s shared values through giving and 2) engage the family in philanthropy as a platform for strengthening family connections.
The Laird Norton Family
The Laird and Norton families, related to each other from their pioneer origins in Pennsylvania, settled in Winona, Minnesota, in the mid-1850s. There, William Harris Laird and his cousins, Matthew G. Norton and James Laird Norton, formed the Laird Norton Company.
The pioneer logging and lumberyard operation was the first of several family-owned companies, first in the Midwest, later in the Pacific Northwest, and finally all over the West, including Alaska. Today, Laird Norton Company, LLC is still a privately owned and operated family business, committed to contributing value to its family and community.
A seventh-generation family, the Laird Norton family now includes approximately 500 living family members. Family members live throughout the world and occupy a wide array of professions. We come together every year to share skills and interests, and strengthen our connection to each other and our shared history.
Arts in Education
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Arts in Education program is to increase arts education and to improve pre-K through grade 12 student learning through the arts. Funding will be directed toward programs that seek to enhance students’ educational outcomes rather than to simply increase participation in, or appreciation for, the arts.
The Arts in Education program will consider funding programs that:
Why Take This Approach?
There is clear evidence to suggest that arts-integrated curricula and/or arts-rich environments are beneficial to student learning. Although we value the arts as a stand-alone experience, programs are most successful when:
- They have the support of an entire district and in-school leadership
- Teacher professional development is included in the program
- Partnerships with high-quality arts organizations are created and nourished
- Arts lessons are aligned with other student learning goals, and
- Student progress is effectively monitored
With the above lessons in mind, we have established the following guiding principles.
- K-12 public schools (or pre-K programs that receive public funding) must already have traction in arts programs (i.e. some arts education has already been established in the school, policies are in place to support arts in education, principals want a more robust arts program, and schools have support from parent groups (PTAs) to strengthen their arts programs).
- Programs must focus on positively impacting students’ learning.
- Programs must focus on students “doing” art, as opposed to observing art. Programs should enhance comprehensive, sequential delivery of arts instruction and can include all arts: performing, music, visual, theater, literary (poetry & writing), folk, media, and emerging art fields.
- Applicants should be able to demonstrate their program has been designed and is managed with an understanding of cultural competencies appropriate to their student demographic.
Goals and Strategies
Climate change poses a significant global threat, one which we are addressing by striving to ensure an equitable, resilient, habitable, and enjoyable world for current and future generations. While our work is focused on climate change, we believe in the value of ecosystems services and in the stability and resiliency of healthy natural systems. We also believe it is essential that the cost of externalities be incorporated into lifestyle, policy, and business considerations.
As a small funder addressing an enormous issue, we aim to make grants that offer potential for leverage and scalability — as well as “opportunistic” grants where our ability to move quickly may positively impact a project’s outcome. We are particularly interested in policy and research work, demonstration projects, and finding ways to address critical gaps. We are also interested in expanding our own learning (we are not experts, nor do we aspire to be).
Why Take This Approach?
We believe in persistence and prefer to invest in ongoing work with a long-term focus. Although our grants operate on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and prefer to support organizations and projects that take a long-term view and can demonstrate progress toward goals each year. We are also interested in projects that have the potential to be self-sustaining in the long run.
Currently, our grantmaking is focused on efforts to hasten the demise of coal, and on work that increases the abilities of the forests, agricultural lands, and estuaries of the Pacific Northwest to sequester carbon. We are looking to support leverageable, measurable work focused on:
- Regenerative biological systems that influence the carbon cycle (“biocarbon”)
- Reducing dependency on fossil fuels, and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Human Services program is to support, empower, uplift, and create opportunities for long-term success and a brighter future for unaccompanied youth and young adults (age 12-24) who are in crisis, have experienced trauma, or are aging out of the foster care system. We want to support these youth and young adults in their journey from surviving to thriving.
We will consider funding organizations or programs that provide support for youth/young adults suffering from trauma, mental illness, or addiction, with priority given to homeless youth and those impacted by the foster care system. While the full spectrum of services for youth in crisis is essential, we expect to do the bulk of our grantmaking in two areas:
Why Take This Approach?
We believe treatment and support for mental health issues and trauma can help prevent homelessness and addiction later in life. We also believe supporting youth/young adults as they transition out of foster care and into independent living increases their odds for a positive future.
Organizations must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered:
- Have leaders and/or staff that are representative of the community they serve. We believe that the best programs will have mentors and leaders that truly understand and can identify with those they serve (e.g., staff that have been homeless or in foster care or are open about their own mental health, trauma, or addiction struggles). We value organizations or programs that emphasize connection to and even emanate from the communities they seek to serve; those that embrace the mantra "nothing about us without us” in all aspects of their work.
- Organizations or programs that include or connect to wrap-around services for youth/young adults. For example: organizations that identify and connect youth to community resources, offer job/skills training and/or provide case management. We value organizations that partner with others in the community to ensure all of a young person’s needs are met.
Goals and Strategies
The Laird Norton family continually promotes the advancement of intellectual growth, business experience, and philanthropic focus in order to ensure the excellence of its youngest generations. Through the Sapling Fund, young Laird Norton family members (ages 14–21) come together to learn about grantmaking, the nonprofit sector, and family philanthropy. The Sapling Fund provides young family members a chance to identify and support causes that resonate with them, and endows future family leaders with a sense of fiscal and social responsibility.
Sapling Fund grants are guided by a “for kids, from kids” philosophy. Grants support programs and organizations that cater specifically to youth and specific priorities change each year as new cohorts of Sapling members collectively identify shared priorities for the year’s grantmaking.
Why Take This Approach?
Sapling Fund committee members gain valuable experience by organizing an annual campaign to raise money for their grantmaking activities through contributions from Laird Norton family members. The annual budget supports three to five grant awards each year and an all-family service project organized by members of the committee.
Goals and Strategies
Watersheds have social, ecological, and economic significance. The goal of the Watershed Stewardship program is to create enabling conditions for long-term social and ecological health and resilience in places of importance to the Laird Norton Family.
We take a long-term view on healthy watersheds and invest in organizational capacity with an eye to future resilience. We encourage our partners to focus not on single-species recovery or restoration to historical conditions as a primary end-goal, but to also consider the potential value of significantly altered — but functioning — ecosystems as we continue to face the impacts of climate change and other natural and human-caused changes into the future.
We seek to add value not just by making financial investments in organizations advancing place-based ecological and social outcomes, but also by building relationships in watershed communities, spending time listening and gaining experience in the watersheds in which we invest, and fostering partnerships, convenings, and additional investment from other funders.
Why Take This Approach?
We believe the wellbeing of the people who live in a place must be considered alongside ecological goals; understanding the diverse interests and values of a watershed’s human inhabitants is an important component of long-term success.
Organizations or programs we partner with should:
- Possess the organizational capacity and skills to be well-positioned to secure much more significant funding for projects than we would ever be able to provide.
- Be open to the Foundation removing barriers to entry for public funding and get projects to a shovel ready position.
- Provide us with opportunities to invest in their abilities to develop strong governance structures, collaborate, mediate, facilitate, tackle sticky challenges, get paperwork in order, maintain momentum on big projects, and otherwise lay the groundwork for success.
While we don’t specifically commit to a set term of investment in any watershed, we believe that investing in a place long enough to really understand the work is important, and we believe that sustained and flexible funding enables greater long-term success for our partners. Although we make grants on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and hold a long-term view on the work being done in the watersheds we prioritize, but we do move on when we no longer have a necessary role to play.
Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation
Clarence E. Heller established the foundation in 1982 to support nonprofit initiatives consistent with the broad philanthropic purposes he pursued during his lifetime. The original trustees of the foundation were Clarence Heller, his brother Alfred Heller, and his sister Elizabeth H. Mandell.
After Clarence Heller’s death in 1988, the founding trustees continued to incorporate his interests in the establishment of basic funding priorities for the foundation. With expanded board representation from the Heller and Mandell families, and the hiring of a staff, the foundation began full-time operation in November of 1990.
Since that time, the foundation has attempted to create a grantmaking program combining the focus necessary to have an impact, with the flexibility needed to address new issues as they arise.
The foundation’s interests include programs making valuable contributions in the following fields:
- Environment and Health
Environment and Health Program Priorities
To promote the long-term good health and viability of communities and regions:
- by supporting programs to prevent harm to human health from toxic substances and other environmental hazards;
- by encouraging planning and development at the regional level, aimed at integrating economic and social goals with sound environmental policies; and
- by supporting initiatives for sustainability in agriculture and food systems.
Music Program Priorities
To encourage the playing, enjoyment and accessibility of symphonic and chamber music:
- by providing scholarship and program assistance at selected community music centers, schools and institutes; and
- by helping community-based ensembles of demonstrated quality implement artistic initiatives, diversify and increase audiences, and improve fund-raising capacity.
Education Program Priorities
To provide environmental and arts education opportunities to children and youth:
- by supporting programs for educators and artists to improve and apply their teaching skills in these subjects; and
- by supporting efforts to advance environmental and arts education programs.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
OUR TOWN: Grant Program Description
- Bring new attention to or elevate key community assets and issues, voices of residents, local history, or cultural infrastructure.
- Inject new or additional energy, resources, activity, people, or enthusiasm into a place, community issue, or local economy.
- Envision new possibilities for a community or place - a new future, a new way of overcoming a challenge, or approaching problem-solving.
- Connect communities, people, places, and economic opportunity via physical spaces or new relationships.
The National Endowment for the Arts plans to support a variety of projects across the country in urban, rural, and tribal communities of all sizes.
Our Town projects must integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Projects may include activities such as:
Artist residency: A program designed to strategically connect artists with the opportunity to bring their creative skill sets to non-arts institutions, including residencies in government offices, businesses, or other institutions.
Arts festivals: Public events that gather people, often in public space or otherwise unexpected places, to showcase talent and exchange culture.
Community co-creation of art: The process of engaging stakeholders to participate or collaborate alongside artists/designers in conceiving, designing, or fabricating a work or works of art.
Performances: Presentations of a live art work (e.g., music, theater, dance, media).
Public art: A work of art that is conceived for a particular place or community, with the intention of being broadly accessible, and often involving community members in the process of developing, selecting, or executing the work.
Temporary public art: A work of art that is conceived for a particular place or community and meant for display over a finite period of time, with the intention of being broadly accessible and often involving community members in developing, selecting, or executing the work.
Cultural planning: The process of identifying and leveraging a community's cultural resources and decision-making (e.g., creating a cultural plan, or integrating plans and policies around arts and culture as part of a city master planning process).
Cultural district planning: The process of convening stakeholders to identify a specific geography with unique potential for community and/or economic development based on cultural assets (e.g., through designation, branding, policy, plans, or other means).
Creative asset mapping: The process of identifying the people, places, physical infrastructure, institutions, and customs that hold meaningful aesthetics, historical, and/or economic value that make a place unique.
Public art planning: The process of developing community-wide strategies and/or policies that guide and support commissioning, installing, and maintaining works of public art and/or temporary public art.
Artist/designer-facilitated community planning: Artists/designers leading or partnering in the creative processes of visioning, and for solutions to community issues.
Design of artist space: Design processes to support the creation of dedicated spaces for artists to live and/or to produce, exhibit, or sell their work.
Design of cultural facilities: Design processes to support the creation of a dedicated building or space for creating and/or showcasing arts and culture.
Public space design: The process of designing elements of public infrastructure, or spaces where people congregate (e.g., parks, plazas, landscapes, neighborhoods, districts, infrastructure, and artist-produced elements of streetscapes).
Artist and Creative Industry Support
Creative business development: Programs or services that support entrepreneurs and businesses in the creative industries, or help cultivate strong infrastructure for establishing and developing creative businesses.
Professional artist development: Programs or services that support artists professionally, such as through skill development or accessing markets and capital.
Through Our Town projects, the National Endowment for the Arts Endowment intends to achieve the following objective: Strengthening Communities: Provide opportunities for the arts to be integrated into the fabric of community life.
Our Town project outcomes may include:
Economic Change: Economic improvements of individuals, institutions, or the community including local business growth, job creation/labor force participation, professional development/training, prevention of displacement, in-migration, and tourism.
Physical Change: Physical improvements that occur to the built and natural environment including beautification and/or enhancement of physical environment, new construction, and redevelopment (including arts, culture, and public space).
Social Change: Improvements to social relationships, civic engagement and community empowerment, and/or amplifying community identity including civic engagement, collective efficacy, social capital, social cohesion, and community attachment.
Systems Change: Improvements to community capacity to sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes including, for example: establishment of new and lasting cross-sector partnerships; shifts in institutional structure, practices or policies; replication or scaling of innovative project models; establishment of training programs; or dissemination of informational resources to support the creative placemaking field.
Monat Gratitude Agency
Join MONAT Gratitude’s effort to invest in important educational resources that support the arts, music, entrepreneurship, and athletics in our communities around the world. Together, we’re changing lives! We believe in strengthening and investing in the nonprofits that are already part of our Market Partners’ lives and communities.
Gratitude Grants Program
MONAT Gratitude is committed to ensuring children, families, and communities—regardless of race, nationality, or income—have the opportunity to thrive. Through MONAT Gratitude Grants, eligible registered nonprofit organizations working to enhance and enrich educational resources in the areas targeted by our pledge will have the opportunity to apply for grants to support their programs and services. Areas of interest are: arts and culture, youth sports and recreation, and youth entrepreneurship
- ARTS AND CULTURE
- Support music and arts education programs for children in grades K–12.
- YOUTH SPORTS AND RECREATION
- Support youth sports programs in grades K–12 that inspire engagement and positively impact children in underserved communities.
- YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- Support programs focused on providing opportunities for youth to explore entrepreneurship opportunities in K–12 after-school program
MONAT Gratitude provides single-year financial support grants ranging from $5,000 USD up to 20,000 USD per grantee.
Grants are reviewed three times a year; dates are subject to change and will be announced via email, website updates, and social media.