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Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant Program

Grants to Wisconsin Nonprofits to Market and
Promote Local Tourism Opportunities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Deadline Date:

11/01/19 - For New Events, Existing Events, Sales Promotions, and One Time/One-of-a-Kind Events (midnight); Applications must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the first day of advertising.


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Grants of up to $39,550 to Wisconsin nonprofit organizations to market and promote events that will draw tourism to the area. Funding is intended for qualifying events that promote the tourism industry, create a positive economic impact, and generate jobs for local residents. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, e-mail marketing, print and broadcast ads, direct mail, publicity, and billboards.

To be funded, projects must show that they will generate an increase in visitors and make a positive economic impact in the local area. Projects should also be able to show impact of additional leverage such as earned media, job creation, sponsorships, etc. The advertising plan must be consistent with the current statewide marketing plan and target markets beyond the local area. Projects are encouraged that are creative and beyond the scope of what are normally offered by the organization.

JEM Applications are available for the following projects:
-New Event: An event that has not previously been held in the area. It’s an event the applicant intends to repeat regularly and is a project beyond the scope of daily operations.
-Existing Event: This project may be awarded funding for advertising in a new geographic market, targeting a new demographic audience or advertising placed in a new medium. New markets, media, and audiences should be chosen based on their potential to increase event attendance.
-Sales Promotion: These must offer significant incentives for a limited period of time (usually 6-8 weeks) to persuade a targeted market to visit the area. Applications should include a list of participating businesses and the proposed incentives.
-One-Time/One-of-a-Kind: These projects publicize an event of major significance that has the potential to generate media coverage at least throughout the Midwest. Anniversaries and birthdays are excluded.
-Destination Marketing: Projects must include a partnership of at least three municipalities or communities who all benefit from increasing visitor expenditures. There are two facets within this grant: a development option and marketing option.

The development option provides financial resources to commission or purchase research. Qualifying research includes:
-Discovering a region’s differentiation qualities in order to define a brand and focus a marketing strategy.
-Securing data to measure the impact of the visitor on the local economy.

The Marketing Option funds marketing efforts that apply previous research. The campaign time frame should occur during the off-season or when the region needs tourism business.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179512

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Organizations can receive up to $39,550 in marketing reimbursement.

-New Event: The maximum award is $39,550.
-Existing Event: The maximum award is $39,550.
-Sales Promotion: The maximum award is $39,550.
-One-Time/One-of-a-Kind: The The maximum award is $28,250.
-Destination Marketing: The maximum eligible award is up to $10,000 per municipality, or $39,550 for the project total.

Term of Contract:

New Events and Destination Marketing may be funded for three consecutive years (consecutive years is not a requirement).

Existing Events and Sale Promotion may be funded for 2 consecutive years.

One-Time/One-of-a-Kind funding is limited to one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The grant reimburses Wisconsin nonprofit organizations for qualified advertising costs.

Examples of expenses JEM will not reimburse: operational costs (staff salaries, travel costs, facility rental, insurance, etc.), local advertising, posters, and flyers that are not direct-mailed or street banners.

Pre-Application Information:

New Events, Existing Events, Sales Promotions and One Time/One-of-a-Kind Events applications are due by midnight on February 1, April 1, August 1, and November 1 each year.

Destination Marketing applications are due by midnight on April 1 and September 1 each year.

Applications must also be submitted at least 90 days prior to the first day of advertising that will be paid using the grant funds; for example, if your first JEM funded ad runs on November 1, your application should be submitted by August 1.

The Department can reimburse up to 75% of a project’s first-year promotional costs. For some categories, the Department offers grant support during subsequent years. Eligible JEM projects are reimbursed up to 50% of the promotional costs for the second year and 25% of the promotional costs for third year recipients. Applications must be submitted and approved for each year of funding.

If you haven’t used the grant system previously, please contact the Grant Coordinator to assist with setting up your organizational account.

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Heidi Schultz, Grants Coordinator
(608) 261-6272

Wisconsin Dept of Tourism
201 W. Washington Ave.
P.O. Box 8690
Madison, WI 53708-8690
(608) 266-7621

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin