School during the pandemic has taken many paths that no one could have foreseen.
The last year has been a learn-as-you-go experiment as teachers and students embraced online and remote learning. As administrators grapple with how and when to resume in-person classes, educators must make plans for the future of their music programs. Music and the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education as defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and music teachers must be proactive, especially when it comes to getting grant funds for your program.
You know better than anyone what your program needs. After you have prioritized your needs, gather the necessary data and put together a compelling story – this will be the framework for all of your grant applications.
Remember, you are not alone. Music educators are a close-knit group willing to help each other — reach out to them as well as to your administrators for advice. Even if your district has a specialist who handles grants, it’s good to research the many grants that are out there because you don’t want to miss an opportunity to get funding for your program.
Title IV-A Funds
Currently, the largest source of grants for music programs is Title IV-A funds, which are part of ESSA. These funds are available annually for program expansions. To learn more about Title IV-A, read our blog post, Access Title IV Funds and Build a Stronger Music Program.
Other blog posts about ESSA and Title IV-A funds:
New COVID Relief Bill
The new coronavirus relief bill that was signed into law in December 2020 extends or modifies many of the provisions from the CARES Act that passed in March. Also included in the new relief package is additional funding for K-12 education -- read about it in the Update to CARES Act Funding for Your Program blog post.
Below are other resources that we have gathered to help you. We know that navigating the legalese and juggling application forms and deadlines can be overwhelming, but the effort is worth it!
- Follow the Example of Other Educators:
- In the blog post, Grant Writing: A 3-Step Game Plan, learn how the Sioux City Community School District in Iowa used data and story-telling to successfully get funding.
- See what steps a music educator in Washington state takes to seek financial support for his music program in Finding Funding.
- It’s always good for your music program to have a sound and realistic budget. Read our tips in Budget for Success.
- Search for Grants:
- Duke University Research Funding — Duke’s Office of Research Support’s online database of funding opportunities.
- Grant Gopher — “your underground connection” to grants for schools, nonprofits and municipalities, you can sign up for a Lite (free) or Pro (fee required) account.
- Foundation Directory Online — get funding using the Foundation Center’s database and fundraising expertise. Sign up for an Essential or Professional account (fee required for both).
- Grants.gov — search for available federal grants. Also has resources to learn about grants.
- Grants4Teachers — a free grant database; just select your educational institution and the subject/category.
- GrantsAlert.com — find current funding opportunities for your school, district or community. Also has resources for grant writers.
- NOZA Search — a searchable database of foundation grants (you can search for free) and individual/corporate giving (monthly or annual fee required).
- Corporate and Private Foundations and Federal Agencies that Offer Grants, Donations and Support:
- ASCAP Foundation — provides a variety of outreach programs, scholarships and talent development to support schools, students, teachers and music creators.
- DonorsChoose.Org — fulfills “classroom project” requests by partnering educators with donors. Individuals, companies and corporations can search which projects to support.
- Give a Note Foundation — offers year-round grants called Music Teacher Notes designed to support music programs.
- GuideStar — learn about the nonprofit organizations that are offering grants.
- Kids in Need Foundation — through its SupplyATeacher program, provides classroom supplies.
- Kinder Morgan Foundation — this energy company donates more than $1 million each year to youth programs in science, math and music in cities and towns where Kinder Morgan operates.
- The Mockingbird Foundation — provides competitive, emergency-related and tour-related grants for music education for children.
- Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation — donates musical instruments to underfunded programs, giving disadvantaged youth access to the benefits of music education.
- MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Foundation Fund — offers grants for program development, community engagement and teacher enrichment. Also available are collegiate enrichment grants and collegiate travel stipends to MTNA events
- National Endowment for the Arts — supports arts learning, celebrates America’s rich cultural heritage and promotes equal access to the arts through grants.
- National Endowment for the Humanities — promotes teaching and learning in schools and colleges, strengthens the base of the humanities, and preserves and provides access to cultural and educational resources through grants.
- NEA (National Education Association) Foundation — founded by educators for educators, the NEA offers funding and resources to public school educators, schools and districts.
- Save the Music Foundation — donates instruments, music technology and other equipment. Also supports teachers and advocates for music education at the local, state and national levels.
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