Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs (applies to all programs)

Works of living and recently deceased composers are eligible, as well as other works written within the last century that are of importance. In general, the fund tends to support music written in the last 50 years. For projects of music written before that of particular importance to the field, please contact the grants manager.

However in the Recording Program, the Fund is interested primarily in supporting recordings of works by living American composers and those who are recently deceased. Regarding works by deceased composers, the Fund will give preference to works of composers who died in 1980 or later, but will consider funding extraordinary projects involving the music of American composers who died earlier.

Composers with U.S. citizenship, as well as composers that have lived and worked in the U.S. for a significant period of time, are eligible. The Fund does not set rigid parameters but considers any questionable situations on a case-by-case basis. For the Fund’s purposes, “American” refers to the United States, its territories, and possessions.

Yes. Submit a letter from a lawyer confirming your organization’s equivalence to a publicly funded 501(c)(3) organization. All financial figures in the proposal should be converted to U.S. dollars.

Performing groups such as orchestras, opera companies and chamber music groups with a consistent core membership, as well as ‘flexible’ ensembles with consistent artistic leadership and identity, are considered performing ensembles. Dance companies are also eligible to apply for projects that involve live performances of contemporary American music. Perfrorming ensembles may seek support from the Performance Program.

Music festivals, music venues, and any other organization that organizes and presents live musical performances by a variety of performing groups can be considered a “presenting organization”. Presenters may seek support from the Performance Program.

Organizations that support composers and performers through activities such as grants, residencies or training programs, or aid in the preservation and dissemination of contemporary American music, are considered music service organizations. Presenting organizations applying for support of composer training institutes may seek support from the Supplemental Program. Music service organizations may seek support from the Supplemental Program.

Yes, jazz is supported. For examples of projects and ensembles that have been supported in the past, please see the lists of grantees from recent grant rounds.

Opera and dance projects involving live performances of contemporary American music are supported. Broadway-style musical theater projects are generally not supported.

Popular music is not supported. The Fund’s emphasis is on contemporary American concert music.

Generally, no. The Fund’s emphasis is on contemporary American concert music. However, programs of this nature do not have an adverse effect on your application as long as there is sufficient eligible contemporary concert music activity.

Applicants to the Recording Program may also apply to either the Performance Program or the Supplemental Program, if the applicant satisfies the program eligibility requirements.

Generally, applicants to the Performance Program may not apply to the Supplemental Program, and vice versa, except in instances approved by the Fund in advance. Please contact the Fund directly for further information regarding application to multiple grant programs.

In order to ensure a fair review process, the Fund does not release the names of the panelists. Panels for the Recording and Performance Program are comprised of experts in the field, and rotate each year. Panels for the Supplemental Program are made up of members of the Copland Fund’s board and administration.

Educational institutions may not apply directly, but they may serve as the fiscal sponsor for projects that involve professional musicians (including faculty). Projects including student ensembles are generally not eligible for support. Projects that primarily involve professional musicians are eligible even if some students also participate.

Projects involving youth choruses performing at an exceptionally high level are eligible for support, provided that they are performing contemporary American concert music intended for young voices.

Contact the Grants Manager for advice before beginning an application.

The Copland Fund will not fund indirect costs on a project, so it is advised that you do not include them in the budget.

Only the donation of goods that have a fair market value are allowable as a budgetary item, consistent with IRS regulations for filing Form 990.

If you wish to show the value of the donation of services, you may do so in a supplementary note to the budget, but only if the contributed services:

  1. create or enhance nonfinancial assets, or
  2. require specialized skills, are provided by individuals possessing those skills and would typically need to be purchased if not provided by donation.

In this case, indicate the full value of the donated services in the supplementary note. Within the budget itself, indicate the actual amount of money paid for the services. If the services were completely donated, the amount of the expense should be $0.

Donated services that do not meet either of the two criteria should not be represented anywhere in the budget.

Education projects focused on pre-college age children are generally not eligible.

The Fund will consider professional level performance projects with an education component, as well as training programs for professional and emerging professional-level musicians or composers, provided that they have a focus on contemporary American music.

Programs are very competitive. Unfortunately, each year many worthy projects cannot be funded. You are welcome to call the Grants Manager at 212-461-6956 for feedback about how your proposal could be improved in the future.

Getting started with the application process

If you are setting up an account for the first time, upon logging in, you will be directed to a page to enter a password for your account. Choose a password and save it.

Then, in the "Grant Programs" menu, select the program you wish to apply for. Read the guidelines and have the required information readily available. A PDF of the guidelines is available for you to download and print.

If the grant cycle is open, you will see the "Start a New Application" button. Click on it to begin the process.

If this is your first application, or if you have not updated your organization's information in a while, you will be directed to your account information to update this data.

Begin the application by completing the requested information and following the instructions. It is not necessary to complete the application in any particular order, although most applicants will find it useful to proceed in the suggested order.

Clicking "Preview" will show you what your entire application looks like at any point in the process.

Be sure to save your work often by clicking the "Save" button in the lower-left hand corner of the page. You may save your work at any time. It is not necessary to complete the application in one sitting; you can return to it over a period of days or weeks, as long as you submit it by the deadline.

When you are ready to submit your application, click "Submit This Application" in the lower-right hand corner. If the system detects missing items, you will be asked to complete those items. If the application is complete, you will be taken to a final preview of your application. If you are satisfied with your application, click the red button to submit it; if you would like to make further changes, click the white button.

Once an application is submitted, it is not possible to make further changes to it, so please review your work carefully.

To access all your applications at any time, both in progress and completed, click on "My Account" in the upper-right hand corner of the page.

Please read the FAQs for more information.

Performance Program FAQs

Yes, the Performance Program accepts applicant ensembles that are self-presenting as well as hybrid presenter-ensemble organizations.

Organizations without non-profit status may seek support with the sponsorship of a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. You must submit a letter from the sponsoring organization describing the nature of the arrangement, and undertaking to be responsible for disbursement of funds if a grant is awarded. In addition, you must include the sponsor’s IRS tax-exempt determination letter. Create one PDF that contains both items.

Organizations applying with a fiscal sponsor should create the account using their own contact information, not that of the fiscal sponsor.

The project description should be a detailed description of the specific project for which you are requesting support.  For example, applicants should include information about the performers, repertoire, venue(s), timeframe and audiences served for a proposed concert series. For non-concert projects, applicants should supply details about the personnel and participants involved, timeframe for completion, and end goal of a proposed project.

A proposal narrative should be a general description of your organization’s activities, plans for the upcoming season, and any other significant points to make your case for support. Applicants applying for general operating support are required to submit only a proposal narrative. Applicants applying for project support are required to submit a proposal narrative and a project description.

Although the Fund will not reject longer proposals, it is strongly suggested that you do not exceed the recommended maximum number of words for each section of the proposal. Most word processors have a word count feature, and there are several free ones available online, such as Word Counter and Word Counter Tool.

Submit your ensemble's budgets. We will follow up with you if we need more information about your fiscal sponsor.

Organizational budgets refer to three consecutive years of revenue and expense statements:

  1. the actual statement from the preceding fiscal year
  2. a projected statement (budget) for the current fiscal year
  3. a projected statement (budget) for the fiscal year for which support is requested

We strongly recommend using our Excel template to create your statement, which indicates the format level of detail we generally like to see. However, we will accept other formats.

Financial statements refer to statements, often prepared by an accountant and sometimes audited, that reflect a more complete picture of an organization's financial details, including statements of activity, cash flow, balance sheets, and accompanying notes. Not every organization is required to have an audited financial statement, however, if your organization has one for any of the past three fiscal years, you are required to submit the latest one. 

Award decisions will be announced in or about November of the application year. Please do not contact the Fund for grant decisions.

Recording Program FAQs

Individuals (and ensembles without non-profit status) may not apply directly, but may seek support with the sponsorship of a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. You must submit a letter from the sponsoring organization describing the nature of the arrangement, and undertaking to be responsible for disbursement of funds if a grant is awarded. In addition, you must include the sponsor’s IRS tax-exempt determination letter.

Alternatively, individuals (and ensembles without non-profit status) may request that their record company apply for the project directly. For the Recording Program, record companies may be either non-profit or commercial.

In order to be considered a commercial record company for the Fund's purposes, your company must have a Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) and a business checking account in your company's name. In addition, you will be responsible for completing annual IRS expenditure responsibility forms if you are awarded a grant.

Individuals or ensembles applying with a fiscal sponsor should create the account using their own contact information, not that of the fiscal sponsor.

Because this program is extremely competitive, the Fund will not accept multiple proposals in the same round from organizations other than recording companies.

As long as the recording has not been released by the time of the application deadline (January 15), you are eligible to apply. We understand that some projects may be released before funding decisions are announced.

Only works that are complete by the time of the application deadline (January 15) are eligible for support.

Yes, but only the music of the American composers would be eligible for support.

It is not necessary to list the works for which you are not requesting support in the Works to Be Recorded section, nor is it necessary to provide scores or audio samples for these works. Please mention these works briefly in your proposal narrative so that the review panel fully understands the context of the project.

We prefer to see the budget for the enitre project, but you may decide to either provide us with the full budget or an abbreviated budget that only covers the works for which you are requesting support. Indicate which of these two options you have chosen in the Notes section of the budget form.

Yes. Recordings that will be distributed primarily or solely digitally, whether by download or streaming, are eligible. For all projects distributed digitally, grantees will be required to post liner notes and credits on an appropriate page of their web sites and to provide a permanent copy of the funded recording for the Fund’s archive.

Recordings intended purely for archival or study purposes are not supported.

This should be the place where you “make the case” for funding your project. Explain why you have chosen to record the proposed works, the significance of your recording, the quality and appropriateness of the performers and recording personnel, and any other information that would assist the panel in its review.

Due to the enormous amount of music under review, we are able to listen only to excerpts of each work. Please select the 3-5 minute portion of the music that you feel best represents each work. Excerpts should be at least 3 minutes in duration. For works longer than 15 minutes, one excerpt per 15 minutes of music, or a fraction thereof, should be submitted. For multiple movement works, submit one excerpt per movement.

Full scores are required for each work.

Award decisions will be announced on or about June 30 of the application year. Please do not contact the Fund for grant decisions.

On average, fewer than 20% of applications are successful. In recent years there have been an average of 180 applications per grant round and an average of 35 grantee projects per grant round.

Supplemental Program FAQs

Organizations without non-profit status may seek support with the sponsorship of a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. You must submit a letter from the sponsoring organization describing the nature of the arrangement, and undertaking to be responsible for disbursement of funds if a grant is awarded. In addition, you must include the sponsor's IRS tax-exempt determination letter. Create one PDF that contains both items.

It is not necessary to submit board or financial information for the fiscal sponsor unless we follow up with you with a request for more information.

The project description should be a detailed description of the specific project for which you are requesting support. For example, presenters should include information about the performers, repertoire, venue(s), timeframe and audiences served for a proposed concert series. Music service organizations should supply details about the personnel and participants involved, timeframe for completion, and end goal of a proposed project. 

A proposal narrative should be a general description of your organization’s activities, plans for the upcoming season, and any other significant points to make your case for support. Applicants applying for general operating support are required to submit only a proposal narrative. Applicants applying for project support are required to submit a proposal narrative and a project description.

Submit your organization's budgets. We will follow up with you if we need more information about your fiscal sponsor. 

Please submit organizational budgets for your support year and the two previous years. For the 2016 round, this means FY 2016, FY 2015 and FY 2014.

Organizational budgets refer to three consecutive years of revenue and expense statements:

  • the actual statement from the previous year
  • the actual statement or a projected statement (budget) for the current year
  • a projected statement (budget) for the year for which support is being requested (the Support Year)

We require the use of our own Excel template that can be downloaded from the Supporting Materials section of the application.

Financial statements refer to statements, often prepared by an accountant and sometimes audited, that reflect a more complete picture of an organization's financial details, including statements of activity, cash flow, balance sheets, and accompanying notes. Not every organization is required to have an audited financial statement, however, if your organization has one for any of the past three fiscal years, you are required to submit the latest one. 

Award decisions will be announced during or about the end of February after the application deadline.  Please do not contact the Fund for grant decisions.

Technical FAQs

Immediately upon registering on the site, you should receive a confirmation e-mail at the address that you provided. Normally, you should receive a second e-mail approving your registration within two business days, which will contain instructions about how to log into the site.

If you don't receive either of these messages, first, check your junk e-mail folder. Be sure to add onlinegrants@coplandfund.org to your address book or whitelist.

If the message is not in your junk e-mail box, call us at 212-461-6956 so that we can assist you further.

For optimal security, it is recommended to choose a password that contains at least six characters. It should include numbers, punctuation, and both upper and lowercase letters. However, passwords with a low security rating will still be accepted. You are responsible for keeping your password secret. You can change your password at any time by going to the "Username & Password" section of "My Account".

Please note that our personnel do not have access to your password. However, we can assist you to change it if necessary.

Click on "My Organization" on the upper-right hand corner of the page, then update your information.

Click on "My Account" on the upper-right hand corner of the page, then click "Username & Password" to update your information.

To access all of your applications, both in progress and completed, click on "My Account" on the upper-right hand corner of the page. Your applications and their statuses will appear on the right hand side of the page.

You can either click the vertical tabs on the left and side, or click the previous and next links at the bottom of the page. It is not necessary to complete the application in any particular order.

No, the text boxes have unlimited capacity. Drag the bottom right hand corner of the text box down to increase the viewable area. However, it is recommended that you make your answers as concise as possible while still making the case for your application.

"Path" is a technical detail and simply shows the type of HTML formatting that the text editor is using. It can be helpful if you are trying to format your text in a particular way, but otherwise may be ignored.

Fields marked with a red star are required.

iTunes, from Apple, is freely available on Macs and PCs. Here's how to create an mp3 file in iTunes. There are various other ways to create audio excerpts using free or low-cost programs. Here are links to a few. (The Copland Fund does not endorse any of these programs and is providing the links only for ease of reference.)
Snapper
Audacity
Quicktime
Windows Media Player
Sound Forge
Goldwave

All supporting documentation and scores must be submitted in PDF format. Scores should also be submitted in PDF format if technically and legally possible.

If the original document only exists in hard copy (such as an IRS determination letter), you will need to scan it first, and then create the PDF.

If the document exists as a computer file (such as a Word, Excel, Finale or Sibelius file), you can create the PDF directly on the computer (this is recommended).

To create a PDF on a Mac: Click here for instructions.

To create a PDF on Windows: The most reliable method of creating PDFs on Windows is with the commercial software Adobe Acrobat. However, there are various ways to create PDFs on Windows using free or low-cost programs. Here are links to a few. (The Copland Fund does not endorse any of these programs and is providing the links only for ease of reference.)

PDF Creator
CutePDF
pdf995
PrimoPDF
Adobe PDF Online

For certain items, such as financial statements, you may need to combine several PDFs into one combined PDF before uploading it to our site.

To combine PDFs on a Mac: Click here for instructions.

To create a PDF on Windows: The most reliable method of creating PDFs on Windows is with the commercial software Adobe Acrobat. However, there are various ways to combine PDFs on Windows using free or low-cost programs. Here are links to a few. (The Copland Fund does not endorse any of these programs and is providing the links only for ease of reference.)

PDF Split and Merge
MergePDF
PDF Merger
PDFCombine

You can click on the cross to re-order your work samples. Be advised, however, that the panel may elect to listen to one or more of your work samples in a sequence other than the order in which you provide them.

Be sure to update your browser to to the latest version. We support the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. If the problem persists, please contact us.

The "copy into new application" feature has been removed. We apologize for the inconvience.

Please send us an email at onlinegrants@coplandfund.org and we will reply. If the question is of sufficient general interest, we will post it to this page, however, you will not be identified.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") Policy

If you believe that content available by means of this web site infringes one or more of your copyrights, please notify us by means of an emailed notice (“Infringement Notice”) providing the information described below to the email address listed below. If The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. takes action in response to an Infringement Notice, it will make a good faith attempt to contact the party that made such content available by means of the most recent email address, if any, provided by such party to The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. Please be advised that you will be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys’ fees) if you materially misrepresent that a product or activity is infringing your copyrights. Thus, if you are not sure content located on or linked-to by this web site infringes your copyright, you should consider first contacting an attorney.

All Infringement Notices need to include the following:

  • An electronic signature of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf;
  • An identification of the copyright claimed to have been infringed;
  • A description of the nature and location of the content that you claim to infringe your copyright, in sufficient detail to permit The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. to find and positively identify that content;
  • Your name, address, telephone number and email address; and
  • A statement by you: (a) that you believe in good faith that the use of the content that you claim to infringe your copyright is not authorized by law, or by the copyright owner or such owner’s agent; and (b) under penalty of perjury, that all of the information contained in your Infringement Notice is accurate, and that you are either the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf.

Infringement Notices should be sent to onlinegrants@coplandfund.org