CDSS Outreach Funds & Application Guidelines

CDSS Outreach Funds are available to support a wide variety of programs and projects that foster the growth of traditional music, dance and song from England and the United States.

Who can apply for this funding?

Individuals and groups who are:

  • organizing events (workshops, weekend events, conferences, festivals, etc.) for one or more of these purposes:
  • to offer leadership training of callers, musicians, singers and event organizers
  • to encourage youth involvement
  • to create a new event
  • publishing instruction materials (print, web, audio, video)
  • in need of scholarships to attend non-CDSS programs
  • involved in related endeavors that will have a lasting effect on the dance and song community.

Preference is given to CDSS members and group affiliates and to applicants who have not previously received CDSS funding. However, all are welcome to apply. For questions about the suitability of your application, contact Linda Henry, or 413-203-5467 x105. See Our Funds at Work for glimpses of events and projects that have been supported by CDSS.

Things to consider when you apply…

  • CDSS outreach support is offered in hopes that projects seeking this funding will become self-supporting.
  • We encourage applicants to pursue additional support from other sources prior to sending in your application. These partnerships will indicate that your project has a wider base of support, making it more sustainable over time.
  • CDSS prefers to offer support in the form of financial backing. This funding is offered as a “safety net” in the event that your project does not break even. You will be sent this reimbursement following your event, when you submit a financial report indicating how much funding is needed.
  • CDSS grants are offered prior to the event/project, and any amount that is not needed is returned to CDSS.
  • The maximum funding amount is $500, and the typical range is $200 - $300. A set amount is budgeted for each application period, so funding amounts vary depending on how many applications are received for any given deadline.
  • Learn more about CDSS by perusing our website. Our 990 is available on Guidestar.


Recipients of CDSS outreach funding are expected to:

  • acknowledge CDSS support in any publicity, including our logo and a link to our website — for example, "This event (or project) is supported in part by the Country Dance and Song Society,"
  • make announcements and take pictures and/or videos
  • include a written acknowledgement (in publications)
  • make CDSS promotional materials available at the event (these will be sent from CDSS)
  • provide photos (and videos if possible) along with a follow-up report after the event/project including successes, challenges, feedback from participants, financial outcome, etc.
  • send a copy of any published materials for the CDSS archives.

What are the CDSS Outreach Funds?

When you apply for CDSS outreach funding, our Grants Committee will decide if your project or event is eligible for funding from any of the following:

  • CDSS Outreach Fund and New Leaders, Good Leaders Fund: grants, financial backing and scholarships for events and publications to train dance leaders, musicians, singers and event organizers, and/or to foster youth involvement
  • May Gadd/Phil Merrill Fund: 
financial backing and grants to help start new events (weekends, festivals, conferences, etc.); scholarships for CDSS programs (link)
  • Mary Kay Friday Leadership Fund: 
grants for training of dance leaders, callers and musicians
  • Chuck Ward Musicians Training Fund: 
grants to support training programs for novice and experienced English country dance musicians.

Grant Application Process

Current application deadlines are February 1, June 1 and October 1. Since funding recipients are required to mention CDSS support in any publicity (see above), plan to apply for the deadline that is at least 1-2 months before you plan to start promoting your event/project.

Click here to access the online application form and follow the prompts. You will be notified when we have received your application. If you have not received notification within a few days, contact Linda Henry, or 413-203-5467 x105.