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TCA Grants Program

The Application Window is now closed.

If you have questions about this year’s Grants Program, please contact: grants@taikocommunityalliance.org


The 2021 TCA Grants Program is here!

Last year, the TCA Grants Program pivoted to an Emergency Relief Fund to aid taiko professionals adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While continuing these efforts in 2021, we are excited to reactivate the Grants Program with an expanded scope and capacity to support the taiko community at large.

The Taiko Community Alliance is seeking proposals for grants to support projects that align with, further, and promote the mission of TCA in alignment with our core values and guiding principles – more information about the TCA mission, values, and principles can be found here.

Since 2016, TCA has dedicated increasing amounts of funds to the Grant Program, culminating this year in $20,000 to fund grants that support projects in 2021-2022. To encourage creativity and innovation in proposals, a wide variety of project types will be considered. If you are unsure if your project is a fit, please read the FAQ (below).

Want to hear directly from TCA Program Kristina McGaha about this year’s 2021 Grants Program? Attend one of our weekly information sessions for a short presentation and ample opportunity for live Q&A. Each session will present the same information, so anyone interested need only attend one. Register for any of these sessions via the applicable links below:

    • Saturday, February 27 at 4:00 PM PST – [ REGISTER HERE ]
    • Friday, March 5 at 5:00 PM PST – [ REGISTER HERE ]
    • Friday, March 12 at 6:00 PM PST – [ REGISTER HERE ]
    • Saturday, March 20 at 10:00 AM PDT – [ REGISTER HERE ]
    • Friday, March 26 at 5:00 PM PDT – [ REGISTER HERE ]
    • Friday, April 2 at 5:00 PM PDT – [ REGISTER HERE ] CANCELED

Our April 2nd info session has been canceled, but you can reach out anytime with questions to kristina@taikocommunityalliance.org.

🇨🇦 New This Year: For the first time, Canada-based groups and individuals may apply for a TCA Grant without the need of a US-based fiscal sponsor! Groups and individuals outside of North America may also apply but will continue to need a fiscal sponsor in order to be eligible to receive funding.

What has remained the same?

As in past TCA Grants cycles, this year’s program is open to ideas and projects from both individuals and groups.

What else is new?

The scope and procedures of the Grants Program application and selection have been reviewed and updated with a focus on expanding accessibility and equality of opportunity for consideration. These priorities have impacted the Grants Program in the following ways:

THEME: As in past grant cycles, we are seeking projects that further TCA’s mission through alignment with our core values and guiding principles; however, to cultivate a richer pool of projects in alignment with each of these values, the next several cycles of grants will focus on one core value at a time. This year, our chosen theme is inclusivity, defined in TCA’s Core Values as:

Believing that everyone has the freedom to play taiko and participate in the taiko dialogue regardless of who they are or where they come from. 

This belief is demonstrated within TCA by:

  • Continually seeking to broaden the base of participation in the taiko community and reach out to welcome new members;
  • Embrace the differing perspectives and voices within the taiko community;
  • Nurture connections within and beyond TCA and regularly facilitate in-person gathering and events to strengthen our community; and
  • Provide the means to make participation at every level in TCA and the taiko community accessible to all.

Do projects need to focus only on this theme? 
Absolutely not. While we are seeking projects that highlight and exemplify this particular value of inclusivity, we welcome and would be excited to see projects that promote this theme in addition to any (or all!) of our Core Values.

TIMELINE: Pushed up earlier in the year, 2021 Grant Applications will be accepted from March 7, 2021 through April 4, 2021. Application acceptance will close at 11:59 PM PST with notification and dispersal of awards beginning in May 2021.

STRUCTURE: This year, funds have been designated across 3 tiers of application category; this ensures that TCA is prepared to support a wide range of project sizes, as well as both groups and individuals alike.

Tier 1: Large Projects
A total of $12,000 has been allocated to support large-scale projects, events, and/or gatherings that involve multiple groups and/or regions*.

Tier 2: Small- to Mid-Sized Projects
A total of $4,000 has been allocated to support small- to mid-sized projects, events, and/or gatherings focused on a single group or a project focused locally*.

*Depending on the region, a “regional” gathering and a “local” event/gathering may have vastly different meanings when it comes to the size of the project. For assistance in identifying which tier your proposal is better suited for, please be sure to attend one of our informational sessions or contact us directly with specific questions at: grants@taikocommunityalliance.org

Tier 3: Individual Relief Funding
A total of $4,000 has been allocated to support individuals as small discretionary awards to cover a wide range of needs, including but not limited to rent, storage, repairs, or recouping lost income.

TCA membership is no longer required to apply for any tier of TCA Grants funding. Specific eligibility is dependant on the type of award you are applying for; please refer to the Eligibility Requirements and our FAQ below for more details on the criteria for each tier.


Tier 1 and Tier 2 proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria. Beneath each criterion is some of the detailed questions panelists will consider in reviewing proposals.

Alignment with TCA Mission: 40%
How well does the proposal embody the TCA mission, values, and current strategic framework goals? How well does it highlight the theme of inclusivity?

Feasibility: 30%
Does this project demonstrate a high likelihood of success in accomplishing goals? (i.e., does it have the right people (skills, time, etc), a realistic and clear budget, and a realistic timeline?) Are admin/overhead costs justified? If this request is part of a larger project, is there a high-level overview of the entire budget? (i.e., full cost of the project, how much of the required revenue has been identified, how much has been raised.)

Significance: 30%
Does this project have a broad reach and/or deep engagement? For how many? Is this a topic that has widespread demand, interest, and/or impact across the many types of taiko styles and players that make up the TCA constituency? What benefits does this project convey for the larger taiko community, in addition to benefits it brings to the primary applicant’s group/region?  

Applicants to Tier 3 grants will be evaluated on the following criteria.

Active Member of the Taiko Community: 30%
An “active” community member is defined as someone practicing, performing, teaching, creating, or supporting the art of taiko. Evidence can include a variety of support materials (photos, emails, websites, program materials, resume, etc.). Please contact us (grants@taikocommunityalliance.org) with any questions if you are unsure whether you qualify.

Length of Time Active in the Taiko Community: 30%
The length of time a person is considered “active” or contributing to the taiko community can be cumulative. This means that individuals who took a break from taiko and have returned may describe this in their narrative responses. Recent activity should be highlighted with examples of involvement as detailed in the previous criterion.

Financial Impact in 2020 and Plans for Funds: 40%
Similar to the Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) program in 2020, this can be demonstrated through a variety of supporting documentation including but not limited to emails/communication of canceled events, website or blog notifications, a comparison of 2019 vs. 2020 performing income, etc. Please contact us (grants@taikocommunityalliance.org) for more clarity and any questions. While providing personal financial forms or information is not required, you will need to provide a form W-4 or TD-1 as part of the application.

These small discretionary awards are intended to meet the need of the applicant, whether that be rent money for taiko storage, general maintenance, etc. You will be asked to provide a statement of how you intend to use these funds.

Amount of Award:

TCA has dedicated a total of $20,000 to be distributed under this grant program. It is hoped that multiple projects will be supported; therefore, requesting the full amount allocated to the tier in which you are applying (e.g., $14,000 for a Tier 1 proposal) is not encouraged; however, there is a minimum request of $2,000 for Tier 1 and Tier 2 proposals, so you must request at least this amount in order for your proposal to be considered in these tiers. For Tier 3 applications, there is no minimum amount required; however, awards will not exceed $500.

Award Eligibility:

Please note that all of the below criteria must be met in order to be eligible for consideration in Tier 1 and Tier 2:

A 1:1 match is required. For example, if an applicant requests $2,000, that applicant should demonstrate that they have $2,000 worth of resources to dedicate to the project. Both cash and in-kind matches are accepted, and the match can be 100% in-kind.

Applicants must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit or a Canadian nonprofit registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency. US-based fiscal sponsors may be used and are required for an individual artist wishing to apply, as well as any groups applying from outside of the USA or Canada.

Applicants do not have to be members of TCA.

TCA Board members, employees, and contractors are not eligible to apply.

TCA is only able to make grants to US-based and Canadian-based nonprofits. Therefore, any international applicants must use a US-based 501(c)3 as a fiscal sponsor.

Applications that do not include the EIN of a valid 501(c)3 will not be reviewed.

Please note that all of the below criteria must be met in order to be eligible for consideration in Tier 3 applications.

Evidence that you are an active member of the taiko community. An “active” member is defined as someone practicing, performing, teaching, creating, or supporting the art of taiko. Evidence can include a variety of support materials (e.g., photos, emails, websites, program materials, resume, etc.).

Applicants must be able to provide documentation to receive funds as an individual – either a W-4 or Form TD1 – in order to track funds for tax filing purposes.

Applicants do not have to be a member of TCA.

Applications without the requested documentation will not be reviewed.

Application & Funding Process in 2021

Applications will be accepted between 3/7/2021 – 4/4/2021 and are due by 11:59 PM Pacific Time on 4/4/2021. Late applications will not be accepted. A review panel made up of TCA Board members and staff will evaluate applications and awards will be announced in April 2021.  

Awardees will receive one lump-sum payment of their full grant amount in April, 2021. Within 30 days of completing their project, grantees of Tier 1 and Tier 2 awards must submit a 200 – 500 word blog post describing the project and its impact; 3-5 photos should also be included along with attribution information. This material will appear as a guest post (with the grantee listed as author) on the TCA website and be linked in a future TCA Beat newsletter. TCA also reserves the option to feature these projects in our Annual Report and materials used to seek grant funding and sponsorships for TCA.

To submit your application, please complete the form linked below once it is available starting on Sunday, March 7. In case of any errors that occur while completing or submitting the form, we recommend composing your answers in a separate word document and then copying and pasting them into the form once you are ready to submit. Please note that ONE supporting document (letter of support, video link, etc.) may be submitted for Tier 1 and Tier 2 applications, but is not required.

Important DatesTo ensure grantees receive funds as quickly as possible, the 2021 Grants Application will close after 4 weeks. Here is an outline of those key dates:

  • Feb 27, 2021 (Saturday) – First Info Session for interested applicants
  • March 7, 2021 (Sunday) – 2021 TCA Grants Application OPENS
  • April 4, 2021 (Sunday) – Application CLOSES
  • April 30, 2021 (Friday) – Beginning of decision notifications
  • May 1, 2021 (Saturday) – Beginning of award dispersal
  • April 30, 2022 (Saturday) – Final Grant Reports by Award Recipients due

Additional Information

Information Sessions will be hosted weekly starting on Saturday, February 27 through Friday, April 2, 2021. Please RSVP via the applicable links below to attend any one of these sessions. Each session will provide the same information and opportunity for Q&A, so anyone interested need only attend one.

To register for any of the upcoming info sessions, please visit the session-specific registration links below:

Questions? Contact Kristina McGaha, TCA Program Manager, at: kristina@taikocommunityalliance.org



What is a fiscal sponsor?
A fiscal sponsor is a registered nonprofit that agrees to receive grant funds on behalf of a grant applicant who is not a registered nonprofit. For TCA Grants, this nonprofit must be based in the US. Typically, fiscal sponsors will receive a small percentage of the grant award for their sponsorship. More details can be found here. If you need a fiscal sponsor, it is highly recommended that you arrange that partnership well in advance of submitting your application. TCA cannot serve as a fiscal sponsor for this grant.  

What’s an EIN?
Employer Identification Number; it is a number assigned to an organization by the US Federal government at that organization’s request. Essentially, it’s the organizational equivalent of a Social Security Number. US- and Canadian-based groups should provide an EIN or equivalent tax identification number when applying for a TCA Grant. In many cases, international (excluding Canada) organizations may also request an EIN designation for dealings with US-based organizations. For more information on EIN designations, please visit https://irs.gov-taxnumber.com/.

I have a social security number, is that the same as an EIN?
Unfortunately, no. You must apply through a nonprofit organization with a valid EIN. TCA can only legally make grants to US- and Canadian-based nonprofits. Individual awards in Tier 3 applications, however, may require the use of your social security number (or Canadian equivalent) to complete the W-4 form or Form TD1.

How can I tell if my EIN is linked to a valid 501(c)3?
As a first step, search for your organization on Guidestar. If it does not show up, your EIN might not be connected to a valid 501(c)3. You’ll need to dig further within your organization to answer the question.

Can international taiko groups apply?
Canadian-based nonprofits are welcome to apply with their business number provided by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Other international groups may also apply, but only with a US- or Canadian-based fiscal sponsor. If your group possesses an EIN number (the IRS can provide you with one if you are an international group), then please provide this as well.

Can individuals apply?
Yes, but only with a US- or Canadian-based fiscal sponsor when applying for Tier 1 or Tier 2 awards. For individuals applying for the Tier 3 individual relief, no fiscal sponsor is required, but you will need to provide a W-4 form (USA) or Form TD1 (Canada).

What does it mean that the match can be “in-kind?”
In-kind match is a non-cash contribution towards your project. As an example, imagine that you’re proposing to host a gathering of taiko groups in an isolated region. The facility where you plan to hold this gathering agrees to let you use it for free, rather than charging you their usual $500 fee. That is a $500 in-kind match. Your entire match can be in-kind.

My group wants to submit a proposal for our 10th anniversary concert. Is that a fit?
Depending on the scope and scale of the concert, this proposal may fit in either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Historically, TCA has funded concerts that substantially strengthen a regional taiko community, promote the visibility of a key underrepresented segment of taiko artists, or that are held in conjunction with meaningful documentation of taiko history.

Anniversary concerts, local performances, or projects pertaining to/involving one group will typically be considered small- to mid-sized and fall under 
Tier 2. We are pleased to include such projects for funding in the 2021 grants cycle. For further clarity, you can always email us your questions (grants@taikocommunityalliance.org) or attend one of our weekly information sessions (detailed above).

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