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Tourism Promotion Grant and Tourism Startup Grant

Grants to Bellingham, Washington Nonprofits, For-Profits
and Agencies to Promote the Tourism Industry

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Bellingham, Planning and Community Development Department

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/08/17 5:00 PM


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Grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 and grants of up to $5,000 to Bellingham, Washington nonprofits, for-profits, and public agencies for the promotion of cultural and tourism activities. The purpose of this program is to bring tourists from outside the local area to the City of Bellingham.

The purpose of the City of Bellingham’s Tourism Promotion Fund Allocation Process is to promote eligible tourism activities within the City of Bellingham. Eligibility is defined broadly to encourage wide participation and innovative proposals. The desired outcome of activities funded with lodging tax revenue is to increase economic activity in the City of Bellingham resulting from tourists.

A “tourist” is defined as a person who travels from a place of residence to a different town, city, county, state, or country, for purposes of business, pleasure, recreation, education, arts, heritage, or culture.

As revised by the Washington State Legislature and effective June 30, 2013, RCW 67.28.080 defines a tourist as people traveling:
-For business or pleasure staying overnight in paid accommodations,
-To a place 50 miles or more one way from their place of residence or business or
-From another country or state outside of their place of residence or their business.

Tourism Startup Grant:

In addition to the regular Tourism Promotion Grant, seed funding is available through the Tourism Startup Grant. The purpose of the Tourism Startup Grant offering is to provide seed money necessary to launch a new or expand an existing but relatively new event, program or project that will benefit the tourism industry.

Marketing and operational expenses are eligible under the Tourism Startup Grant. Marketing expenses including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; and funding marketing of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists. Operation includes, but is not limited to, typical expenses associated with managing and operating an event such as salaries, supplies, rentals etc.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 146197

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Tourism Promotion Grant: Grant funding generally ranges from $2,500 to $25,000
-Tourism Startup Grant: Maximum $5,000

Term of Contract:

Tourism Promotion Grant: Contracted work must be completed by December 31, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant may be:
-Nonprofit (must provide copy of 501 (c) (3), (4) or (6) letter)
-Public agency
-For-profit (must provide copy of current/valid Bellingham Business License and IRS Employee Tax I.D. number)

Tourism Startup Grant: To be eligible for this grant, the event, program or project must not have operated or have been in existence for more than three years.

Tourism Promotion Grant: Operational expenses are not eligible.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend an optional open house in the Mayor's Board Room located in City Hall from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM on Wednesday August 16, 2017.

Tourism Commission staff will be available during this time to answer any questions regarding the Tourism Promotional Grant.

Pre-Application Information:

All applications must be submitted to the Planning and Community Development Department by September 8, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

The lodging tax advisory committee (LTAC) will review all applications on October 24, 2017. LTAC will post recommendations within 48 hours of this meeting at:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Shannon Taysi, Planning and Community Development
(360) 778-8360

Planning and Community Development Department
ATTN: Tourism Promotion Grants
210 Lottie Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington: City of Bellingham