Funding and Opportunities to Help You Fund Your Rock Music Career via GAD Capital

Increasing your band’s fund should be a multi-pronged approach, not a one-trick pony. You’ll achieve your goals faster if you use various financial sources, such as show door money, merch revenues, and crowdfunding. Grant financing is one avenue that is sometimes overlooked.

The competition is fierce, but the rewards may be game-changing. Below are five funding options for independent musicians. Do your homework, write an appealing application, and keep refining your skills. Whether you get the grant or not, the application process is enlightening. Best of luck!

For more options go to GAD nearby locations for more financing options.

Grant from the PBR Music Foundation

This chance from Pabst Blue Ribbon’s Music Foundation is perhaps the most laid-back grant, with no deadlines, eligibility, or genre criteria. (Of course, it’s PBR, so it’s cool.) The amounts fluctuate – we’ve confirmed $5,000 and $7,000 have been paid since the foundation began last year – but they’re given out every month.

The Milwaukee brand has recently deepened its commitment to independent and underground music. But this fund, designed to provide a “financial safety net” for artists and bands to help them achieve and maintain their ambitions, is PBR’s most significant donation to date.

How to make an application: Use this area to submit a persuasive video explaining why you need the money and a few other details about your band.

The deadline is rolling all year.

The Leeway Foundation

The Leeway Foundation’s grant opportunities, of which there are two, are focused on supporting women, trans, and gender-queer artists residing in the Delaware Valley who use art to affect social change.

  • The Art and Change Grant: awards up to $2,500 to artists of all mediums who have a limited budget and whose work positively influences specific groups and communities, as well as those affiliated with organizations and businesses with social change missions.
  • The Leeway Transformation Award: honors seasoned artists of all mediums, including musicians, who have exhibited a five-year minimum commitment to social change efforts.

The Window of Opportunity grant is a third, recently launched program that offers a faster turnaround for extra-timely activities. Annual deadlines are in March, May, and August; monthly deadlines for Window of Opportunity are in March, May, and August.

Fret in black

The belief that local music is completely deserving of public support was central to the creation of this Austin-based organization. The money comes from Black Fret “members,” local music lovers who pay a membership fee for unique access to more than 30 private events showcasing nominated performers.

These supporters also vote on which artists should receive grants and how much they should receive. Black Fret was awarded $220,000 in grant tiers of $17,000 and $5,000 at the 2016 award ceremony, barely two years after the organization’s establishment. The funds are then distributed in stages based on certain milestones and community contributions.

Unfortunately, this one isn’t open to the general public. Black Fret exclusively considers bands with at least 50% of members who are legal Austin residents, and it is primarily by invitation only. Winners of the Austin Chronicle’s annual reader-voted Austin Music Awards are automatically nominated, and members at a certain level can add their names to the mix. The application period for consideration is open all year.

Peermusic Latin Scholarship from the BMI Foundation

The BMI Foundation offers scholarships, awards, and other funding opportunities. It’s only open to composers aged 17 to 24 who are enrolled in a college or university in the United States or Puerto Rico. A jury of Latin music industry professionals selects the finest original song or instrumental work yearly, and the creator receives the coveted award and $5,000. TBD, but you can join the waiting list.

Nashville Songwriting Scholarship from the BMI Foundation

Although the name suggests that the Nashville Songwriting Scholarship is only open to residents of the country music capital, it is a national competition. The genres are also more adaptable than you might think: Artists in blues, bluegrass, contemporary Christian, Americana, folk, and roots are also encouraged to apply. Aside from that, it’s very similar to the other BMI Foundation program we mentioned: Only one of the 17-to-24-year-old students who meet the eligibility requirements will receive the $5,000 grant for best original song.

Virginia F. Goins