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Tourism Advertising Grant (TAG) Program

Grants to South Carolina Nonprofits and Agencies to
Promote Tourist Attractions, Destinations, and Events

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT)

Deadline Date:

04/02/18 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to South Carolina nonprofit organizations and local government agencies to promote tourism opportunities throughout the state. Applications are invited from qualifying tourism marketing organizations for direct advertising and marketing expenditures. The goal of this program is to increase interest in visitor spending across South Carolina.

Objective: To leverage and expand the South Carolina Just Right brand, while maximizing state and local financial resources to deliver relevant tourism brand and retail advertising messaging to targeted consumers.

Of the potential strategies in the tourism sales and marketing toolbox, advertising is the most efficient and effective paid outreach strategy available for reaching targeted audiences. The tourism partner controls the message, the creative look and feel, the placement, the schedule, etc. Further, advertising can be directly measured.

Grants Categories:

The Tourism Advertising Grant program offers three categories in which qualified partners may apply for grant funding:
-Festivals and Events

In any fiscal year grant cycle, the total Tourism Advertising Grant budget will be allocated as follows:
-10 percent will be dedicated to funding the Festivals/Events Category
-30 percent will be dedicated to funding the Attractions Category
-60 percent will be dedicated to funding the Destinations Category

In a fiscal year grant cycle, if funds from the Festivals/Event category are not fully expended for any reason (insufficient number of applicants, low-scoring applications, etc.), remaining budget funds from this category will be added to the Attractions category budget. If funds from the Attractions category budget are not fully expended in the awards process, the remaining funds from this category will be added to the Destination category budget. SCPRT will make every effort to disperse the total annual Tourism Advertising Grant budget each year.

NEW in 2018/2019: In order to ensure an effective distribution of TAG funds, TAG recipients should only apply for the amount of grant funding they anticipate using during the grant cycle. If an applicant uses less than 80% of their awarded funds during the grant cycle, the applicant’s grant award in a subsequent grant cycle may be subject to a penalty reduction based on the percentage of unused funding from a previous cycle. Due to the overlap of grant cycles and award periods, this evaluation will be based on performance during the most recent, fully completed grant cycled. For example, performance evaluations for grant awards in FY 20 will be based on performance during the FY 18 grant cycle.

Qualified Expenditures:
This grant program will fund paid advertising strategies that promote South Carolina tourism. A full list of eligible strategies can be found in the Tourism Advertising Grant Funded Guidelines document.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178952

Estimated Size of Grant:

There are two reimbursement levels depending on the matching funds provided.

Reimbursement Level for 1 to 1 match:
-Festival/Event: Up to $3,000
-Attraction: Up to $20,000
-Destination: Up to $45,000

Reimbursement Level for 2 to 1 match:
-Festival/Event: From $3,000.01 to $6,000
-Attraction: From $20,000.01 to $40,000
-Destination: From $45,000.01 to $100,000

This means that a qualified Festival or Event that seeks a Tourism Advertising Grant may apply for either up to $3,000 in grant funding or up to $6,000 in grant funding. If the organization applies for any amount up to $3,000 this means the organization must spend twice the application amount in qualified expenses. Then, the organization would be reimbursed half the amount of the qualified expenditures upon proof of performance, up to a $3,000 maximum.

-Festival/Event requesting $1,500 must spend $3,000 to receive a reimbursement of $1,500.
-Festival/Event requesting $3,000 must spend $6,000 to receive a reimbursement of $3,000.

If, however, the organization elected to apply for between $3,001 and $6,000 in Tourism Advertising Grant funding, the organization would be required to spend approximately three times the application amount in qualified expenses (between $9,003 and $18,000) and would be reimbursed for one third (33%) of the qualified expenses upon proof of performance, up to a $6,000 maximum.

-Festival/Event requesting $4,000 must spend $12,121.21 to receive a reimbursement of $4,000.
-Festival/Event requesting $6,000 must spend $18,181.82 to receive a reimbursement of $6,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
-South Carolina Association of Tourism Regions
-Only one application per umbrella organization will be accepted for submission.
-Organizations whose PRIMARY MISSION is tourism marketing– organizations charged with the responsibility of attracting out-of-market visitors to a destination, attraction or festival/event in South Carolina and that:
-Are federal nonprofit (501c) organizations
-Have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
-Are a branch of local government in South Carolina with an established tourism-marketing program 
-Are headquartered in South Carolina; with the program operating in South Carolina
-Have been in existence for a minimum of one year prior to the fiscal year start

Ineligible Applicants:
-State Agencies;
-Organizations that receive other state funds, such as destination specific grants and state appropriations.

Pre-Application Information:

There are two reimbursement match-level options:
-One-to-one match reimbursements (50% match)
-Two-to-one match reimbursements (33% match)

All grant application materials must be received at the SCPRT office no later than 5:00 PM Monday, April 2, 2018.

Recipients will be notified of their application status by mail the last week of May, 2018.

Program Overview:

Core Stipulation:


Application Process:

Contact Information:

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

Jenny Waller

South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Tourism Advertising Grant, Suite 243
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina