The IBMA Foundation supports programs and initiatives fostering the growth of bluegrass music. We help donors create a legacy for future generations of musicians and fans by connecting resources to projects that focus on bluegrass music-related arts and culture, education, literary work, and historic preservation. Join us on FaceBook.

Our patrons

We are so grateful for the support of our patrons. Click here to see the list of our generous donors.

Two types of grants

IBMA Foundation Project Grants- (up to $2000 each) are designed to assist programs that align with the goals of the Foundation. Deadline to apply: December 1. 


Bluegrass in the Schools Mini Grants- Schools or other groups organizing "Bluegrass in the Schools" assemblies should apply for a Mini Grant instead. (generally $300 per school assembly)


To download the appropriate forms for these two types of grants, click on the "Grant" tab at the top of our Home Page.

The work of the Foundation

The IBMA Foundation has proudly supported these worthwhile programs:


Project Grant Recipients:











and dozens of Mini-grants, funding live, educational presentations by bluegrass bands from around the world, at schools.

Project Grants


The IBMA Foundation Project Grant Process

Project Grants (usually $1000 – 2000 each) are designed to assist an initiative that aligns with the goals of the IBMA Foundation.

In evaluating applications for Project Grants, the IBMA Foundation gives consideration to the following factors, among others:

  • Does the program or project directly involve bluegrass music?
  • Does the program or project address a priority need of or opportunity facing the bluegrass music community? What is its nature and scope, and the number of people served by this project?
  • Does the program or project duplicate any other existing initiative?
  • Will the program or project have a significant impact on a need or opportunity in the bluegrass music community? What outcome will be achieved, and how will it be measured?
  • Does the program or project have a demonstrated sound financial plan?
  • The income and expense budget for the grant and balance sheets and income statements for the entire organization (for the two most recently completed fiscal years or pro forma statements if newly organized) MUST accompany the application, together with the most recent Form 990 for the applicant as filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Will this grant constitute matching funds?
  • After this program or project is completed, how will funding continue? If not funded, what is the effect?
  • Does the program or project have a broad base of support such as volunteer involvement, public participation, and/or collaboration with other organizations? Please elaborate on these issues.

Important details • The IBMA Foundation makes grants to non-profit organizations with 501(c) (3) status and qualified governmental agencies such as public schools and colleges.  Grants are not awarded in the following areas: projects which do not primarily involve bluegrass music, annual fund raising, organizational endowment funds, deficit financing, grants to be paid directly to individuals, or for sectarian purposes. As a general rule, an entity can only receive one grant per calendar year. The IBMA Foundation does not generally award multi-year grants. 

Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt. Those ineligible under the restrictions listed above will be denied without further consideration. Those eligible for consideration will be assigned to a grant review committee and staff member for review, further investigation, and presentation at a board meeting at which grant applications are considered. Eligible applicants will be notified of the board’s decision to fund at the requested amount, fund at a lesser amount, deny, or defer for future consideration. The Foundation’s Board of Directors (or a Grant Review Committee appointed by the board) will review the applications and vote on them in January. The recipients of the annual grants will be announced in February, and checks will go out by the end of March. 

When a grant check is cashed, the grantee is obligated to use it for the purpose given in the application. Grants awarded to entities which are not 501(c) (3) organizations will be paid to a qualifying fiscal agent organization, or directly to the vendor (such as an educational institution, travel provider, or equipment supplier). Grant recipients are required to acknowledge the funding support of The IBMA Foundation in project publicity and any printed or other media materials generated by the project in accordance with the IBMA Foundation’s policy for use of its name, logo or mark. Grant recipients are required to file a written report describing the use of the funds after the project/program is completed or nine months after the grant has been received, whichever comes first. Subsequent applications will not be considered until the final report is received.


  1. Click here to download the grant application cover letter form in PDF format
  2.  Prepare a one to two page narrative describing in further detail your project as it aligns with the bullet points at the top of this page and an income and expense budget for the grant request project.
  3. Submit the following financial requests: most recent form 990 for the applicant as filed with the IRS and an income statement and balance sheet for the entire organization for the last two years.

Please email or mail the completed info above to Nancy Cardwell  at or ATTN: IBMA Foundation, 4206 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216. 

Please note: All of the materials requested above must be submitted by December 1 to be considered for a Project Grant given the following year.