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FY2018-19 Tourism Marketing Grant Program

Grants to Mason City, Iowa Nonprofit and For-Profit
Organizations to Market Programs that Attract Visitors

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Visit Mason City

Deadline Date:

02/01/19 4:00 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $1,500 to Iowa nonprofit and for-profit organizations for marketing projects that attract outside visitors to Mason City. Eligible projects include conventions, tournaments, events, activities, and facilities that increase tourism. Projects must focus on visitors from outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.

Eligible Projects and Use of Funding
- Design, production and placement costs for marketing that targets visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City (brochures, fliers, posters, direct mail, registration materials, eblasts, websites, print ads, radio ads, television ads, online ads, facebook ads, facebook boosted posts, etc.
- Purchase of marketing lists, search engine marketing ad words, google ad words, etc. targeting visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- Off-site signage (billboard, way finding, trail blaze) targeting visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- Shuttle service for local tours, transportation between convention facilities used by visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- Welcome reception food (appetizers/ hors d'oeuvre/finger foods) and non-alcoholic beverages for visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- Fees must be payable to a third party vendor. In-kind fees are not eligible.

Evaluation Criteria
- Priority given to projects that focus on attracting visitors to town versus projects that focus on visitors once they have already arrived.
- Number of visitors attracted from outside 90-mile radius of Mason City by marketing project.
- Number of lodging rooms generated by marketing project.
- Distribution Plan.
- Attracts visitors during the "off-season" - during the months of September - May
- Attracts visitors during the week - Monday -Thursday.

The amount of grant funds allocated directly depends on the number of tourists the marketing project will attract to town, the number of days the tourists are in town, and the number of hotel rooms used by the tourists.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177482

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants are limited to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs or $1,500 (whichever is lowest) with a required cash match of at least 50%.

Term of Contract:

Round 1: Marketing projects must be completed between October 1, 2018 and October 1, 2019.

Round 2: Marketing projects must be completed between March 1, 2019 and October 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Both non-profit and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

Projects that are not eligible for funding include:
- Projects that do not attract visitors, visitor spending, use of hotel rooms to Mason City.
- Projects in which the majority of the target audience live within a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- Domain names, hosting fees, postage fees, on-site signs.
- Funding for entire organization website versus just the tourism event page.
- Prizes and soft marketing items (t-shirts, stickers, promotional items, etc.)
- Shuttle service / transportation in which majority of passengers are locals. Transportation for tours not in town.
- Meal, venue rental and alcoholic beverages.
- Receptions in which the audience is largely from within a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- In-kind services
- Funds cannot be used to "pay" yourself (example: reimburse your own organization for copies).

Pre-Application Information:

Visit Mason City staff can provide application assistance by appointment during Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. To make an appointment, contact the funding source via email or phone. Appointments must occur three business days before the grant deadline. Applications received three business days before the grant deadline will not receive staff application assistance.

Grant applications must be received by:
- Round 1: 4:00 PM on Monday, October 1, 2018 for marketing projects completed October 1, 2018-October 1, 2019
- Round 2: 4:00 PM on Friday, February 1, 2019 for marketing projects completed March 1, 2019-October 1, 2019

Applicants will be notified 30 days after the grant deadline regarding their funding status.

Grants are limited to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs or $1,500 (whichever is lowest) with a required cash match of at least 50%.

Quoted bids or estimates must be attached with the application. Grants are paid as reimbursements to the contact organization upon completion of the marketing project.

Grant recipients are encouraged to use a Mason City vendor if possible.

Contact Information:

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

Applications should be submitted at online portal:

Visit Mason City Iowa
2021 Fourth Street Southwest
Mason City, IA 50401

Phone: 800-423-5724

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa: Mason City