The Foundation

The Les Paul Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through support of music education, recording, innovation and medical research related to hearing. It’s also a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Wizard of Waukesha.


Mission Statement

The Les Paul Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through support of music education, recording, innovation, exhibits about Les Paul  and medical research related to hearing.

Donate Online

Your online donation will be securely processed through Paypal. You can pay with any major credit card or with your Paypal account. You can also support the Les Paul Foundation by shopping at our Les Paul Online Store.

The Les Paul Foundation

  • Awards grants to programs and projects that encourage innovation in music production and/or performance and to innovative STEM and STEAM programs for students and others in challenging situations 
  • Provides grants for medical research related to curing tinnitus and hearing impairment issues.
  • Inspires the public through support of public exhibits presenting Les Paul’s life and achievements

Determined to perpetuate support to the areas on which he focused his life, Les Paul created his foundation.

Proceeds from sales of merchandise in our webstore benefit the work of the Foundation.

Education Resources

Learn more about the Foundation’s Education resources including standard-based study units, videos, activities, posters and more for elementary, seondary and collegiate.


Grant Guidelines

Organizations must be located and operating programs in the United States and classified by the Internal Revenue Service as public charities and tax- exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The foundation does not support religious, political, labor or business organizations. No grants are awarded to individuals. Funding consideration is given to programs and projects that encourage innovation in music production and/or performance and to innovative STEM or STEAM programs for students and others in challenging situations.

Proposals for medical research related to curing tinnitus and other hearing impairment issues are considered. Other types of funding is by invitation only. All organizations must describe how Les Paul’s story will be shared. Successful organizations will receive checks after the decision date. Please do not contact.

Application and Decision Schedule: 

Grant CycleGrant DeadlineDecision Date
1January 15April 1
2September 15December 1
  1. Organizations may only file one grant request per calendar year.
  2. Please make sure that you have the most recent version of Acrobat Reader
  3. Complete application form. We occasionally update our application form. The most recent form must be used. If a prior version of the form is submitted the application will not be considered for funding.
  4. Review to confirm you’ve addressed all fields, including your Organization Budget. 
  5. Don’t forget to save once you’ve completed it, then attach to an email and send to: 
  6. Print it if you want a hard copy. 
  7. Successful organizations will receive checks after the decision date. Please do not contact.

FAQs about Grants from the Les Paul Foundation

Please carefully review information below to assure your proposal aligns with the Les Paul Foundation’s priorities.

What are the priorities for grants from the LES PAUL FOUNDATION?
  • Programs and projects that align with the Les Paul Foundation mission: The Les Paul Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through support of music education, recording, innovation and medical research related to finding a cure for tinnitus through the Hearing Health Foundation.
  • Inspire students/audience by sharing Les Paul’s story in an innovative and effective way. The foundation’s name in a program or on a plaque is not sufficient. Relay how you will share Les’ story.
  • Demonstrate funding from sources beyond the Les Paul Foundation.
  • Begin relationship with the Foundation with realistic a funding request.
  • Personnel, timeline and budget should be consistent with project/program.
What types of organizations receive funding?
  • Music education organizations and schools including public schools
  • Music Recording and Music Industry education programs
  • STEM/STEAM programs that emphasize innovation and align with Les Paul’s work
  • After school science and music programs that align with Les Paul’s work
  • Museum exhibits about Les Paul with collaboration with Foundation
May I use an older grant application form?

No, only requests submitted on the form on this page will be considered.

Do I need to answer all questions on the form?

Definitely. Missing information will preclude consideration of your request.

Are there geographic restrictions?

Yes, grants are awarded to 501(c)3 organizations and schools within the United States.

Are funding requests accepted for existing projects?

Yes, if they align with above priorities.

Does the Foundation provide funding for capital campaigns?

Yes, if they align with above priorities.

Does the Foundation provide general operating grants?

The Foundation provides funding for programs and projects that align with above priorities.

Does the Foundation provide multi-year grants?

Grant proposals must be submitted annually.

Does the Foundation sponsor special events?

Funding for special events must align with the Foundation’s priorities and requirements.

Does the Foundation provide funding to individuals?

No, funding is for projects and programs that serve groups of people. 

What is the typical amount given for a first time grant?

First time grants typically are $1,500 to $2,000, but there are no fixed amounts.


Will the Foundation award grants to fiscal sponsors on behalf of applicants who are not 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations?


What is required in the final report for receiving a grant?

Within one year of receiving funding, submit a report describing specifically how Les Paul’s story was shared with your students/audience. Include photos, videos and/or audio. Reports must be filed prior to any subsequent request for funding to be considered. Submitted materials may be used on Les Paul Foundation’s social media platforms. Send your report to


A Child’s Song, CO

A Place Called Home, CA

Academy Project, The, CA


Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, NY

After School All Stars, DC

Alabama Blues Project, AL

Algiers Charter School Association, LA

Amelia Park Children’s Museum, MA

Anita E. Villareal, TX

ArtistYear, PA

Austin Achieve Public Schools, TX

Bangtown Studio to Go, MI

Bay Area Music Project, CA

Belfair Montessori Magnet School, LA

Benchmark School, AZ

Birch Creek Music Center, Inc., WI

Blues Foundation, The, TN

Bonnaroo Works Fund , TN

BookGive, CO

Boston Lyric Opera Company, MA

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County, TX

Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, FL

Bright Beginnings School, AZ

Broadway for Arts Education, NY

Bronx House, NY

Broward Education Foundation./Silver Lakes Middle School, MI

Build Incorporated, IL

Building for the Arts, NY

Building Youth through Music, WA

Cab Calloway School Fund, DE

Camp Spin Off, CA

CenterStage, NY

Christina Cultural Arts Center, DE

Ciji Kristine Foundation, CA

College of Saint Rose, The, NY

Collingswood High School, NJ

Conservatory Lab Charter School, MA

Country Music Foundation, TN

DaVinci Schools, CA

DC Jazz, DC

Desert Sounds Performing Arts, AZ

Discovery World, WI

Drexel University, PA

Dynamo Studios, TN

Eco-Collective Farm School, The, FL

Education Through Music, NY

Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center Lucy Moses School, NY

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, MD

ETM (Z sharp), CA

Exploring the Arts, NY

Fairhope Education Enrichment Foundation, AL

FamFrequency Productions Inc, PA

First Stage Milwaukee Inc., WI

Foundation for Portland Public Schools, ME

Free Guitars for Future Stars. IL

Gaillard Management Corp, SC

Girls Rock SB, CA

Grammy Museum/Foundation, The, CA

Greater Milwaukee El Sistema, WI

Guitars for Vets, WI

H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education & Awareness for Rockers), CA

Harmony Project, The, CA

Hear Your Song, NY

Hearing Health Foundation, NY

Hive Miami Inc., The, FL

Horizons Atlanta, GA

Home Team, The, FL

Institute of Music for Children, NJ

INTEMPO Org. Inc. (formerly INTAKE Org. Inc.), CT

Jazz House Kids, NJ

Junior Jazz Foundation, SC

Keep Music Alive, PA

Kent State Univ School of Music, OH

Kid Pan Alley, VA

Kids Rock Free, CA

Lawrence Hall, IL

Learning Spring School, NY

Legacy Music Alliance, UT

Les Paul Middle School, WI

Lincoln Academy, The, WI

Lincoln Arts Council, NE

Litchfield Performing Arts, Inc., CT

LiveConnections, PA

Louisville Academy of Music, Inc., KY

Louisville Public Media, KY

Lutheran Music Academy of Galveston Island, TX

Magnolia Woods Elementary, LA

Mahwah Museum Society, NJ

Maya Angelou Public Charter School, DC

Memphis Jazz Workshop (LeeJazzOmega), TN

Metropolitan Museum of Art, The, NY

Mind-Builders, NY

Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center, MS

Mobile Symphony, Inc, AL

Montclair State University Foundation, NJ

Mullins Music, FL

Music Box Village (New Orleans Airlift), LA

Music Institute of Chicago, IL

Music on the Inside, Inc., NY

Music Unites, DC

Music Will (Little Kids Rock), NJ

Musical Arts Institute, The, IL

MusicBreeds, NY

Musicians on Call, TN

NAMM Foundation – LP TEC Award, CA

Nantucket Community Music Center, MA

National Blues Museum, MO

Neon Museum, The, NV

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, LA

New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy, LA

New Voices MS Parents Association, NY

No Limits Theater Group Inc., CA

Northwest Colorado Health, CO

Notes for Notes, TN

NSSEO (Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization), IL

Park Foundation of Waukesha, Inc., The, WI

Public Broadcasting of NW PA, PA

Quest Center for Arts & Community Development, The, TN

Ramapo College Foundation, NJ

Riverwest Artists Association (Jazz Gallery Center for Arts), WI

Rock & Soul Forever Foundation, NY

Rock to the Future, PA

Rockit Live Foundation, NJ

Rowan University Foundation, NJ

Sasha Bruce Youthwork, DC

School District of Waukesha, WI

School of the Arts Foundation, FL

Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, WI

Sheldon Arts Foundation, The, MO

Shell Lake Arts Center, WI

Six Strings Heroes at Jefferson Barracks, MO

Songbirds Foundation, TN

Sonoma Community Center, CA

Soulsville Foundation (Stax Music Academy), TN

Sound Art, CA

Strings Attached, MO

Suzuki Music School of Westport, Inc., CT

T.J. Martel Foundation, NY

Texas Supremacy of Music & Arts, The, TX

Tiffin University, OH

Trillium Family Services, OR

TRUE Skool, WI

Two Bit Circus Foundation, CA


University of Bridgeport, Inc., The, CT

University of Memphis, TN

University of Florida Foundation, The, FL

Urban Gateways, IL

VH1 Save the Music Foundation, NY

Virgin Mary Foundation, The, FL

Walla Walla Symphony Society, WA

Waukesha Community Art Project, WI

Waukesha County Historical Society & Museum, WI

Waukesha Education Foundation, WI

Waukesha Guitar Town, Inc., WI

White Hall Arts Academy Foundation, CA

WI Independent Learning College, WI

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, NY

Wisconsin School Music Association, WI

Women’s Audio Mission, CA

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA

World Changers School of the Arts, IN

WSU Foundation (Washington State Univ Vancouver), WA

Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, MS

York County Library System, PA

Young Audiences of Oregon, OR

Young Musicians Foundation, CA

Youth & Family Services, SD


The Les Paul music box at The Music Box Village

The New Orleans outdoor museum is a whimsical village of artist-made interactive “musical houses. The Les Paul “house” features playable versions of Les’ Rail and Log.

The Music Box Village pushes artistic boundaries as it brings together people of all ages and abilities for heartwarming, creative experiences.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Les Paul exhibit is a focal point of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Garage Gear area. Les’ innovations in the recording studio and pioneering work with the solid-body electric guitar are highlighted.

Les Paul’s House of Sound at Discovery World

Les Paul’s House of Sound at the Discovery World, is an interactive experience that showcases the innovative and creative spirit of Les Paul. The exhibit features one-of-a-kind artifacts including Les’ “bible” guitar, one of his “klunker” guitars, and recording equipment along with the ever-popular Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience. Discovery World Page

The Les Paul Experience at the Waukesha County Museum

Waukesha County Museum is one of the best locations in the world to present this tribute to Les Paul, the Wizard of Waukesha.  See Les’ personal guitars, tribute jackets, recording equipment, trophies, awards, and much more!  Enjoy viewing Les perform throughout his career, including several clips with Mary Ford. Play examples of his guitar inventions, and even touch Les Paul’s handprints! Museum Page

Mahwah Museum

The Les Paul exhibit in the Mahwah Museum. The Les Paul in Mahwah exhibit showcases many of Les’ innovations in solid body electric guitar design and multi-track sound recording.  Les called Mahwah home for nearly 60 years. Mahwah Museum Page

Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix

MIM began with a vision to create a musical instrument museum that would be truly global. Realizing most musical museums featured historic, primarily Western classical instruments, MIM’s founder Bob Ulrich (then CEO of Target Corporation) was inspired to develop a new kind of museum that would focus on the kind of instruments played every day by people worldwide. Visit the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix.


Musicians Hall of Fame

The Musicians Hall of Fame honors great musicians by sharing the history and memorabilia of recorded music through exhibits of instruments used to record some of the most iconic songs in recorded history. The Les Paul component contains several of Les Paul’s gold records among other artifacts.