Grant Program Closed for 2024

Grant Program Closed for 2024

The 2024 Indiana Dunes Tourism Grant Program is closed. Check back for details on the 2025 program.


Indiana Dunes Tourism Grant Program


Program Description

The Indiana Dunes Tourism Grant Program is funded by the Indiana Uniform Innkeeper’s Tax IC 6-9-18. As such, money may be expended only to promote and encourage conventions, visitors, and tourism within Porter County. Expenditures may include advertising, promotional activities, trade shows, special events, and recreation.

The Indiana Dunes Tourism Grant Program funds community projects, marketing initiatives, and unique events aligning with Indiana Dunes Tourism’s mission to attract new and repeat visitors to Porter County by extending their stay through the creation and promotion of attractions, effective marketing programs, and product development initiatives. 


Grant Timeline

Thursday, March 15: Call for applications
Friday, April 12 at 11:59 pm: Grant submission deadline
April 12 – April 30: Submission review period
May 1: Grant recipients announcement



Porter County for-profit, non-profit, and government organizations, including cities and towns, are eligible. Private-sector applications will also be considered if the project or event attracts visitors outside Porter County.

The following types of projects are eligible to apply for the Indiana Dunes Tourism Grant Program. While certain projects may fit into more than one project type, multiple applications for various aspects of a project may not be eligible. Keep in mind that there is a limited amount of funding available for this program and not all requests will be funded.

1. Community Development Projects 

Eligible projects include the creation or enhancement of tourism amenities, attractions, facilities, and experiences within Porter County that will attract out-of-county visitors and improve the quality of life for residents.

Preference will be given to projects that:

  • involve multiple partnering organizations
  • supported by local residents and businesses

2. Events

Eligible events include Porter County festivals, special events, conventions, and sports tournaments that will attract attendees from outside Northwest Indiana. 

Preference will be given to events that:

  • Attract a sizable number of attendees, participants, or spectators
  • Last longer than one day
  • Encourage overnight stays in local lodging

Indiana Dunes Tourism does not award funding for seasonal or holiday events celebrated by most communities (4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.).

While businesses and organizations can continue to apply for grant funding, after three years, preference will be given to other projects. The purpose of our program is to get projects and events established so they can successfully sustain themselves in the future.

3. Marketing

The marketing of events or community development projects, as described above, is eligible if it targets audiences outside of Porter County. 



Indiana Dunes Tourism provides the following grants: 

  • Community Development Projects: Maximum request $5,000
  • Marketing: Maximum request $2,500
  • Events: Maximum request $2,500


Expense Eligibility

Eligible Expenses

  • Digital advertising targeted outside of Porter County.
  • Development and printing of promotional materials such as brochures and posters to be distributed outside of Porter County.
  • Traditional marketing tools targeting locations outside of Porter County.
  • Development of websites
  • Billboards
  • Fees for entertainment (ex: live performances and speakers)
  • Community development project expenses

Ineligible Expenses

  • Marketing efforts that only target Porter County residents. 
  • Operating expenditures (ex: rent, salaries and wages, and office supplies)
  • Reservation fees
  • Alcohol
  • Banners or yard signs distributed locally
  • Salaries, wages, or employee benefits
  • Prize money and scholarships
  • Awards, plaques, certificates, and uniforms

Applications that are eligible for the program but whose proposal contains ineligible expenses for program funds will be expected to cover the ineligible expenses or remove the expenditures from the project scope. 



  • A complete application. Only complete grant applications will be scored. 
  • The project or event must be completed within the grant program year. Awards do not carry over from year to year. A new application must be submitted each year by the specified deadline to be considered.
  • Grant recipients are required to prominently display the Indiana Dunes Tourism logo on project/event promotional materials. Indiana Dunes Tourism will provide the correct logo. When describing Indiana Dunes Tourism in marketing materials, the full name “Indiana Dunes Tourism” must be used. The name cannot be shortened to “Indiana Dunes.” 
  • Grant recipients will place a link to the Indiana Dunes Tourism website ( on the project/event’s website or social media pages to promote Porter County activities.
  • Grant recipients will follow Indiana Dunes Tourism’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  • Attend an Indiana Dunes Tourism Board Meeting to report on your project if requested.

All grant recipients are required to submit: 

  • Expense report with copies of invoices and receipts*
  • Signed grant agreement acknowledging grant terms, requirements, and deadlines.
  • Documentation showing the use of the Indiana Dunes Tourism logo on promotional materials.**

* Due to government regulation, the expense report with copies of invoices and receipts is required to receive any reimbursement from Indiana Dunes Tourism. 

** Using the Indiana Dunes Tourism logo on promotional materials is essential. Failure to show logo placement will affect your eligibility for future grants and opportunities. 


Reporting and Reimbursement

The expense report, post-event evaluation form, receipts, and supporting documentation are due December 1 of the grant period year.

Once all requirements are met, reimbursement will be completed within 60 days.