Muse FAQ


Save your application regularly. This will update pre-populated fields later in the application and protect all the information previously entered.

  • To save the application in order to return to it later, simply click “save.”
  • When ready to reopen the application, you will find it under “pending requests.” Click on your application, and then click “edit” in the top right corner.
  • Once your application is completed and saved, click “submit” at the top of the application. Once your application is submitted, you will no longer be able to edit.

Update your organization and contact information.

  • From the main page of the grantee portal, click the link on the left side of the page called “organizations,” then click edit.
  • To edit contact information, click the link titled “people” then edit.

Muse Guidelines

Please review the Muse guidelines on our website for detailed information about Music Programs goals, Muse eligibility, and what we look for in a strong Muse application.

Watch a Muse 101 presentation

Do you provide funding to organizations that are not 501(c)(3) public charities?

No. Muse applicants must be 501(c)(3) public charity organizations. Private foundations, government entities, public school districts, and type III non-functionally-integrated supporting organizations are ineligible to apply to Muse.

Can faith-based organizations apply?

Yes. Faith-based organizations are eligible to apply to Muse. However, applications may not include activities that support or promote a specific religious purpose. Programming provided by faith-based applicants must be open to the wider community without regard to the participants' religious beliefs. Programming must not include proselytizing or mandatory attendance at any religious service.

What is a typical Muse award amount?

Awards are between $1,000 and $20,000. Grants can only be used to cover expenses associated with the type of support requested (i.e. general operating support or program support).

Is there a deadline for Muse consideration?

Yes. There are two grant rounds per year (in Spring and Fall) during which applications are accepted. Deadlines for each grant round will be posted on the How to Apply page. Check this page regularly for updated deadlines.

How soon will I receive notification of whether my organization will receive funding?

Funding decisions are typically communicated to applicants within three months of the application deadline. For the Spring grant cycle, notifications are typically in June. For the Fall grant cycle, notifications are typically in November.

Do I need to submit a new Muse application each year for a recurring program?

Yes. A new application is required for each program each year. Funding one year does not guarantee future funding.

Type of Support

What is the difference between a program support request and general operating request?

Program support grants fund direct expenses associated with your specific program or service, which should align with one or more Music Programs goals. Program support expenses include, but are not limited to: staffing, equipment, and program-specific operational costs.

General operating grants invest in a grantee’s mission rather than specific projects or programs. It allows grantees to use funds as they see fit to reach their goals. Most organizations applying to Muse for General operating support will be primarily aligned with Bohemian's Music Program goal areas. However, if music is not your main focus, you must be able to articulate how a significant portion of your budget and activities with our music goals.

Please see “Support Types” in the Guidelines for eligibility requirements associated with each request type.

Is there a funding preference towards general support vs. program support?

No. We are responsive to the needs of nonprofits and allow them to determine what type of funding is most beneficial to their organization. All applications are reviewed individually across all request types.

Can my organization apply for both general operating support and program support?

No. Organizations may only submit one application per grant cycle for general operating support or program support, not both.

How many times per year can I receive funding for general operating support?

Organizations are only eligible to receive general operating support once annually. Organizations may, however, apply for general operating support in one cycle and program support in the next cycle, and receive funding for both within the same year.

Organizations must be in operation for two consecutive years or more to apply for general operating support and they must be located within the geographic boundary of Larimer and/or Weld counties.

Public universities and colleges are ineligible to apply for general operating support.

How many times per year can I receive funding for program support?

Organizations may only receive support for a single program once annually. Organizations may, however, apply for support for a different program within the same year, and receive funding for both programs within the same year.

Can my organization apply for support for equipment and/or technology?

Yes. Requests for equipment and/or technology can be supported if it is part of a program or the general operations of an organization.

What is the IRS “tipping rule” for public support?

For any organization that has been classified by the IRS as a public charity because of the public nature of its support (i.e. under Section 509(a)(1)/170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or Section 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code), total grant awards from Bohemian Foundation, within the calendar year, may not exceed 30% of the organization’s annual budget or otherwise hinder its ability to meet its public support requirements. The impact of our grant awards on an organization’s ability to meet the public support requirements can differ greatly, depending on whether grantees rely on the public support test of Section 509(a)(1)/170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or Section 509(a)(2). Therefore, grantees should contact a tax advisor to address any questions regarding the public support requirements.

In some cases, applicants may be asked to provide a written statement, signed by an officer, that a new grant from Bohemian Foundation will not result in a loss of public charity status, accompanied by a summary of financial data for the five years preceding the current tax year, as well as estimates for the current tax year.

Music Programs Goal Fit

How do I know what goal or subgoal fit is the best choice for my request?

Please choose the goal(s) and subgoal(s) your request most closely aligns with. Alignment with more than one goal or subgoal is allowed, but does not strengthen your application. Our Music Programs staff does not provide goal fit feedback or support. We recommend that you review our Music Programs goals document to help determine the best fit.

Is there a funding preference or specific funding allocation by goal area?

No. We are responsive to the needs of nonprofits and allow them to determine what goal area best fits their organization or program. All applications are reviewed individually across all goal areas.

Can you define “contemporary” music?

Our mission is to build community through music. To do so, we generally support contemporary music, such as rock, hip-hop, Americana, EDM, R&B, and many others.

One of Music Programs’ goals is to help musicians and music-related businesses grow and develop. To what age group does the word “musicians” refer?

"Musicians" refers to musicians of all ages, from youth to adults.

What We Look For


  • When describing the relevance of your request, aim to reflect a strong understanding of the current music and community landscapes of Northern Colorado, as well as of music industry trends more broadly. Where possible, provide examples.
  • Cite your data sources and use current data, when available.

Community Need

  • When describing the community need you are trying to address, please be as specific as possible.
  • Cite your data sources and use current data, when available. Where possible, use relevant local data which describes the community need. In some instances, local data may not be available and applicants may choose to reference regional or statewide data. While statewide or national data may be referenced, please try to describe how it’s relevant to the local context.
  • If there are other organizations that perform similar services, explain how you avoid duplication of services and/or partner where possible. Furthermore, explain how your organization is different from other similar organizations or services.

Stakeholder Buy-in

  • To demonstrate stakeholder buy-in, aim to convey the community’s enthusiasm about your organization and/or program. Provide examples of feedback received from key stakeholders, news articles, social media statistics, program participants, etc.
  • List any partner organizations who are committed to your organization and/or program, and provide specific details about how your organizations collaborate.
  • Explain how your organization identifies and engages key stakeholders and participants.


  • Applications that demonstrate creativity and innovation are strongly encouraged, especially when addressing long-standing or particularly stubborn challenges.
  • Clearly identify and explain the issue or challenge your organization and/or program is addressing.
  • Be as specific as possible when explaining how your organization and/or program is uniquely addressing a particular issue or challenge and how it is different from other organizations that are similar or who perform similar services.


  • Muse encourages proposals that include fun elements that enliven and inspire while also advancing Music Programs goals.
  • Describe anything unique or special your organization or program does to add an element of fun to what you are doing.


  • Requests should demonstrate how funding from Muse will leverage additional funding from multiple sources, including contributed and earned income.
  • Include information in your application and budget about all other funding sources, both philanthropic and non-philanthropic.
  • Philanthropic revenue sources include those from foundation grants (private, corporate, or community), individual donations, and revenue from fundraising events.
  • Non-philanthropic revenue sources include any other revenue sources not included in the philanthropic sources, including government grants and earned income.

Responsible Resource Management

  • Muse places a high importance on responsible resource management.
  • Organizations should aim to convey effective and ethical business practices and responsible financial stewardship. Explain how your organization manages its annual budget and acquires new funding and revenue sources.
  • Wherever possible, explain any deviations from planned financial activity and provide reasoning for the change.


What documents do I need to include with my application?

How do I submit correct budget documents?

  • Make sure the timelines on your budget documents match the timelines you’ve entered in your application.
  • Budget totals in uploaded documents should match budget totals you’ve provided in the application.
  • Include your top five revenue sources from both philanthropic and non-philanthropic sources. Only include this Muse request if it is one of your top five revenue sources.
  • If your organization or the proposed program has recently lost one of your top five funding sources, please include it in this section and mark the status as “declined” or "no longer eligible." Including this information helps us understand the overall funding situation for your organization or program and will not be considered in the review.
  • If you do not have five philanthropic and/or non-philanthropic revenue sources, including fewer than five is fine.

Do you have an indirect cost policy?

  • Bohemian allows indirect costs to be included in program request budgets. There is no specific percentage guideline, however reviewers will assess budgets for a clear correlation between the request and the indirect/overhead costs associated with it.

Formatting Documents

  • Make sure documents are easy to read because we include them as-is in the materials for reviewers. Budgets may be submitted in any format (e.g. Excel or PDF), and ideally they will fit on one page. Please include page numbers and carry over column headings if the document is more than one page in length.
  • Clearly label all documents (both the file name and in the document header).
  • Make sure the timelines the budget covers are clearly labeled.
  • Make sure the specific line items your Muse request will be allocated towards are clearly identified in your budget documents. See the Muse Sample Budget for an example or use the sample as your request budget.
  • Prior year budget-to-actual documents should include both the prior year budget and the prior year actual expenses on the same page.


My Muse request timeline doesn’t align with my organization’s fiscal year.

The majority of request timelines will align with an organization’s fiscal year. In special circumstances your program may operate on a timeline outside of your fiscal year. When this occurs, additional documents are required. If your timelines do not align, please contact Music Program staff for guidance regarding mismatched timelines.

What do you mean by prior year?

Your prior year is the most recent fully-completed 12 months of providing services. For example, if your request timeline is 1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017 your most recent fully-completed prior year is 1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016.


When is an interim report required for my Muse award?

  • Interim reports are not required for all Muse awards. If your organization has an active grant for the same request you are currently applying for, you must submit an interim grant report in conjunction with that application. Interim reports should briefly summarize progress made in accomplishing your project objectives to date, and share high-level lessons learned to date. Please include budget-to-actuals to date in conjunction with your report. Interim reports do not exclude you from submitting a final report.
  • To submit an interim report, you must first inform Music Program staff that one is required for your request. We will then allow you access to your interim report form in the grantee portal. Once complete, interim reports can be uploaded by clicking "Reports Due" in the grantee portal. See instructions here.
  • Be sure your report narrative and budget align with the relevant grant proposal. Address what was planned (and what was in the grant application) and what was delivered.

Do I need to submit a final report for my prior Muse award?

Yes. Please reference Section 4 in your grant agreement for more details about the timing and content of the report.

I still have questions. Where can I find out more information?

  • Contact our Music Program staff by phone at 970.221.2636 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • For Muse workshop information visit our Application Assistance page.