Theatre shows, special events, concert series, summer festivals, tourist attractions. Though the thermometer is trending downwards, the time is now to start planning for your warm weather events that can entertain your community and also bring people to your town to enjoy events and spend money. Grant money is available for tourism activities. Below we have outlined a few to get you started.
|Insider Tip: Most states offer tourism programs for organizations within the state. Your state department that promotes tourism (In Illinois it’s the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) would be a great place to start when looking for tourism grant money.|
This foundation wants to bring live music to small and mid-sized towns across the country. The Levitt AMP (Your City) grant award is a matching grant program through the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national private foundation dedicated to strengthening America through the power of free, live music. Up to half of the matching grant money may be through in-kind donations like marketing or equipment. Each year grants are awarded to 15 U.S.-based non-profits serving towns with populations of up to 400,000. Each grantee receives $25,000 in matching funds to present the music series, a minimum of 10 free outdoor concerts presented over 10 to 12 consecutive weeks. Music lineups must be diverse to be eligible for funding. Grantees also receive a toolkit to ensure success of the concert series. Applications become available in July with applications due in October. Utica, New York received a grant for the 2016 cycle. They used the award to support a series of concerts featuring everything from jazz to flamenco guitar to pop rock in an otherwise unused green space.
This is a unique grant program that supports tourism in the United States as well as throughout the country. The organization awards grants to nonprofit organizations around the world for conservation, preservation, restoration, or education at tourism-related sites. Tourism Cares has awarded nearly $2.5 million in grant funds since its inception. Mississippi River National Recreation Area was a recipient of grant funds to plant native plants and remove invasive plant species.
Trade associations, chambers of commerce and other non-profit businesses and organizations are generally eligible to apply for an MDCP award from the International Trade Association. Eligible groups represent the business interests of large numbers of firms, or even entire industries. Each dollar of federal funding requested must be matched on a 2-to-1 basis. The applicant must put up the first dollar of match. The second dollar of the match may be in-kind contribution by the applicant or it may be contributed by other organizations. The maximum award amount is $300,000. If you are an eligible organization, all you have to do is send a letter, email, or fax requesting an eligibility determination. Once you are deemed eligible the requests for proposals is generally published in January with applications due in March.
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Photo Credit: Audrey Stanton