Grant Services - Advice and Tips

Tourism and Event-Planning Grants

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 @ 15:07 PM / by Michelle Hansen

’Tis the season for festivals, outdoor events, tourist destinations, and fairs. These festivities not only provide an opportunity for fun, but also create a great occasion for people from outside your community to visit and spend money in your town. Addifestivaltionally, events such as these provide ways for organizations, schools, and businesses to promote themselves to people they might not otherwise reach. Of course, these endeavors often require money to plan and promote. Luckily, there are grants available, and the Grant Helpers can help match you with the appropriate ones. Following is a selection of tourism and event grants available.

Since we are headquarted in Illinois, we included a couple Illinois grants at the end as examples of the types of state-level funding available in many states.

NEA Challenge America Fast-Track

This $10,000 grant, which requires a 50 percent match, could be used to fund an art or music festival or event. The support is usually granted to small and mid-sized organizations that extend the reach of arts to underserved populations, those limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Any organization applying for the grant must have a three-year history of programming. The deadline for 2013 has passed, but the anticipated 2014 deadline is May for an award date of November 2014.

Our Town

This grant, awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, supports projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core. This grant would be ideal for music or art festivals, or even outdoor concerts. Grants from $25,000-$200,000 are available, and all grants require a nonfederal match of at least 1 to 1. Applicants must have a partnership with a local cultural organization with a three-year history of cultural programming. This is a fairly competitive grant program. In 2012, 317 eligible applications were received, and 80 grants were recommended, a success rate of roughly 25 percent. The deadline for 2013 has passed, with January 2014 as the next expected deadline date.

Tourism Cares

According to their website, Tourism Cares preserves the travel experience for the benefit of tomorrow's travelers. Part of this preservation is by awarding 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 through its three grant programs. Currently, Tourism Cares is focusing on invitation-only special grants, but will soon be re-opening its grant program to all interested applicants.

Tourism Attraction Development Program (TAP)

With a rolling deadline, this grant could be used for late summer or early fall events or to help increase tourism in your community throughout the year. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (ILDCEO) provides this matching grant to assist in the development or improvement of projects that increase tourism in Illinois. Grants will not exceed $1 million or exceed 50 percent of the expenditures. 50 percent of the funds are awarded 30 days after approval; 50 percent is awarded upon receipt of specific documentation.

Tourism Marketing Partnership Grant Program (MPP)

Awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (ILDCEO), this grant provides matching funds for promotional projects that increase the economic impact of tourism in the state of Illinois. This grant is for larger tourism projects since total project cost must meet or exceed $20,000. Additionally, the grant requires 50 percent matching funds. This grant can be applied for throughout the year, but must be applied for at least 60 days before the event.

Remember, our services are customizable. Even if you don’t currently have any events planned, we can help you develop a project, find funding, and then help implement the plans. Our first consultation is always free so contact us today.


Photo Credit: stevendepolo

Topics: grant announcement, tourism grants, event planning grants, preservation grants, grant opportunity, municipality grant, arts grants, grants for tourism, grants for festivals, outdoor music grants

Michelle Hansen

Written by Michelle Hansen

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