Special Projects

Proposal Deadline: September 15*

Decision Notification: November 1

*Please note change in Special Projects Proposal Deadline to better meet the needs of grantee organizations during this time of uncertainty.

Introduction & Purpose

The Trustees of The Presser Foundation created the Special Projects Committee in 1998 to consider requests for grants for innovative and special projects in music. The Grant Guidelines were re-established in 2019 in order to clarify the nature of what is truly special versus normal operations or programming of grantee organizations. Grants are typically between $5,000 and $30,000 annually (grant contribution not to exceed 50% of Special Project’s budget).

Special Project grants will be given to music organizations for:

– Pilot programs and first-time collaborations between existing music organizations and other artistic organizations (the music organization must be the applicant and grant recipient);

– Significant anniversary celebrations of an organization and not of organizational personnel (must be a quarter century milestone – 25, 50, 75 years, etc.);

– Initial grant funding for newly established music organizations (within 3 years); and

– Efforts that the Trustees of the Foundation may encourage or initiate through a request for proposals to the field or to specific organizations (consistent with the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy).**

**Given the environment of uncertainty, the Special Projects Committee is open to considering creative proposals supporting music programming efforts which can be realized during this current fiscal year. Applicants are invited to contact Teresa Rodgers, Executive Director, with questions before submitting. TRodgers@presserfoundation.org

The Trustees look to fund innovative ideas that advance the love of music in new ways and/or to new communities. 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 will not be considered for special project funding. Multi-year requests will be considered and should be submitted for projects that are greater than a year in duration. Second grants for subsequent years of a project will not be considered.


– Non-profit, 501(c)(3) music organizations include: music performance, music presenting or music education organizations (pre-collegiate).

– Pre-collegiate music education organizations include after school music programs, community music schools, music preparatory divisions and youth instrumental and vocal programs.

– The size and scope of the organization is considered when proposals are reviewed.

– Organizations that are in Pennsylvania (including Harrisburg), New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland 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.


Proposals will be judged on:

1. the strengths and accomplishments of the applicant music organization;

2. the relationship of the project to the applicant’s capabilities and to the needs of the community;

3. the impact of the project on the applicant and the community; and

4. the merit and feasibility of the project.

Online Grant Management

The Presser Foundation uses an online grant management system powered by Foundant.  The system allows for all prospective and current grantees to submit proposals and reports online.


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