How should I account for in-kind contributions in my annual or project budgets?
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:
create or enhance nonfinancial assets, or
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.
What is the Ditson Fund’s definition of ‘younger and relatively unknown composers’?
The Fund only supports the work of living American composers of classical concert music with an emphasis on supporting important works of composers who are younger and at the beginning stage of their career as well as music by more mature composers who deserve wider recognition and support. During each meeting the Advisory Committee will determine who best deserves support among the current applicants.
What is the Fund’s definition of ‘American’?
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.
Our organization is located outside the U.S., but we are proposing a project featuring contemporary American music. May we apply?
Yes. The application will require an American fiscal sponsor with 501(c)3 status. Any awards will be paid to that fiscal sponsor. All financial figures in the proposal should be converted to U.S. dollars.
Does the Fund support jazz, musical theater or popular music?
No, in general jazz is not supported. The Ditson Fund supports contemporary American classical concert music.
Who is on your review panel?
The Ditson Advisory Committee makes all decisions.
Are universities and other educational institutions eligible for support?
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.
A university is serving as our fiscal sponsor, and they want us to include indirect costs in our budget. May we do so?
The Ditson Fund will not fund indirect costs on a project, so it is advised that you do not include them in the budget.
Are music education projects eligible for funding?
The Ditson Fund does not support music education programs.
Our proposal was not funded. Can you tell us why?
Programs are very competitive. Unfortunately, each year many worthy projects cannot be funded. You are welcome to contact the Grants Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback about how your proposal could be improved in the future.
Can our organization apply to more than one of the Fund's programs?
Applicants to the Recording Program may also apply to the Performing Ensembles, Institutions, Summer Festivals and Conferences Program, if the applicant satisfies the program eligibility requirements.
Generally, applicants to the April deadline of the Performing Ensembles, Institutions, Summer Festivals and Conferences Program may not apply to the November deadline, nor may applicants to the Recording Program apply to the April deadline, except in instances approved by the Fund in advance.
How do I get started with my application?
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.
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.
We are applying with a fiscal sponsor. For ‘organizational budgets’ should we submit our ensemble's budgets or the fiscal sponsor's?
Submit your ensemble's budgets. We will follow up with you if we need more information about your fiscal sponsor.
What is meant by ‘organizational budgets’ and how do they differ from ‘financial statements’?
Organizational budgets refer to three consecutive years of revenue and expense statements:
the actual statement from the preceding fiscal year
a projected statement (budget) for the current fiscal year
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, and it is not necessary for you to include one with your application, unless requested by the Fund Administrator.
When will decisions be announced?
Applicants to the April 15 deadline will be advised of decisions in or about July of the application year. Applicants to the November 15 deadline will be advised of decisions in or about January of the year following the application year. Please do not contact the Fund for grant decisions.
What is the difference between organizational budgets and financial statements (in the supporting materials section)?
Organizational budgets refer to three consecutive years of revenue and expense statements:
the actual statement from Fiscal Year 2017
the actual statement or a projected statement (budget) for Fiscal Year 2018
a projected statement (budget) for Fiscal Year 2019
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.
(Please also see the General FAQs at the top of this page.)
What is the Fund looking for in a project description?
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.
What is the Fund looking for in a proposal narrative?
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.
What is the Fund’s definition of a ‘performing ensemble’?
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.
Our ensemble is applying with a fiscal sponsor. Whose information do I use to create the account?
Ensembles applying with a fiscal sponsor should create the account using their own contact information, not that of the fiscal sponsor.
What is the Fund’s definition of a ‘summer festival’?
Festivals of contemporary American classical concert music that take place during the summer months: June, July and August. The Fund only supports the work of living American composers of classical concert music with an emphasis on supporting important works of composers who are younger and at the beginning stage of their career as well as music by more mature composers who deserve wider recognition and support.
What is the Fund’s definition of an ‘institution’?
For the Fund's purposed, an institution is an established organization having an important role in contemporary music, that is not a performing ensemble, summer festival, or conference.
What is the Fund’s definition of a ‘conference’?
Conferences devoted to the performance of American classical concert music that take place during the summer months: June, July and August. The Fund only supports the work of living American composers of classical concert music with an emphasis on supporting important works of composers who are younger and at the beginning stage of their career as well as music by more mature composers who deserve wider recognition and support.
Our ensemble does not have non-profit status. Can we apply?
Ensembles 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.
What should we submit for the project rationale?
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.
I am an individual (performer or composer) seeking funding for my recording project. (Or, I represent an ensemble without non-profit status.) Can I (we) apply?
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.
We are only requesting support for some of the works on the total project (other works have been funded). How do we address this with our works list, samples and budget?
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 entire project, but you may decide to provide us either 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.
I am an individual and I run my own record company. May I apply?
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.
I am an individual or an ensemble applying with a fiscal sponsor. Whose information do I use to create the account?
Individuals or ensembles applying with a fiscal sponsor should create the account using their own contact information, not that of the fiscal sponsor.
May we apply for more than one project per round?
Because this program is extremely competitive, the Fund will not accept multiple proposals in the same round from organizations other than recording companies.
When will decisions be announced?
Award decisions will be announced in or about January of the following year. Please do not contact the Fund for grant decisions.
Our project will be ready for release before the Fund announces award decisions. May we apply?
As long as the recording has not been released by the time of the application deadline, you are eligible to apply. We understand that some projects may be released before funding decisions are announced.
We would like to apply, but the composer has not finished the piece yet. May we apply with a sketch?
Only works that are complete by the time of the application deadline are eligible for support.
Our project includes the music of American and non-American composers. May we apply?
Yes, but only the music of the living American composers would be eligible for support.
My recording will be distributed digitally online. May I apply?
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 site.
Does the Fund support archival recordings?
Recordings intended purely for archival or study purposes are not supported.
(Please also see the General FAQs at the top of this page.)
How do I update my organization information?
Click on "My Organization" on the upper-right hand corner of the page, then update your information.
How do I update my username and password?
Click on "My Account" on the upper-right hand corner of the page, then click "Username & Password" to update your information.
Where can I view all of my applications?
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.
How do I make the mp3 audio excerpts on my computer?
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 Fund does not endorse any of these programs and is providing the links only for ease of reference.)
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 Fund does not endorse any of these programs and is providing the links only for ease of reference.)
Is there a limit to the amount of text I can input into the text boxes, such as the one for Proposal Narrative?
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.
What does the red star (*) mean?
Fields marked with a red star are required.
I'm unable to see portions of the screen (or experiencing other display problems).
The system is warning me that my password has low security. What does this mean?
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.
How do I navigate the different parts of the application?
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.
What do the little crosses mean on the audio sample boxes?
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.
I registered for the site, but haven't received a confirmation e-mail. What do I do?
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. If the message is not in your junk e-mail box, call us at 973-476-5657 or e-mail the Fund Admistrator at email@example.com so that we can assist you further.
I have a question that isn’t answered here. What do I do?
Please contact us 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.
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