The IBMA Foundation is more than a charity. We’re a community of industry friends, musicians of all levels, and fans around the world whose lives have been touched by bluegrass music in such a positive way that we want to share it with the next generation.

Won’t you help us make the future of bluegrass music brighter?

Here’s how you can give:

PayPal/ Credit Card/ Bank Transfer

To make a donation via credit card or bank transfer donation, please click here to do so through PayPal.

Donations to The IBMA Foundation may also be made through the Benevity Corporate Giving Plan and the PayPal Giving Fund, as well as through the Community Foundation for Middle Tennessee.


Please send your check to the following address:

The IBMA Foundation, 1183 University Drive #105-215, Burlington, NC 27215,


There are many other ways to structure your gift. Click here for a summary. To discuss options for donating assets other than cash (e.g., appreciated securities, personal property such as instruments or collectibles, real estate, etc.) please contact executive director Nancy Cardwell at 615.260.4807 or by using the contact form here.

You can also designate the IBMA Foundation to receive .2% from your Amazon purchases. Here’s how.

You are welcome to make a donation to the IBMA Foundation that is undesignated—in other words, used where needed most. You can also designate a donation to a specific fund, scholarship, or program. Click here to learn more about our programs. Donations to the IBMA Foundation are fully deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law. The IBMA Foundation, Inc., is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity under Section 170(b)(1)(a)(vi), effective November 30, 2017. (Tax ID number 82-4785593).  Donate at: IBMA Foundation, 1183 University Drive, #105-215, Burlington, NC 27215. 

New policy for designated donations

We are delighted that people are finding so many creative ways to use the IBMA Foundation! In the last two years, the number of grant programs, scholarships, awards and instrument donations has mushroomed. We operate with a lean and efficient part-time staff—Nancy Cardwell, supplemented by volunteers—but it does cost the Foundation to manage its many programs. That’s why our board recently decided to assess specifically designated contributions of $1,000 or more a small amount (currently 10%) to cover operating expenses. This assessment is also applied to the annual distributions from specifically designated endowments. You can be assured that every penny you give supports the Foundation’s mission to foster the growth of bluegrass music. If you have questions, please contact Nancy at or 615.260.4807.

The Arnold Shultz Fund

To support increased participation by people of color in bluegrass.

$109,000 Donated

The Sally Ann Forrester Scholarship

To support increased participation by females in bluegrass.

$22,000 Donated

The IBMA Bluegrass Scholarship

For those pursuing a bluegrass music-related degree, or performing in a college ensemble.

$18,000 Donated

Since the beginning of the IBMA Foundation in 2007, over $300,000 has been awarded in scholarships and grants!

Please consider joining us. Let's build a brighter future for bluegrass!
View Our Annual Finance & Program ReportAudit (2020-2021)

Giving Levels & Options

Make a one-time gift or consider planned giving.

Giving Levels

  • Benefactor (lifetime gifts of $100,000+)
  • Angel ($10,000+)
  • Multi-Platinum ($5,000-$9,999)
  • Platinum ($1,000-$4,999)
  • Gold ($750-$999)
  • Silver ($500-$749)
  • Patron ($100-$499)
  • Friend ($1-99)

We offer the option of monthly and annual donations. And it’s even possible to double your contribution if your employer has a matching program. Your gift will be used as most needed, or you may designate it for a particular program, fund or scholarship.  Learn more about our recent and current programs here.


Consider joining those who have remembered the Foundation in their wills and estate plans. For more information about our Legacy Society, contact executive director Nancy Cardwell hereFor a list of our recent donors, click here.

Additional Ways to Give

We encourage you to consider the full menu of giving vehicles to realize your philanthropic goals. We can help you establish and make additions to an IBMA Foundation fund using both current and deferred gifts.

Current Gifts

Appreciated property (publicly traded stock, closely held stock, real estate)
Contributing stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate to your fund may provide you with an income tax deduction based on the fair market value of the gift and eliminate all capital gains taxes. This would allow you to make a substantially greater gift (typically between 45-70%) than otherwise would have been possible for the same out-of-pocket cost.

Tax-Free Donations from IRAs after age 72
In most years annual withdrawals from traditional retirement accounts are required after age 72, and the penalty for skipping a required minimum distribution is 50% of the amount that should have been withdrawn. If you’re inclined, you can avoid income tax on your required withdrawal by donating your money directly to a qualifying charity like the IBMA Foundation. Individuals may transfer up to $100,000 per year directly to eligible charities.

Bequests (Planned Gifts)

Numerous deferred gift options exist within the IBMA Foundation. For all gift plans we strongly encourage you to meet with your professional advisors prior to executing any gifts. The options are described below.

A bequest to the IBMA Foundation is as simple as adding a codicil to your will. This is the most common planned gift, and it may provide you with valuable estate tax savings. Bequests can be in the form of a stated dollar amount or specific property, a percentage of the estate, or a portion or all of the residue. The following language may be appropriate for a bequest: “I give and bequeath_________ percent of my adjusted gross estate (as that term is defined in the federal estate tax laws) to the IBMA Foundation, Inc., subject to its governing instruments, policies and procedures, as amended from time to time.”

Life Insurance
One of the simplest ways to make a significant contribution is to give a life insurance policy. You may do this in a number of ways. You may give a policy no longer needed, take out a new policy, or name the IBMA Foundation a beneficiary of an existing policy. A gift of life insurance may provide valuable income and estate tax savings.

Charitable Gift Annuity
A charitable gift annuity allows you to contribute assets and receive an income tax charitable deduction. In turn, we will provide you with a guaranteed income for life   (the payout varies depending upon your age and other factors.) This vehicle can ease the worries of outliving financial resources by providing a high income coupled with numerous tax advantages.

Charitable Remainder Trust
A charitable remainder trust (CRT) allows you to establish a trust for the ultimate benefit of your fund at the Foundation, while retaining the income generated by the assets given. A CRT may help you eliminate capital gains taxes, reduce or eliminate estate taxes, improve lifetime cash flow, and when coupled with an asset replacement trust, provide for heirs as well.

Pooled Income Fund
A pooled income fund works much like a mutual fund. You receive a variable amount of income each year and these assets go ultimately to the IBMA Foundation. This type of fund is especially attractive if you would like to contribute less than $50,000, receive a variable annual income, and still receive tax benefits of a charitable donation.

Charitable Lead Trust
This trust allows you to provide income to your fund at the Foundation for a fixed number of years. The remainder is then returned to you or to your named beneficiary—your heirs, for example.

Life Estate
If you own valuable property that you would like to use during your lifetime but make arrangements to give to the IBMA Foundation upon death, you may receive a current income tax deduction and future estate tax deduction.


The IBMA Foundation can help you devise a philanthropic plan that may include various gift assets, such as closely held stock (private or restricted stock), qualified or non-qualified stock options, or family limited partnership interests.

For more information, please contact Nancy Cardwell, Executive Director, IBMA Foundation (615) 260-4807,, or write to: IBMA Foundation, 1183 University Drive #105-215, Burlington, NC 27215.

Get in touch.

Questions? Comments? Please use the form below to get in touch with us.

The IBMA Foundation
1183 University Drive #105-215
Burlington, NC 27215