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The Guitar Center Music Foundation Grant Process

Here’s What We Donate

The Guitar Center Music Foundation awards instruments and equipment to eligible music instruction programs. These items are lightly used, blemished or otherwise imperfect and have been collected from manufacturers and retailers. Descriptions regarding the specific imperfections of each instrument will be available to selected programs.

The organization is currently awarding acoustic guitars, electric guitars, acoustic-electric guitars, bass guitars and the equipment necessary to play these instruments. However, other traditional music instruments are sometimes available. Traditional instruments include string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass instruments, percussion instruments, keyboards and voice. DJ equipment and computers are not available through Guitar The Center Music Foundation.

Grant Eligibility Criteria

The Guitar Center Music Foundation awards traditional instruments only to music instruction programs that are part of 501c3 organizations or public schools in the United States. To qualify as a music instruction program, participants must be learning how to make music. Participants can be of any age. However, music appreciation or entertainment programs do not qualify, and the participants cannot be professional or career musicians. A qualified program must fit into one of these four categories:

  • In-school music classes, in which the students make music
  • After-school music programs that are not run by the school
  • Community music programs, which offer music instruction to community members
  • Music therapy programs, in which the participants make the music

In addition, the program must meet the following five criteria:

  1. Individuals are not denied participation based on their musical abilities.
  2. If the participants pay to participate, the fee is considerably less than the fair market value.
  3. The program has been functioning smoothly for at least one year.
  4. Each program participant receives music instruction at least once a week for at least eight months per year. (Camps and workshops are not eligible.)
  5. With or without a grant from GuitarCenter Foundation, the organization is confident that the program will exist for the foreseeable future.

Instrument Grant Application Instructions

Please review the Guitar Center Music Foundation grant eligibility criteria listed above before applying.

The application process involves two steps. Please note that both of these steps must be completed within 24 hours in order for your program to be considered for a grant. It is recommended that you first collect the information for STEP # 2, then complete and submit STEP # 1, and finally submit the information required in STEP # 2 to ensure both are submitted within 24 hours. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The steps are as follows:

STEP # 1: Complete The Guitar Center Music Foundation Grant Candidate Form. The link to this form is provided below. Further information about this form is available on the first page and can be seen by clicking on the link to the form, which is provided below.

STEP # 2: E-mail the following documents in one message to our info email. Please write the name of your organization in the “subject” line.

  • Copy of the organization’s 501c3 IRS verification letter (not required of public schools or school districts)
  • Completed and signed Grant_Agreement_Form
    • This form must be signed by the organization’s executive director or school principal and the program’s music instructor
  • One program photo that captures the spirit of the program

The Guitar Center Music Foundation will select programs requesting up to 8 instruments based on their responses provided in the Grant Candidate Form. If your program is in need of more than 8 instruments, be sure to mark “Yes” for question # 10 of the form. If your program is selected, The Guitar Center Music Foundation will approve your program for 8 instruments and may choose your program to submit a video application to apply for additional instruments. Please note that marking “Yes” for question # 10 will not decrease your chances of being selected to receive 8 instruments.

Please do not contact The Guitar Center Music Foundation to provide supplemental information regarding your program. All applicants will be evaluated solely based on the information provided in the Grant Candidate Form. There is NO APPLICATION DEADLINE; applications are approved on a rolling basis that fluctuates depending on the amount of inventory in stock. Also, we put applications on hold if they request instruments we do not have but expect to receive within that calendar year.

How Instruments are Distributed

If your program is selected, The Guitar Center Music Foundation will contact you and give your program access to The Guitar Center Music Foundation’s online catalog, which is updated periodically. You can then browse through the Foundation’s inventory and select the specific items that will work best for your program. Items will be sent to the program location in exchange for a $10 to $30 shipping reimbursement fee per item, which can be paid online. Please note that it will take several weeks or more for the Foundation to process your application. In addition, it may take more than two (2) months for the Foundation to process requests once your program has selected suitable instruments.

Frequently Asked Questions – Please click here for clarification of our grants.

Other Resources

Click here for a list of organizations that work to keep music alive in communities across the country.

  • Q:Where can I find affordable online music lessons?
    A:Discover, Learn, and Play Music, a resource of the Dallas School of Music, offers online music lessons to organizations for free.
  • Q:Who should I contact if I want to start a band program at my school in the New England area?
    A:The Paul Effman Music Service
  • Q:Who should I contact if I want to bring music into my elementary school?
    A:Guitars in the Classroom
  • Q:Who should I contact if I live in the New England area and need a music scholarship or a sponsor for an event?
    A:Music Drives Us
  • Q:Where can I find another organization that might be a better fit to help my music program?
    A:Give the Gift of Music