Grant Making Areas

The Presser Foundation awards grants in the following five categories. Please click on the appropriate link to read about guidelines and eligibility, and to download the application form.

Grant Making Area Proposal Deadline Decision Notification
Capital Support March 1st May 1st
Advancement of Music November 18th March 1st
Special Projects October 15th January 1st
Assistance to Music Teachers Ongoing Ongoing
Undergraduate Scholar Award September 1st November 15th

CAPITAL SUPPORT

Introduction and Purpose

The Trustees of The Presser Foundation created the Capital Support Committee in 1998 to consider requests for grants of any size for support of a capital project that advances the cause of music education or otherwise supports music philanthropy.

Capital projects include the construction of new facilities; renovation, repair or expansion of existing facilities. It does not include grants to cover general operating expenses.

Eligibility

Non-profit, 501(c)(3) music performance, presenting or educational organizations are eligible to apply.

Grants will be made with preference to:

  • Organizations that are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland and are within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia;
  • And to organizations having a music building previously supported by Theodore Presser, the Presser Foundation, or bearing the name "Presser", regardless of location.

Multi-year requests will be considered. The first grant distribution will be made when contruction commences.

Criteria

Proposals will be judged on:

  • the strengths and accomplishments of the applicant organization,
  • the relationship of the project to the applicant’s capabilities and to the needs of the community,
  • the long term impact of the project on the applicant and the community,
  • the value and feasibility of the project.

 


 

ADVANCEMENT OF MUSIC

Introduction and Purpose

The Committee for the Advancement of Music considers requests for grants of any size for general operating support of music organizations in order to advance the cause of music education or otherwise support music philanthropy.

Eligibility

Non-profit, 501(c)(3) music performance, presenting or educational organizations are eligible to apply.

Grants will be made with preference to organizations that are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland and are within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia.

Institutions with whom the Foundation has a long funding history may be invited to apply for multi-year support.

Criteria

Proposals will be judged on:

  • the strengths and accomplishments of the applicant organization,
  • the value of the organization's program to the community,
  • the history and stability of the organization,
  • the contribution of the organization to the overall musical community.

 


 

SPECIAL PROJECTS

Introduction and Purpose

The Trustees of The Presser Foundation created the Special Projects Committee in 1998 to consider requests for grants of any size for one-time special projects in music, including:

  • Non-capital projects outside the scope of the normal operations of a music organization,
  • Collaborative efforts between organizations,
  • And efforts that the Trustees of the Foundation may encourage or initiate through a request for proposals to the field or to specific organizations.

The purpose of the Special Projects Committee is to identify special projects to recommend to the Trustees that are innovative, compelling and fill a clearly defined organizational or community need that advances the cause of music education or otherwise supports music philanthropy.

Activities that are a regular, continuing part of an organization's operation will not be considered for special project funding.

Eligibility

Non-profit, 501(c)(3) music performance, presenting or educational organizations or a consortia of non-profit organizations led by a music organization are eligible to apply.

Grants will be made with preference to organizations that are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland and are within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia.

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.

Criteria

Proposals will be judged on:

  • the strengths and accomplishments of the applicant organization(s),
  • the relationship of the project to the applicant’s capabilities and to the needs of the community,
  • the long term impact of the project on the applicant and the community,
  • the value and feasibility of the project.

 


 

ASSISTANCE TO MUSIC TEACHERS

Intoduction and Purpose

Theodore Presser was committed to the support of music teachers, mindful of his own early struggles in the profession and with a sense of gratitude for the thousands of teachers who were the primary customers of his publication business. In 1906, he established the Presser Home for Retired Music Teachers in Philadelphia. When it was no longer practical to maintain an independent facility, The Foundation created the Assistance to Music Teachers Committee to carry on its basic mission of financial support for retired or disabled teachers in need. Typically, the Committee provides modest monthly stipends as pension supplements or to help with the cost of medical insurance or care. Awards are made to individuals living in the United States whose primary occupation was as a teacher of music. In order to be considered for Assistance, applicants must be nominated by a music institution for consideration.

Nominating institutions should have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s professional accomplishments and personal circumstances, either directly as current or former employers, or through professional or community contacts. The later might include institutions that know the applicant through competitions, master classes or ensembles sponsored by the institution that the applicant’s students may have participated in over the years, or through regional professional associations or organizations.

Criteria

Additionally, applicants:

  1. Must have had a significant career as a music teacher, as evidenced by the sponsoring institution and additional letters of support from qualified professionals.
  2. Should generally be of retirement age and in serious financial distress; that is, to have significant financial need not able to be satisfied by his or her assets nor by those of other family members.
  3. Must submit their most recent federal tax return, with all schedules.
  4. Must submit a complete application form.

 

 



UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLAR AWARD

Introduction and Purpose

Undergraduate schools of music at accredited colleges, universities and independent institutions of higher education are invited to apply for the opportunity to present the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award to an outstanding music major whom they select.
The Award is a cash stipend of approximately $4,000 payable at the beginning of the student's senior year. The exact amount of the award varies from year to year on the basis of the availability of funds and the number of awards that the Committee approves. The student is selected by the President of the School and the Head of the Music Department solely on the basis of the merit and achievement of the student. This award is an honor award and the student, in his/her senior year, is to be known as a Presser Scholar.

Eligibility

Schools of Music selected for participation in the Undergraduate Scholar Award Program must maintain a minimum enrollment of 60 undergraduate music majors, offer a curriculum of study that includes at least one-third non-music academic subjects, and show evidence of meeting high professional standards for faculty, curriculum and facilities.

 

 

 



GRADUATE MUSIC AWARD

Introduction and Purpose

Sixteen graduate schools of music at accredited colleges, universities and independent institutions of higher education have been invited to present the Presser Graduate Music Award Award to an outstanding graduate music student whom they select. The program is designed to encourage and support in a special way the advanced education and career of truly exceptional graduate music students who have the potential to make a distinguished contribution to the field of music. The Award is a cash stipend of $10,000, which is made available to a graduate student designated by the institution, provided that the institution agrees to the terms of participation and based upon receipt by The Foundation of a suitable plan prepared by the nominated recipient for use of the money.
The recipient is first nominated to The Presser Foundation by the executive head of the music school, utilizing judgments of faculty members able to gauge the relative merits of currently enrolled students who will be returning for further study next year. 

Eligibility

The institution shall be of exceptional quality and distinction and be selected by The Foundation to participate in the program. The recipient of the Presser Graduate Music Award shall be a returning graduate student who has demonstrated superb musical talent with emphasis in one or more of these areas:  performance, composition, musicology, music education.

The Presser Graduate Music Award is not intended to replace other financial assistance provided by the institution to the Award recipient.  It is not to be applied towards tuition, housing costs, and other expenses normally incurred in pursuit of a degree.  Rather it is a supplement for enrichment and musical advancement, and is intended to afford to the Award recipient opportunities, which are not normally provided in a university or conservatory setting.

 



The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia performing in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Both organizations are recipients of Presser Foundation awards.

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