Baltimore Symphony Music Director Marin Alsop coaches students in the BSO OrchKids program

Conductor Marin Alsop coaches OrchKids students

“Some of your most gratifying musical experiences will be those that serve the greater good.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 299

Whether we’re looking to raise money to support the likes of concert tours, local performances, or music education programs such as OrchKids, it can be challenging to identify funders and write effective grant proposals.

The following resources help grantseekers do both.
[Updated February 2020]

Resources to Find Grants & Learn Grant Writing Skills

For grant writing tips, explore the Knowledge Base. There you’ll find a wealth of tutorials and examples.

  • If you haven’t yet pinpointed your goals and financial needs, consider referring to the Introduction to Business Plans from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

The Foundation Center offers free and low-cost resources, too. For subscribers, it provides searchable databases with in-depth information about funders. Note that many libraries provide free access to Foundation Center resources.

The Grantsmanship Center features a free online Index of Funding Sources that supplies information about local, national, and international grantors.

Among local funders, community foundations often support arts and education projects as well advanced study, and the Council on Foundations in the U.S. publishes a helpful online Community Foundations Locator.

The Michigan State University Library has put together a valuable list of grant & grantwriting resources suited to diverse fields. Another free online directory of grant programs is the New York Foundation for the Arts Source, which compiles, “over 12,000 awards, services and publications for individual artists and art professionals.”

Guidestar offers a potent tool for discovering and learning about US nonprofit organizations, especially their financial statement known as the Form 990.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) publishes a list of regional and state arts agencies in the U.S., most of which fund touring, arts-in-education programs, and so forth. For non-profit institutions (not individuals), there are numerous NEA-sponsored grant programs.

  • To discover funding available from U.S. federal government entities, visit Both domestic and overseas projects can receive support.

Many professional associations operate grant programs for their members, so it’s worth investigating the offerings from organizations in your specialty. For example:

  • Chamber Music America sponsors grants in Jazz and Classical genres that help pay for commissioning, presenting, and more.
  • New Music USA oversees a number of innovative grant programs, many of them for composers.

The Musician's Way book coverLastly, for crowdfunding tips and resources, see the Music Careers page at

To learn about new funding opportunities as they arise, subscribe to The Musician’s Way Newsletter. Need additional help to fund your projects? Contact me to discuss possible consulting.

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© 2012 Gerald Klickstein
Updated Feb. 2020