Project Grants

The IBMA Foundation awards project grants each year, usually in amounts between $1,000 and $2,000. The deadline to apply is December 1. Projects must align with the Foundation’s mission in one of the following areas: arts & culture, education, literary or academic programs, or history preservation. The factors listed below are considered in the evaluation process:


  • Does the project directly involve bluegrass music? 
  • Does the project address a priority need or opportunity facing the bluegrass music community? What is its nature and scope, and the number of people served by this project? Will the project have a significant impact?
  • Does the project duplicate any other existing initiative?
  • Will the project enhance the diversity of participation in bluegrass music?
  • What outcomes will be achieved, and how will they be measured?
  • Does the project have a demonstrated sound financial plan? 
  • The income and expense budget for the grant and balance sheet and income statement for the entire organization (for the most recently completed fiscal year 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 project is completed, how will funding continue? If not funded, what is the effect?
  • Does the project have a broad base of support such as volunteer involvement, public participation, and/or collaboration with other organizations? 

Important: The IBMA Foundation generally makes project grants to nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status or qualified governmental agencies such as public schools and colleges.  Grants are not usually awarded in the following areas: projects which do not primarily involve bluegrass music, annual fundraising, organization endowment funds, deficit financing, grants to be paid directly to individuals, grants to religious organizations, or funds to support festivals. An entity can only receive one grant per calendar year, and the Foundation does not repeat a project grant to the same applicant two years in a row. The Foundation does not generally award multi-year grants.

Review Process

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. All applicants will be notified of the board’s decision by mid-January, and checks will go out in February.

Grantee Obligations 

When a grant check is cashed, the grantee is obligated to use it for the purpose given in the application. 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 two photos and a written report describing the use of the funds after the project 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.

How to Apply

  1. Download and fill out the grant application at the link below.
  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 reports: 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 past year.
  4. Email or mail the completed info above to  or ATTN: IBMA Foundation, 1183 University Drive #105-215, Burlington, NC 27215. Email is preferred.

All materials requested above must be submitted by December 1 to be considered for a Project Grant in the following year.

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