About The Presser Foundation

The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the Deeds of Trust and Will of the late Theodore Presser, an educator, publisher, and philanthropist. It is one of the few private foundations in the United States dedicated solely to music education and music philanthropy. The Presser Foundation considers proposals for funding from music organizations working in a broad range of traditions, genres, and styles. Potential grantees are required to submit proposals by the following deadlines and will be notified accordingly.

Special Announcement

Last year in the midst of COVID, the Capital Support Committee considered proposals including the capital needs of music organizations to support music programming efforts. 

As COVID is still prevalent and the environment for music organizations still uncertain, the Capital Support Committee is extending last year’s revised grant guidelines to this year, and will again consider proposals including the capital needs of music organizations to support music programming efforts. These capital needs include (but are not limited to) hardware, software, equipment, and supplies.

Deadlines & Notifications

Grant Making AreaProposal DeadlineDecision Notification
Advancement of MusicNovember 15thMarch 1st
Assistance to Music TeachersOngoingOngoing
Capital SupportFebruary 1stMay 1st
Special Projects*September 15thNovember 1st
Undergraduate Scholar AwardSeptember 1stNovember 15th

*Please note significant changes to Grant Guidelines for Special Projects including consideration of proposals for planning grants up to $5,000 for efforts to center racial equity within music organizations. We strongly encourage careful review. Newly established music organizations (within 3 years) should apply under Special Projects for general operating support typically provided through Advancement of Music.

On Social Justice

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access, Anti-Racism, & Anti-Bigotry 

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

The Presser Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, pro-active anti-racism and anti-bigotry in all areas of music. We reject racism and bigotry in all their manifestations and seek to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in our processes, practices, and decisions. 

Knowing that the power of music transcends words and speaks directly to the human experience, we understand how vitally important it is to renounce social and cultural injustices, to fight for social justice, and to work vigorously for a more humane and inclusive future. Music provides one of the strongest and most fertile platforms for accomplishing this mission, and we encourage everyone, including our grantees, their audiences, and their beneficiaries, to join us in this essential effort.


Our Values: Passion, Integrity, Respect

We pledge to serve as responsible stewards advancing the art of music and continuing the legacy of Theodore Presser with passion, integrity and respect. 

Passion for music.

Music is our purpose. We are committed to supporting the future of music and its excellence.

Integrity in every endeavor. 

We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards to earn trust in all we do.

Respect at all times. 

We acknowledge the value and dignity of the people we serve and with whom we work. We are open to new ideas and embrace the diversity of our music community. 

Next Movement: An Idea Forum

The COVID-19 pandemic forced music educating, music performing and music presenting organizations to a temporary standstill, impacting an unprecedented number of people. The Presser Foundation and American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter co-hosted five Idea Forums and invited colleagues to share thoughts about resilience, creativity, and programming during pandemic. Click on the box below to access the recordings.

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