About the Bonnaroo Works Fund
Somewhere near the top of our to-do list is “change the world.” So, in 2009, we created the Bonnaroo Works Fund. Administered by the nonprofit East Tennessee Foundation, it supports organizations and programs focused on the arts, education, environmental sustainability and other causes we believe in.
So far, Bonnaroo has invested over $5 million in such worthy organizations as Doctors Without Borders, Head Count, Music Cares, Conscious Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club of America, Rock the Earth, the American Red Cross and the Sierra Club. Bonnaroo has also stepped up in the wake of disaster, such as the Haitian earthquake, Nashville floods and Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
We also devote a lot of attention to our own neighborhood – the Manchester and Coffee County community in Tennessee. We support health and social services, educational programs and a variety of community projects such as the Coffee County Recreation Center, the Skateboard Park (dude!) and the Manchester Performing Arts Center. Other local beneficiaries include Coffee County’s Christmas programs, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department Christmas Charity Fund – even the Manchester Police Department’s Toys for Tots program.
We don’t deserve all the credit. A good share of the money comes from generous fans, who help support the Fund through ticket add-ons and the annual on-site Silent Auction. Other creative funding sources include royalties from Ben & Jerry’s Bonnaroo Buzz (yes, you can do good by eating ice cream!).
Bonnaroo also invites local community organizations to raise funds by participating in the festival. Their volunteers staff the popular concession booths, and Bonnaroo in turn donates a portion of the sales to those organizations. During the past decade, the Coffee Country Rescue Squad, the Children’s Advocacy Center, Project Graduation, the Hands On Science Center, the Manchester Arts Center, Park Partners, Keep Coffee County Beautiful and numerous other groups have raised more than $2 million to support their activities. By volunteering, these devoted do-gooders also help create a better Bonnaroo, so be sure to give them a thumbs-up at the festival.
We are enormously proud of the Bonnaroo Works Fund. Who says music – and music fans – can’t change the world?
Guidelines for Grant Applicants
The Bonnaroo Works Fund aims to support regional and national organizations, making their communities healthy in areas of the arts, education, and environmental sustainability, with the goal of local reinvestment and asset building for the community we live, work, and play in.
The Bonnaroo Works Fund of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in the East Tennessee Foundation primarily focuses on charitable programs in Middle Tennessee. Proposals from organizations beyond the Middle Tennessee area are considered by invitation only.
Grants are made to tax-exempt public charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to government agencies without regard to factors of race, religion, sex or national origin.
Program interests include, but are not limited to: education, music and arts programs for children or communities, protection of the environment and environment sustainability, and the arts/humanities. The Fund generally does not support: endowment programs, fund raising events, annual appeals of well-established organizations, or grants to individuals.
Please note that the Bonnaroo Works Fund receives far more requests each grant cycle than it can support. The average grant allocation is between $1,000 and $10,000. While organizations may receive funding more than once, grantees that have received multiple years of support form the Bonnaroo Works Fund are strongly encouraged to diversify their funding base and develop alternative sources of support.
Grant applications should be submitted in triplicate on the organization’s letterhead and signed by the Chief Executive Officer. The following information must be included:
- Bonnaroo Works Cover Sheet – Fully completed Bonnaroo Works Fund Grant Proposal Cover Sheet: (Download here)
- Proposal Narrative – Clear description of the project or program for which support is sought, including information as to how it will be funded in the future (one typewritten page).
- Organization Description – A description of how the project fits into the organization’s objective, history, and other programs, and the geographical area and demographic groups it serves (one typewritten page).
- Tax Exemption Information – Evidence of 501(c)(3) public charity status (IRS tax determination letter). Government agencies are also eligible to receive support.
- Financial Information – A current detailed financial statement including annual budget and operating expenses.
- Board/Staff Information – A list of the organization’s staff and Board and information regarding Board commitment to the organization.
Each of these pieces of information is very important to our review committee. Failure to provide all required information will prevent consideration of the application.
The Bonnaroo Works Fund is administered by the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), and all proposals or inquiries should be directed to that organization. All proposals will be acknowledged by the Foundation and reviewed by the Bonnaroo Works Fund Screening Committee. A member of the Screening Committee may contact the applicant to schedule a site visit.
Applications must be received by April 15 & selections will be made by the end of June. Applicants may not submit a proposal more than once in any 12 month period.
Grant proposals should be submitted to:
East Tennessee Foundation c/o the Bonnaroo Works Fund
625 Market Street Ste. 1400
Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone inquiries: (865) 524.1223