Monday, August 19, 2013

Link Up Funding Opportunities in Mississippi and Beyond

The Mississippi Arts Commission provides funding directly to orchestras participating in Link Up in Mississippi each year, however this does not cover all the costs of the program. Additional funding for classroom materials such as recorders and bus transportation to the final concert are often still needed.

Schools, school districts, participating teachers, and participating orchestra partners can find additional funding from these organizations:

National Organizations:

  • Target Corporation
    • Only K-12 Educators, teachers, principals or accredited staff may apply. 
    • Grants are up to $700 each. 
    • Deadline is October 1st for spring field trips. 
    • Funds may be used for transportation, ticket fees, food, resource materials and supplies. (This may include recorders).
    • A website dedicated to group travel, with helpful links for finding field trip funding for schools. 
    • A database to search for foundations that fund arts education by state and other criteria. Your organization must register for access. 
    • A free site for basic information about nonprofits, including foundations. The site provides 990s, board members, mission statements, and addresses.
    • The website of the Association of Fundraising Professionals contains links to many online fundraising resources and tools. 
    • A general website with articles covering a wide range of fundraising topics.
    • Kickstarter cannot be used to fund charity projects or causes. It's mission is to support creative projects. See their guidelines for more details.
    • Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing
    • is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.
    • When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You'll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you'll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.
  • NEA Foundation 
    • $1,000-$3,000 grants, K-12, public school education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff at US public colleges and universities.
    • To build the NEA's knowledge base and to uncover new, great practices in public education they invite all National Education Association (NEA) members to apply for these grants. 
  • NAMM  
    • National Association of Music Merchants Foundation
    • Their Music Making Grants support non-profit public service organizations who expand access and opportunity to music education for thousands of individuals and provide innovative music education and hands-on music making programs.

State/Regional Organizations:

  • Mississippi Arts Commission 
    • School Districts may apply for a Project Grant for other projects, but not to support Link Up because grant money has already been given to the participating orchestra to offset the costs of the program. The grant deadline is March 1st for funding to be used for the following academic year. Awards range from $250 to $5,000. 
  • Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education
    • This organization has provided funding for Link Up recorders in past years. Contact the MAAE director or Link Up Coordinator Elaine Maisel to find out if funding is available this year. 
  •  CREATE Foundation  (Northeast Mississippi). 
    • Grants cannot exceed $1,000, and are typically $100-$500 in size. To apply for a Discretionary Grant, submit a letter of request to Mike Clayborne, President of CREATE at any time throughout the year.
  • Delta Arts Alliance (based in Cleveland, MS)
    • The Delta Arts Alliance hosts artist-in-residence program which provides arts education in the public schools, while connecting artist with employment opportunities and has created a rapidly growing after-school program that has grown from one program and three classes to five diverse programs with 12 individual offerings coupled with its on-going First Saturday and summer workshops. All total, these sustained efforts and creative programmatic work connect arts education opportunities with over 6,000 children in one calendar year. 
  • Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Based in Gulfport). 
    • Grant form is available at the website. Contact GCCF to find out more about deadlines and available funding. 
  • Foundation for the Mid South  (AR, LA, MS). 
    • Grants for organizations. 
  • Community Foundation of Greater Jackson
    • Funding for individuals and organizations in the greater Jackson area. 
  •  The Chisholm Foundation (Based in Laurel). 
    • "To nurture and support meaningful endeavors in education, the arts, and religion."
  •  Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi 
    • Serving Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate and Tunica counties. 
  •  The Riley Foundation (Based in Meridian). 
    • Grant deadlines 4 times each year. Serves Meridian and Lauderdale County. 
  •  Phil Hardin Foundation 
    • State-wide. "To Improve the Education of Mississippians". Grant proposals are accepted throughout the year, but must be received in our office no less than ten (10) days prior to our meeting which is held the 2nd Wednesday of each month. 
  •  Mississippi Power Education Foundation, Inc. (Based in Gulfport). 
    • Contact Rebecca Montgomery (see contact info through link) to find out about funding opportunities for education in Mississippi. 
  •  Community Foundation of East Mississippi, Inc. (Based in Meridian). 
    • Serving East Mississippi. 
  •  Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation (Based in Picayune). 
    • Contact Dr. Ted Alexander (see contact info through link) to find out more about available funding. 
  •  BancorpSouth Foundation (Based in Tupelo). 
    • Serving all of Mississippi. Contact Gary Bonds (see contact info through link) to find out more about available funding. 
  •  West Point Community Foundation 
    • The Foundation makes grants in the fields of health, education, civic improvement, recreation and social welfare for the benefits of the West Point area.

Local Organizations:

  • Your local PTA, band boosters, school board, and arts council. If they don't have direct funding, they can connect you to people and organizations who do. Be sure to check with your local arts council for grant application deadlines and mark your calendar. 

Individual Giving:

  • Individuals are tremendous sources of support for educational programs. Look to your closest friends and supporters for prospects; symphony ticket buyers parents, volunteers, and anyone who as expressed an interest in your organization and its programs can be approached for funding.  
  • Methods for soliciting individuals include direct mail, e-solicitations, and phone-a-thons.
  • Remember that no gift is too small--grassroots campaigns for small gifts are as important as large gifts. 
  • If you are soliciting a prospect for a major gift, is is important to meet face to face. Use your board members, participating teachers, and artists to help if available. 

  • Special events are a wonderful way to raise funds, identify new prospects, and showcase your programs. Elements of a successful event include a budget for expenses and revenue, strong volunteer leadership, and achievable goals. 

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