IBMA, Foundation for Bluegrass Music Announce Merger

Two premier bluegrass organizations, the International Bluegrass Music Association and the Foundation for Bluegrass Music will merge.

The announcement, made Tuesday at the start of IBMA’s annual business conference, is aimed at strengthening the educational and fundraising efforts of the two groups and should enable IBMA to gain a sounder financial footing.

The most evident change will be that donations to the newly renamed IBMA Foundation will be tax deductible. As a separate entity, IBMA was set up under Section 501(c )(6) of the tax code, which gives it tax-exempt status but doesn’t allow contributors to write off their donations. Sharing the Foundation for Bluegrass Music’s 501(c)(3) status will allow the tax writeoffs.

“This will open up many new doors for all things bluegrass,” said Alan Tompkins, who joined IBMA Board Chairman Joe Mullins for the announcement.

IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger said the merger “will provide a stronger foundation for attracting the funds and other resources to promote bluegrass music education, broaden bluegrass music appreciation and preserve the valuable bluegrass legacy.”

The formal transition is expected to be completed by end of October.

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.