Special Projects Grant

From The Presser Foundation

The Presser Foundation provides philanthropic support for music and music education, in keeping with the Will of its founder, Theodore Presser. They work to fund the musical arts, while striving to serve a broad and diverse community of musicians, educators, and music lovers.

Type of Support


Have an idea for a first-time project with a partner in your area? Are you a newly established organization and seeking general operating support? Want to test a pilot program that may be eventually integrated into your regular programming? The Foundation funds innovative ideas that advance the love of music in new ways and/or to new communities, such as:

  • Pilot or new programs of music organizations that are intended to be embedded into ongoing programming
  • First-time artistic collaborations that are intended to be ongoing (e.g., beyond a single performance or series) 1) between existing music organizations or 2) between an existing music organization and another artistic organization (a music organization must be the applicant and lead grant recipient)
  • Initial general operating funding for newly established music organizations (up to 5 years in existence)
  • (2023-24) Efforts to center racial equity within music organizations


Organization's Location
Program Location
Organizations that are in PA (including Harrisburg), NJ, DE or MD and are within a 75-mile radius of Philadelphia are eligible to apply, Organizations in the New York and Baltimore metropolitan areas will not be considered for funding.
Organization Type
Pre-collegiate, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) music performance, music presenting or music education organizations (including after school music programs, community music schools, music preparatory divisions, and youth instrumental and vocal programs)
Fiscally sponsored organizations/programs
Supporting organizations
  • Grant contribution is not to exceed 50% of the special project’s budget
  • Pilot programs being funded should be implemented into an organization’s ongoing programming in the future


Individual artists/musicians, non-retired music educators, schools of all levels, high school bands, museums, organizations that do not have music as their primary focus, and arts organizations that only offer music as a small component of their programming
Theater, commercial music theater, dance, or other non-music focused venues
Organizations requesting grants for general operating expenses, musical instruments, or supplies
Activities that are a regular part of an organization’s operation including annual festivals or other events, and/or larger than normal music productions or programming considered standard repertoire
5k – 25k


You may submit applications every year.
Contact info
Review Criteria

Considering the Foundation’s Social Justice Statement and Values, applications will be judged on all of the following:

  • The strengths and accomplishments of the applicant organization
  • The relationship between the music programming of the applicant organization and the needs of the community(ies) served
  • The applicant organization’s history and stability, as well as its long-term impact on the community
  • How a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, access, anti-racism, and anti-bigotry is reflected in the applicant organization
  • The use and feasibility of the applicant organization’s programs
  • The contribution of the applicant organization to the overall music community