Help & FAQ
If you have a question that is not addressed below in our FAQ section, our staff members are happy to set up a meeting to assist you. Please see the contact information below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
We hope to address as many potential questions that may arise from prospective applicants in this FAQ section. If you do not see your question answered here, please see our staff contact information above.
We don’t yet have our 501c3 designation letter or nonprofit status yet. Can we apply?
Maybe. Non-school applicants without a 501c3 designation letter (US) or registered charity status (Canada) may only apply if fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit/registered charity. To do so, please make sure to include your fiscal sponsor’s name and EIN/registration number when completing the application, and upload documentation of your fiscal sponsorship to the final attachments section.
Why are only certain regions eligible for this cycle?
This grant opportunity is made possible by a new funding partnership. The funding partner for this program has made a commitment to serving organizations in specific US & Canadian regions where music engagement opportunities for students may be limited by socioeconomics, geography, or related factors. During the inaugural year of this program, only organizations and schools in these regions will be eligible to apply. Please see our Criteria and Eligibility page for a full list of these regions.
We partner with schools or nonprofits, but don’t have any firm partnership in place yet for the 2022-23 school year. Can we still apply?
Yes. We understand that many schools may not yet have confirmed their partners and plans for the 2022-23 school year. We encourage you to apply and share your plans as they develop.
Does my project have to be new? Does it have to be "big"?
No, projects do not have to be new. Existing projects can be just as competitive as new initiatives. Projects do not have to be big either; we welcome projects that can make a meaningful impact in your community.
I'm not familiar with some of the terminology in the criteria.
Please see our page of guiding definitions and core values. These definitions and values are central to our evaluation process, so we are being as transparent as possible. We encourage all applicants to review the guiding definitions before submitting an application.
I prefer to submit an audio file instead of a written application. What is the best way to do this?
There are many ways that will work. We have found that the easiest way is to use a smart phone and record a voice memo of yourself answering the narrative questions, and save the file.
Can I submit an application on my phone?
While you can submit an application on your smart phone, we recommend using a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer for the easiest experience.
I am a first-time grant applicant. Do you have any tips for people who are new to this?
Yes! First and foremost, please make sure to review the scoring rubric, core values, and guiding definitions to gain a clear understanding of the criteria that will be used to evaluate your application. We also highly recommend that you make use of the Application toolkit on the Apply page.
Second, we encourage you to have someone not familiar with your program read or listen to your application to check for clarity. If they have questions, it’s likely the panelists will too.
Finally, we recommend submitting your application early. If any last-minute questions or issues arise, it’s easier for our staff to assist you when there's not a rush to meet the deadline.
Can I submit an application for a project occurring in the current school year (2021-22)?
Unfortunately, no. All funded projects will be part of a peer-learning network, which will convene during the 2022-23 school year. To provide this mutual support and learning, we are unable to accommodate projects that occur outside of this timeline.
We’re not sure when we will be able to meet in-person again due to COVID-19. How should we write our application to account for this?
We encourage all applicants to complete the information within the application to the best of your knowledge. We recognize that plans may change, and we have intentionally tried to create a review process that allows for project updates and supports grantees during the project’s implementation.
Do you require a project budget or matching funds for the application?
No. We recognize that budgets may change many times before an application is funded and are often dependent on the grant being secured. We also recognize that budget and matching fund requirements prevent smaller or less-resourced nonprofits from applying.
For applicants that advance to the virtual learning session stage of the review process, we have planned time to learn more about how you anticipate using the grant. Then, for applicants that are awarded funding, we will support all grantees in building a project budget though the peer-learning network.
I can’t access the online portal.
The application portal will open November 15, 2021. Please check to make sure you are using your application portal credentials and not your Chorus America site username and password. If you are having trouble, we recommend restarting your computer and using the most updated version of your browser. Browsers supported by this software include: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. If problems persist, please contact Karyn Castro at [email protected] or (202) 331-7577 ext. 246.
I can’t submit my application.
Please check to make sure all required fields are completed. If the submit box is still green, you have only marked your application as compete, but have not yet submitted. You must click the green submit box to ensure your application is received. If you are still running into issues, please contact Karyn Castro at [email protected] or (202) 331-7577 ext. 246.
What if I miss something when submitting my application?
You will be contacted in early February if there are any components missing from your application. Upon submission, staff will review applications for eligibility and completion. We encourage all applicants to review the application requirements and scoring rubric thoroughly.
Who will be reviewing my application?
Review panelists from across the US and Canada will review and score all applications and virtual learning sessions. These panelists will be selected by Chorus America based on their understanding of their community’s diverse musical traditions, experience with elementary or middle/junior high music education partnerships, and understanding of nonprofits arts management and funding. All panelists must agree to a confidentiality agreement and disclose any conflicts of interest. If one is present, panelists must recuse themselves from reviewing the assigned application.
Chorus America will strongly prioritize diversity of perspectives and lived experience in its selection of review panelists, including but not limited to diversity of race, gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, and religion. Applications from each region will be reviewed by panelists both from their own region, and those from other regions.
A full list of panelists, as well as demographic information for these reviewers, will be published on the Chorus America website in May when grant partners are announced.
I'm interested in helping to review applications. Is there an opportunity for me?
We are currently seeking diverse members of the music education and broader community who are interested in serving as review panelists for this program. An honorarium will be provided for review panelist service. See more information on being a review panelist here and complete a nomination form by Friday, December 10 to be considered.
If my application is declined, will I be notified? How can I receive feedback?
All applicants will receive a status update in early April, including projects that will not be funded. We anticipate receiving many more quality applications than we are able to fund.
We can share the scores from your application, along with anonymous reviewer feedback. We encourage you to reach out to us to better understand why your application was declined. To contact staff, please schedule a time to meet with the grants team here.