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Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits and For-Profits in Eligible Regions for Activities that Increase Local Tourism

Fayette County Tourism Grant Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
GO Laurel Highlands (GO LH)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Pennsylvania: Fayette County

Important Dates
Deadline: 10/06/23 4:00 PM Receipt Save

Grant Description
Grants to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations and tourism-related for-profit businesses in eligible regions to develop the local tourism industry. Funding is intended for activities that lead to overnight stays, improve the experience of tourists, and increase visitation to the area. Funds may be used for marketing and operational expenses, capital projects, and for the operation of a visitor center in Fayette County.

Forty percent of the Fayette County Lodging Tax is appropriated for a grant program specifically established to support the county’s tourism assets.  Awards are granted annually on the basis of merit as determined by the Fayette County Tourism Grant Review Committee and administered by the Fayette County Commissioners and GO Laurel Highlands (GO LH) (Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau). Thus, grant funding must be primarily used for marketing and advertising expenses that target potential visitors who reside outside of the Laurel Highlands counties and whose visit is likely to result in an overnight stay.


Marketing Grants: Marketing and advertising programs must be targeted to media that primarily reach visitors outside of Fayette County. Cooperative programs, which include tourism partners in the three-county Laurel Highlands region, are eligible. Tourism-related marketing expenses are eligible for funding providing the contractor is with a 3rd party organization and not affiliated with the requesting organization in any way.  Eligible expenses including but not limited to:

  • Internet website development or enhancement if contracted with an entity not affiliated with the applicant.
  • Creative services (creating photo or film libraries, logo development, new artwork, etc.) if contracted 
  • with an entity not affiliated with the applicant.
  • Brochure design and printing
  • Advertising (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, search engine marketing, digital ad campaigns, etc. – local media may be included if the majority of their audience is out of county.)
  • Directional signage.
  • Exhibiting fees to participate in industry travel shows/trade shows.
  • Trade show displays that include the GO Laurel Highlands logo.

Capital Project Grants: Capital improvements that benefit tourism and augment the visitor’s experience by developing new or enhancing existing Fayette County nonprofit tourist attractions or amenities will be considered. Funds may be used as matching grant funds for implementation of capital improvement projects. 

Operational Expense Grants: Grants for rent, utilities, land phones (not mobile service), office equipment such as desks, chairs, computers, software, copy machines, etc., consumable supplies such as stationery, paper, postage, etc. will be considered.  

Visitor Center Grants:

  • These grants are available for operation of a visitor center in a Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy recognized “Great Allegheny Passage Trail Town” in Fayette County.
  • Grants may be used for expenses related to staffing the center such as: payroll, payroll taxes, and payroll fees and standard operational expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance, postage, etc., as directly related to the operation of a seasonal visitor center.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Grants may be awarded to any tourism-related 501(c) (3) non-profit business or organization located in Fayette County that submits a request for such funds utilizing the official grant application furnished for this purpose and whose mission and operation are directly related to tourism and tourism development.

Marketing grants may be awarded to any nonprofit or for-profit tourism-related business or organization located within Fayette County that submits a request for such funds utilizing the official grant application furnished for this purpose and whose mission and operation are directly related to tourism and tourism development.

For-Profit Organizations: Marketing grants may be awarded to a for-profit business or organization located in Fayette County that submits a request for such funds utilizing the official grant application furnished for this purpose and whose mission and operation are directly related to tourism and tourism development. For-profit organizations can apply only for a marketing grant.

Applicant must be an operating business within the county and have been an established business that’s been operating for 12 months at the time of the application.

All lodging establishments, including campgrounds with cabin rentals, cabins, hotels, resorts, hostels, vacation rentals (including Airbnb, VRBO), bed & breakfast, and other overnight rental organizations must be in good standing and current in its submission of obligated funds for the Fayette County Lodging Tax. (If you have any questions on your status please contact your County Treasury Department).

Any recipient with an outstanding grant from 2022 and prior that has not submitted the required
documentation and has not been approved for an extension shall be ineligible to apply for a 2024 grant until such supporting documentation required herein are submitted and accepted by August 31, 2023.

Marketing Grants: The Grant Program will not fund advertisements in local event programs (i.e. high school sports programs, local dance troupe programs, etc.)

Operational Expense grants will not be awarded for:
- Staff payroll expenses such as salaries, wages, health/life insurance or other employee benefits
- Travel expenses such as gas, mileage, air fare or other transportation, lodging, etc.
- Sectarian religious purposes

Ineligible Expenses:
• Food, lodging, mileage, and transportation costs
• Purchase or rental computers, software, projectors, and other equipment, food trucks and business vehicles
• Payments for a grant writer to write the grant
• Payments to staff for managing advertising campaigns related to grant
• Personnel costs and/or salaries except for the Visitor Center Grants
• Telephone expenses
• Postage and handling expenses
• Purchase of brochure racks
• Envelopes, letterhead, business cards, and miscellaneous office supplies
• Membership dues, sponsorships, and talent/dignitary honorariums
• Office space rental
• Physical construction of billboards
• Gift cards, t-shirts, mugs, and items for resale including items for giveaways
• Sectarian religious purposes
• Signage for onsite property that promotes your individual entity

Pre-Application Information
ALL grant applications and documentation must be received no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday, October 6, 2023, to be considered and will not be accepted thereafter.

2024 Grant Cycle:
- Application available online Friday, September 1, 2023
- Application submission deadline Friday, October 6, 2023 at 4 pm
- Date grant funds must be utilized by Tuesday, December 31, 2024
- Due date for final reporting Monday, March 31, 2025 at 4 pm

The committee will review all grant applications and announce the awards in December 2023.

A for-profit can only apply for one grant.

A for-profit business that receives a grant may be required to treat the grant as income and is responsible for paying any necessary applicable taxes.

Nonprofit organizations are required by Act 18 to have a 25% cash match or a 12.5% cash match and 12.5% in-kind match.

For-profit organizations are required to provide a dollar for dollar (1:1) match for dollars awarded.

Each grant request must be submitted on a separate application.

Recipients approved for an extension shall be eligible to apply for a subsequent grant during the extension period.

A nonprofit organization may not file for more than one grant request for each type of grant.

Term of Contract
If you receive a grant, you can incur expenses eligible for assistance immediately after you receive a grant notification letter. Expenses cannot be incurred before the notification date.

Award amounts must be utilized before December 31, 2024.

Contact Information
Online Application:
- Marketing Nonprofit:
- Marketing For-profit:
- Capital Project:
- Operational Grant:
- Visitors Center

Any questions as you work through the process can be addressed to Georgia Robinsky, Grant Administrator, at or 724-238-5661 ext. 115.

For technical questions regarding the grant application, please contact Jennifer Benford at
724-238-5661, x 107 or

Mail Required Documentation to:
GO Laurel Highlands
ATTN: Grant Administrator
113 East Main Street
Ligonier, PA 15658

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