What is the Tourism Promotion Grant?
The Tourism Promotion Grant program is a competitive matching grant program that promotes the development and growth of tourism in Porter County by fostering and funding marketing efforts of festivals, projects, special events, sporting events and programs.
Who is eligible to apply for a Tourism Promotion Grant?
Indiana Dunes Tourism intends the grant program to be used by Porter County organizations, cities, and towns, to bring in new business, to develop local events, festivals, and sporting events, and to encourage visitation from outside the county.
Private sector grant applications will be considered if the marketing efforts target visitors from outside Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties. An effort to rebrand would not be eligible, however, a billboard would be considered.
What kinds of expenses does the grant cover?
The Tourism Promotion Grant covers expenses incurred to bring visitors from outside the tri-county area to Porter County. They include event advertising, printing, and promotion, the development of promotional tools such as brochures, websites, billboards, etc. They also include fees for nationally recognized entertainment.
Is there anything that the grant does NOT cover?
Grant funds cannot be used for:
- Marketing efforts within Porter County, unless the promotional campaign is directed to the residents to encourage visitation from their friends and relatives who live outside of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties.
- Annual operating expenditures of the event, festival, or sporting event. (Example: facility rental, website maintenance, etc.)
- Banners or yard signs distributed locally
- Salaries, wages, or employee benefits
- Prize money
When are grant applications due?
The applications for the 2019 program are due Friday, September 28, 2018, and will be voted upon by the Board of Directors on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Applications for future events are typically due by the end of September. Please check back for more information.
What changes have been made to the Tourism Promotion Grant program?
The restriction of only non-profits organizations has been lifted from the Indiana Dunes Tourism grant program. Any Porter County organization, city or town may now apply for a grant. Additionally, a product development grant has been added to the program.
Product Development grant applications for projects that are approved sites on the Beaches and Beyond Discovery Trail that are outside Porter County are eligible for grants.
How will my organization know if it has been awarded any money?
The contact name provided will be contacted as soon as possible through email, letter or telephone of the outcome of the Grant Committee’s decision on your application.
What will my organization be required to do for the grant money?
Indiana Dunes Tourism has a grant logo and verbiage it requires to be placed on all promotional/marketing materials created for the event/project receiving any of its funding. The logo is provided in a downloadable format at the top of the page for your convenience. Also, you will be required to submit an income/expense sheet, copies of invoices with the corresponding checks or receipts marked with check numbers, and a post-event evaluation form.
How many applications may an organization submit?
Indiana Dunes Tourism grants only one award per event. However, if your organization puts on more than one event, each event would be eligible, if they are not related to one another.
Businesses or organizations can apply for multiple grants; however, they cannot apply for the same product, festival, or marketing project. (Example: an organization might have four sporting events throughout the year, and can apply for all four events, however, know that it is unlikely that all would be funded).
When can my organization expect reimbursement for its expenses?
The required materials must be submitted to the Operations Director within 60 days of the closing of the event/completion of the project or by December 15 of the year the event occurred, whichever date comes first. The Operations Director will review the materials and a check will be issued within 60 days of receipt of the qualifying materials. Materials not submitted within the 60-day timeframe are subject to a $500 penalty. No monies will be distributed the next calendar year after the event.