Muse Guidelines

Below is a brief overview of key Muse guidelines:

Watch a Muse 101 presentation

Muse and Music Programs Goals

Muse is designed to help achieve Bohemian Foundation's Music Programs goals while being responsive to the needs and ideas of nonprofits.

What We Look For

Muse is a responsive, competitive grant program. Grant applications are accepted two times per year (in Spring and Fall). Grant requests can be up to $20,000. In addition to alignment with Music Programs goals, strong proposals will address the following:

  • Relevance: Requests must reflect an understanding of the current music and community landscapes of Northern Colorado and music industry trends more broadly.
  • Community Need: Requests must fill a gap or improve upon existing services or models. Applicants should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Northern Colorado music community and evidence of the gaps or improvements needed.
  • Stakeholder Buy-in: Requests will document community enthusiasm and demonstrate strong partnerships within the community.
  • Innovation: Creative and innovative organizations and programs are encouraged, particularly when addressing long-standing or distinctly difficult challenges.
  • Fun: Muse encourages proposals that include fun program elements that enliven and inspire while also advancing Music Programs goals.
  • Leverage: Requests should demonstrate how funding from Muse will leverage funding from other sources, including contributed and earned income.
  • Resource Management: Proposals will be evaluated on evidence of responsible resource management.

Geographic Focus

Applicants applying for general operating support must be located within the geographic boundary of Larimer and/or Weld counties. However, organizations applying for program-specific funding need only to provide services to Larimer and/or Weld counties to be eligible.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicant must be a 501(c)(3) organization. Private foundations, government entities, type III non-functionally-integrated supporting organizations, and programs under fiscal sponsorship are ineligible.

One application per school or department is allowed for universities and colleges. If organizations apply as part of a collaborative effort, one organization must be selected to serve as the Muse applicant.

Grant Cycle

Organizations may only submit one application per grant round. There will be two grant rounds per year (in Spring and Fall).

Grant Amount

Eligible organizations may apply for up to $20,000 per grant round. General operating support can only be awarded once per calendar year. Program support can only be awarded once per calendar year. However, support for a different program within the same organization may be awarded in the same year.

Bohemian Foundation’s support of any organization must not exceed 30% of the organization’s overall budget, regardless of the origin of the support (e.g. Pharos Fund, Muse, Community Event Fund, Music Event Fund or Special Initiatives).

Support Types

  • General Operating Support (organizational support): Only eligible for organizations located in Larimer and Weld counties. Organizations must be in operation for two consecutive years prior to the grant year to be eligible for general operating support.
  • Program Support: Programs are typically operational each year; however, pilot projects and one-time efforts are also eligible.

Requests Not Eligible For Funding

  • School districts and/or requests on their behalf
  • Multi-year requests (requests can be for a maximum of 12 months in duration)
  • Applications that combine requests for both general operating support and for program support
  • Fundraising events (See Music Event Fund.)
  • Single-day or multi-day events (See Music Event Fund.)
  • Non-music related community requests (See Bohemian Foundation’s Community Programs for community support.)
  • Private schools
  • Capital campaigns
  • Debt reduction
  • Endowment funding
  • Political campaigns or legislative issues
  • Funding for individuals or teams
  • Activities that support a specific religious purpose
  • Non-501(c)(3) organizations, private foundations or programs under fiscal sponsorship
  • Type III non-functionally-integrated supporting organizations
  • Government entities
  • Discriminatory programs

Application Process

All Muse applications must be submitted via the Bohemian Foundation grantee portal. Applications must be fully completed and submitted in advance of the deadline to be considered for review. 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.