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Tourism Project Grant

Grants to New York Nonprofits for Events, Exhibits, and
Projects that Promote Tourism in Tompkins County

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Tompkins County

Deadline Date:



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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 to New York nonprofit organizations for new and established projects that promote tourism in Tompkins County. Funding is intended to support projects that are likely to motivate many visitors to stay overnight in Tompkins County hotels and bed and breakfasts, and that will implement key strategies identified in the 2020 Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Plan.

Projects funded in the past through these grants include the Ice Festival, Spring Writes Literary Festival, Ithaca Skate Jam, Finger Lakes Dragon Boat Festival, museum exhibits, and a variety of theatrical performances. The grant review committee will aim to allocate at least 30% of the total funding to projects that have occurred for three years or less.

Projects must show how they will draw and/or serve visitors, especially overnight visitors, to Tompkins County. The primary focus is on out-of-county attendance from areas at least 90 miles from Ithaca, including major cities and small towns. Projects limited to serving the local community without a strategy for growth and regional outreach are not likely to be funded. All applicants are required to document past visitor attendance and set specific goals for future visitor attendance, as well as to outline strategies for collecting this data.

Applicants are encouraged to source goods and services locally. Tompkins County will give priority to projects that hold potential to draw visitors during the mid-week and/or from mid-November through April.

Eligible Activities include:
- Artistic events and performances
- Heritage tourism events
- Agriculinary events
- Outdoor recreation events
- Events that attract a niche audience
- Festivals
- Temporary exhibits
- Guided tours
- Art installations
- Rental of equipment

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175720

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Range: $1,000 to $25,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants
- Non-profit organizations designated as 501(c)3
- Municipalities within Tompkins County

With limited exceptions, purchase of equipment with grant funds is not eligible. Grant funds may not be used for projects whose primary purpose is fundraising for a specific cause. Applications that exclusively promote a religious tradition are ineligible.

Promoted events must be open to the public. Membership in an organization must not be required to participate in the proposed event. Conferences and meetings are not eligible for support from this grant.

Grant funds may not be used to cover general entertainment costs such as for theater parties, museum receptions, etc.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for the spring round of Tourism Project Grants are open now. Applications are due on February 28, 2019.

Applicants must demonstrate a financial match of at least two-thirds (67%) of the total project cost. This match can be provided from the following sources: cash, in-kind donations of goods and professional services; volunteer time only if this time would otherwise need to be replaced by paid staff time or paid professional services.

Event Planning Manual:

General information on the Tourism Program:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Nick Helmholdt
Principal Planner / Tourism Program Director
(607) 274-5560

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Tompkins County