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Tourism Promotion Grant

Grants to Porter County, Indiana Organizations
for Programs and Events that Increase Tourism

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Indiana Dunes Tourism

Deadline Date:

01/12/18 4:00 PM


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Grants of up to $5,000 to Porter County, Indiana organizations, cities, and towns for festivals, projects, special events, sporting events, and programs that promote the development and growth of local tourism. Funding is intended to help bring in new business, develop local events, festivals, and sporting events, and encourage visitation from outside the County.

The Tourism Promotion Grant covers expenses incurred in order to bring visitors from outside of Northwest Indiana (Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties), help visitors book hotel rooms, and have a positive economic impact on other businesses and attractions in Porter County. Eligible expenses include event advertising, printing and promotion, the development of promotional tools such as brochures, websites, billboards, etc and fees for nationally recognized entertainment.

There are five grant application categories, which include:

a. Conventions, meetings, and seminars
b. Festivals and special events
c. Marketing
d. Product development
e. Sports sponsorships

Here are the types of projects funded for each grant application category:

a. Conventions, meetings, and seminars: This grant supports conventions, meetings, and seminars that are hosted within Porter County, have a large number of attendees, are longer than one day, have participants from outside of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties, and encourage overnight stays in the County's local lodging.

b. Festival or special event: This grant supports festivals or special events that are hosted within Porter County, have a theme that will attract a sizable number of attendees—including people from outside of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties—are longer than one day, and encourage overnight stays in the County's local lodging.

c. Marketing: This grant supports marketing projects that utilize marketing tools to attract visitors from outside of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties to experience a Porter County community, a special aspect of a Porter County community, etc. These criteria are not date specific. For example,
a city park department may seek a grant to market all of their programs to outside visitors for a particular year.

The marketing tools that are covered by this grant include website development, digital advertising campaigns (Facebook ads, banner ads, content placement ads, search engine optimization, etc.), traditional marketing tools zoned outside of Northwest Indiana (direct mail, print ads, radio ads, TV ads, and other broadcast media), and print or digital brochures. The funding source favors marketing projects that are driven from a marketing plan and utilize a variety of marketing tools.

d. Sports: This grant supports state, regional (Midwest states), national, and international sporting events or tournaments that take place within Porter County, attract a sizable number of participants and spectators, are longer than one day, and encourage overnight stays in the County's local lodging. This grant does not support local sports groups or events nor any sporting event or tournament that draws mainly local participants.

e. Product Development: This grant supports development of new products or the enhancement of existing products within Porter County or sites located on the Beaches and Beyond Outdoor Adventure Trail that will attract visitation from outside of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties, compliment Porter County as a destination, and be supported by local residents. Examples of product development projects include: constructing a birding tower, enhancing or developing a trail for visitor engagement, assisting with a feasibility study to develop a new attraction, etc.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161650

Estimated Size of Grant:

The grant dollar amounts available per category are:

a. Marketing: $2,500 (first year); $1,500 (second year); $1,000 (third year)
b. Festivals and events: $2,500 (first year); $1,500 (second year); $1,000 (third year)
c. Meetings, conventions, and seminars: $2,500 (first year); $1,500 (second year); $1,000 (third year)
d. Sports sponsorship: $3,000 maximum
e. Product development: $5,000 maximum

Term of Contract:

A new application must be submitted each year and there is no carryover in the application process

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The restriction of only nonprofits organizations has been lifted from the Indiana Dunes Tourism grant program. Any Porter County organization, city, or town may now apply for a grant.

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 outside of Porter County;
- Annual operating expenditures of the event, festival or sporting event;
- Salaries, wages or employee benefits;
- Prize money, scholarships, awards, plaques, t-shirts, certificates, buttons or newsletters;
- In-kind contributions;
- Events or attractions which are restricted to private or exclusive participation.

Indiana Dunes Tourism does not award grant money for seasonal or holiday events celebrated by most communities (Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) or one-day athletic events (running races, biking events, etc.) that primarily have a local draw. If it can be demonstrated that a seasonal event has unique characteristics that will attract a sizable number of attendees from outside of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties, the grant committee and board of directors will review and consider the event for funding.

Pre-Application Information:

The applications for the 2018 program are due Friday, January 12, 2018, and will be voted upon by the Board of Directors on Thursday, February 15, 2018. Applications for future events are typically due by the end of September. Please check back for more information.

Click on the link in the Supporting Documents section below to download the Grant Guidelines.


Please Note:

- The grant may provide up to fifty percent of the total costs.
- No in-kind contributions are included in the match.
- No grant will be awarded to a project completed before written notice by Indiana Dunes Tourism, and the completed promotional material must acknowledge this grant by bearing the statement “Financial support provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism” along with the Indiana Dunes Tourism grant logo.

This grant program is a 50% matching, reimbursable grant. For example, if you are approved for a $2,500 grant, you must spend $5,000 in qualified marketing to receive the $2,500. Also, you will only be reimbursed for your expenses after your event or project is completed. In-kind contributions cannot be considered a part of an organization’s match.

All required documents and written evaluations of this project must be submitted to Indiana Dunes Tourism within 60 days of when the event occurred or by December 14, 2018, whichever date comes first, unless otherwise noted by Indiana Dunes Tourism. 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. Documents and written evaluations submitted after December 14, 2018 will not receive funding.

No monies will be distributed the next calendar year after the event.

Returning Applicants:

Businesses and organizations can only apply for grant funding for the same festival, event, meeting, seminar, convention, and marketing projects for three years. After the third year, your festival, event or marketing project will no longer be eligible for funding. The purpose of the grant program is to get festivals, events and projects established so they can successfully sustain themselves in the future.

Therefore, a festival or event cannot apply for a festival or event grant for three years and then after the third year, apply for a marketing grant for that same festival or event. For example, if you received a festival or event grant for three years for the ABC festival, in year four you cannot apply for a marketing grant for the ABC festival.

Contact Information:

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

Please contact Sandy Remijas at (219) 926-2255 or 800-283-8687, ext. 225 or with any questions.

Click on the appropriate link to access the Indiana Dunes Tourism grant application that corresponds to your event or project:

Conventions, Meetings and Seminars:

Festivals and Special Events:


Product Development:

Sports Sponsorship:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Indiana: Porter County