Southwest Florida Community Foundation - Lee County Tourist Development Council
Grants to Lee County, Florida nonprofits and governmental arts agencies for arts attractions that promote tourism and encourage out-of-county visitors. Funding is intended to be used for marketing projects and initiatives.
The grant program provides financial assistance to not-for-profit arts and attractions organizations that enhance tourism opportunities in Lee County. These site-based attractions and organizations provide a different level of service to visitors than events, and by the nature of their existence, attract visitation to the region or offer reasons for visitors to extend their stay in the destination.
VCB partners funded through this program are expected to:
- Assume a leadership and advocacy role in the community to advance
- Enhance the visitor experience and encourage repeat visitations through promotions and dissemination of information regarding arts and cultural offerings available in Lee
- Participate in cooperative promotional efforts with the Lee County VCB, where applicable
Funds may be used for:
- The production and placement of print, television, radio and billboard
- Digital marketing efforts such as online advertising, social media campaigns, search optimization and e-marketing.
- The design and construction of a new website or enhancements to an existing website. Note: Website hosting fees are considered an operational expense, and will not be covered by grant funds
- Printing and mailing/distribution costs for travel guides, attraction maps, rack cards and any direct mail projects
- Photography and video projects that support an approved marketing campaign.
- International marketing
GrantWatch ID#: 171867
Funding is for projects that occur within the designated fiscal year.
To be eligible, an organization must meet the following minimum criteria:
- The organization must be legally organized as a nonprofit, holding a federal 501(c)(3) tax- exempt status OR be an arts or cultural department or division of a municipal government that is incorporated in Lee
- The organization must be a tourism attraction or organization, located in Lee
- The organization must have their financial statements audited or reviewed annually by a third party CPA, and the most recent year’s report will be provided to VCB upon request.
- The organization’s facilities, programs or services must be available to visitors throughout the year. While an organization’s major program(s) or service(s) may occur primarily during a specific time of year, other services and programming should occur and benefit visitors throughout the remainder of the year.
- Signature events that occur in season and draw significant economic impact and national media
attention may be considered for funding under this program.
- The organization must have a dedicated administrator responsible for managing the organization.
In order to be considered for funding through the TDC, applicants must attend an Attractions Marketing Workshop prior to submitting application. No applications will be considered without attendance.
Grant funds may not be used for:
- Capital investments
- Asset development/ product enhancement
- Salary support, personnel, agency costs
- Strategic plan development
- Public Relations/press releases
- Tradeshow registration fees, booth rentals/educational conferences, membership dues
- Travel costs (food, lodging, entertainment)
- Database development
- Facility rental/insurance
- Purchase or rental of equipment or supplies
- Food or alcoholic beverages
- Items for resale
- Operating costs (including web hosting and domain registration)
The application period for fiscal year 2018-19 funding opened with an application webinar on April 30. View the webinar here: https://youtu.be/AZNSjCQrt8Y
Applicants are encouraged to have marketing plans reviewed by VCB marketing staff prior to submitting.
- April 30, 2018: VCB Attractions Marketing Application Webinar
- May 1, 2018: FY2018/19 Application Cycle opens
- May 30, 2018: FY2017/18 grant reports due
- June 22, 2018: Deadline for Applications
- June 29-July 27, 2018: Committee Review of Requests
- August 9, 2018: TDC formalizes funding recommendations
- September 2018: SWFL community foundation & BoCC budget approval
- October 8, 2018: Notification of funding results
- November 16, 2018: Reception-Presentation of grant awards
- May, 2019: Post Grant Report due
Grants calendar: https://floridacommunity.com/grants-calendar/
Application information: https://floridacommunity.com/grants-process/arts-grants/
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Sarah Owen, President and CEO
(239) 274-5900, x229
Southwest Florida Community Foundation
8771 College Parkway
Building 2, Suite 201, Fort Myers, FL 33919
USA: Florida: Lee County