Application Help

The questions below are meant to help applicants create and refine their submission. Consider these questions as a way to structure your thinking and further understand the elements a winning application includes. 

1. ALIGNMENT WITH THE ADOLF BUSCH MISSION. Does the applicant’s mission target social injustice and inequality? 
In what problem area does the organization focus? 

  • Enhancing or correcting socioeconomic opportunity.
  • Addressing issues that challenge the status quo or address bias, etc
  • Supporting education and mentorship efforts.

What is the role of music in the organization’s mission?

  • How is music used – to heal, translate, confront, to create, connect, teach, communicate – and to what end?
  • How are the organization’s participants actively engaged with or in music? 

Why is it important that the organization continue its mission?

2. PROGRAM IMPACT. Consider the depth of impact on individual participants and its potential impact on the larger community. What change occurs? 

  • Are participants able to defy societal expectations as a result of the program? 
  • Does the organization provide opportunities or training that enables participants to improve their circumstances or transcend societal constraints?
  • Does the impact appear to have long-lasting results? 
  • Does the program have an impact beyond the participants directly served? 

How do you know? 

  • Is the narrative convincing? Consider the merit of arguments like “Without us, this wouldn’t happen” and what that truly means. Ask yourself, “So what?”
  • Does the organization have empirical data to support its impact and success? Are the supplied metrics meaningful?

3. OBSTACLES FACED. What obstacles does the organization face? What is the role of courage? Consider the following questions:

  • What is the obstacle? How is it unique to the organization?
  • What is the merit of the obstacle? Ask, “How relevant is the identified obstacle to the organization’s operations?”
  • How successfully and with what creativity has it addressed obstacles? How is that demonstrated?  

What about the environment in which the organization operates that makes it challenging? For example:

  • Is the environment a current conflict zone? Post-conflict? 
  • Is the organization confronting an invisible systemic issue? 
  • Does the organization operate in geographic or cultural isolation?

Who is actually facing the obstacles? Is it the organization itself or its participants?

  • Does the organization itself demonstrate courage? Does the organization provide courage? 
  • What about the courage of the people served?
    Do either the organization or the participants display courage in a manner that resonates with you? Why?

4. ORGANIZATIONAL IMPACT: Is the financial impact of the award clearly articulated in relation to the organization’s budget?

  • Is the award likely to be significant for the selected organization?
  • What kind of change would the award bring to the organization? Would it kickstart a project? Help the organization expand its efforts to a defined area? Help with the purchase of something?
  • Would the organization gain status and other funding as a result of the award?


  • Is there a clear demographic target?
  • What is the cost to participants? 
  • How has the program grown and developed since inception or over the past several years?