The Program's Objective
To support non-profit organizations that have a history of substantial commitment to contemporary American music.
Applications may be submitted by non-profit organizations that have a history of substantial commitment to contemporary American music but whose needs are not addressed by the Fund's programs of support for performing and presenting organizations and recording projects, such as music service organizations, education/residency organizations, library/archive organizations, and radio/TV organizations. Projects that are part of the curriculum of an educational institution are not eligible for support. Professional performance organizations or presenters may apply for special training activities outside of their normal performance activities. Presenters and Festivals seeking support for their normal performance activity should apply to the Performance Program. All applicant organizations must have been in existence for at least two years at the time of application. Organizations that are otherwise involved with performances, must have presented two full seasons prior to the season for which support is requested. If you have any further questions about your organization's eligibility, please see the FAQs.
Special note for festival applicants and other applications with educational activities: If the primary focus of the organization or project is educational activities, workshops, professional training, or career development, the applicant should apply to the Supplemental Program. If the primary focus of the organization or project is public professional performance of music, the applicant should apply to the Performance Program.
Applicants may request either general operating support or support for special projects. Please note that project support will be given only for a project that begins in the current season. Thus, for the 2020 grant round, support will be given only to projects that begin between September 2019 and August 2020. Multi-year projects will be considered if they begin in the current season, but projects that have already begun generally will not be eligible for support. Projects relating to a broad spectrum of American music will be viewed more favorably than those relating to a single work or to a single composer.
Applicants should be aware that support in one year does not imply continuation of that support.
The following criteria will be applied in evaluating grant proposals:
- Will granting the request tend to encourage and improve the public knowledge and appreciation of serious American contemporary music?
- What contributions has the organization made in the past and what contributions is it likely to make in the future?
- Is the organization responsibly and effectively managed?
- For organizations that are otherwise involved with performances: are the ensembles and repertoire being presented of outstanding artistic quality?
How to Apply
If your organization does not already have an account on our site:
You will need to create a new account. We will approve new accounts as quickly as possible, but please allow one business day for approval.
If your organization already has an account on our site:
Log in here. Then click on the "Start A New Application" button at the top of this page to begin the online application process. You may work on your proposal and save it as you go along. It is not necessary to complete the application in one session. You will need to supply the following information:
- Contact information
- A copy of the IRS determination letter confirming tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that the applicant is not a private foundation. If the applicant organization is not based in the United States, submit a letter from a lawyer confirming its equivalence to a publicly funded 501(c)(3) organization.
- Federal tax ID number
- 3-year financial snapshot
- Type of organization
- Mission of the organization
- If the applicant is a presenter or has otherwise been involved with performances, the number of concerts projected in the support year and performed each of the last two years
- Music service organizations applying for a project involving performance must apply as a presenter and must upload relevant music samples.
- Eligible applicant types: Music service organizations, education/residency organizations, library/archive organizations, and radio/TV organizations.
- Projects that are part of the curriculum of an educational institution are not eligible for support.
- Professional performance organizations or presenters may apply for special training activities outside of their normal performance activities.
- Presenters and Festivals seeking support for their normal performance activity should apply to the Performance Program.
- Indicate the amount and type of support (general operating or project support) requested, and purpose of the request.
- Indicate the time period for which support is being requested. This should include a starting date and an ending date.
- If project support is requested, please provide a description of the project, a breakdown of the project costs, and an itemized list of sources of income with the amount of support from each source.
- History of the organization listing all of the activities in which it has been engaged during the past two years and all activities in which it proposes to engage.
- Description of the constituencies or audiences that are served, including size, age groups, and geographic regions.
- If your organization is a radio or television station, submit samples of playlists as a part of your application in the "miscellaneous remarks" section of the proposal. The playlist should include the most recent three-month programming period. Contemporary American concert music should be highlighted in some way such as bold type. Do not provide music samples unless requested by the Fund's staff after you submit your application.
Musical Materials (only required for presenting organizations, or those that are otherwise involved with performances)
- Please submit recordings of three of the ensembles engaged to perform during the Support Year* performing contemporary American repertoire. All recordings must have been recorded within the two performance seasons immediately prior to the application date (i.e., for the 2020 round, within the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons). Each recording should be between 3 and 5 minutes in length (excerpts are acceptable).
- Recordings should be of live performances and not edited studio sessions unless no live recordings are available. Work samples should demonstrate the performance quality of the ensemble playing together in representative repertoire, rather than featuring extended soloistic passages.
- For each recording submitted, provide the title of the work, names of the composer and performer(s) and date of the performance.
- If the applicant is a presenter or has otherwise been involved with performances, a list of all performances and repertoire in the year for which support is being requested (the Support Year*) and the previous two years, including identification of the performing artists or organizations. This should amount to three consecutive years of information. Works by American composers should be indicated. Please include timings of works. Please do not submit this list in the form of season brochures.
- A list with award amounts of foundation, corporate, and government support for the Support Year* and the previous two years. This should amount to three consecutive years of support information. Please differentiate between actual and projected support.
- A list of members of the Board of Directors (or equivalent) and their principal affiliations.
- Organizational budgets for the Support Year* and the previous two years. This should amount to three consecutive years of financial information. Projections are acceptable for your Fiscal Year 2020 and, to the extent necessary, Fiscal Year 2019. Submit an actual budget for 2018. Download our required Excel budget template
- Also submit your most recent audited financial statement, if available. (Not every organization is required to have an audited financial statement; however, if your organization has one for any of the past three fiscal years, you are required to submit the latest one.)
*The Support Year will be your 2019-20 season, which in many cases will coincide with your fiscal year 2020. If your season and fiscal year do not coincide, please indicate this in the application. In any event, please submit support materials, as indicated above, for the Support Year and the two years immediately preceding the Support Year.
Please save your work often.
The deadline for applications for each calendar year is now 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 31. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions during or about the end of February of the following year. Please do not contact the Fund for information on funding decisions.
IMPORTANT: You are responsible for complying with all legal and contractual requirements that may apply to the creation of your materials. The Copland Fund hereby disclaims all legal responsibility in connection with your submissions. In case of questions, consult your legal advisor.
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section before contacting the Fund as most questions will be answered there. Individual questions can be answered only during office hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. New York time, Monday through Friday.
Updated September August 8, 2019