Johnson County Convention, Visitor and Tourism Board (Festival Country Indiana) Tourism Promotion Grant Program
The Festival Country Indiana grant program is now ongoing, rather than having one grant cycle per year!
The Festival Country Indiana (Johnson County Convention, Visitor and Tourism Board) grant program is designed to encourage organizations to bring new festivals, events, projects and attractions to Johnson County, or to substantially improve existing ones (by, for example, turning a one-day event into a two-day event, or by adding entertainment acts to a festival that never had such entertainment).
The grants are intended to spur new tourism rather than maintain what has always been present. The grants are not intended to pay salaries, pay for maintenance or supplement an organization’s general operating expenses.
Preference will be given to proposals that:
• Draw visitors from outside Johnson County, and can prove it with tracking or metrics.
• Encourage, promote or result in overnight stays.
• Forward our “Festival Country Indiana” brand.
• Allow our investment to live on and be self-sustaining.
• Use funds to create something new or significantly improve something existing.
Guidelines and requirements:
• The grant application deadline has shifted from once per year to our current policy of accepting applications throughout the year. Note that grant money could run out during an annual grant cycle, but could be replenished later in the year or at the start of the following year. All grant applications must be filled out completely and must be typed using the writable Grant Application PDF Form (see below for the link to the form) and sent via email to Kenneth Kosky, Director of Tourism, at firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by mail to Kenneth Kosky, Director of Tourism, Johnson County Convention, Visitor and Tourism Board (Festival Country Indiana), PO Box 249, Franklin, IN 46131.
• Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or a government entity.
• It is recommended that your application is sent in prior to the deadline in case it must be sent back for revisions. Applications must be typed or printed neatly, and must be filled out completely.
• Applications are evaluated by the Johnson County CVT budget committee and the director of tourism. The committee’s recommendations are given to the full board of directors for their approval. The board may choose to deny, fund, or fund portions of a request. The board is not required to spend the entire budgeted amount for grants each year. A board member applying for funding under the program shall excuse himself/herself from the discussion and the vote.
• Grant approvals are voted on at a Johnson County CVT board of directors meeting. All applicants will be notified of the Johnson County CVT board’s decision.
• Grants will be awarded to events and projects that bring in visitors from outside of Johnson County, generate hotel room bookings and have a positive economic impact on surrounding businesses and attractions.
• Applicants can only apply for grant funding for the same festival, event, meeting, seminar, convention, marketing project or product development for three years. Once three grants have been received for the same project, applicants are ineligible to receive any additional grants for that project, since the goal of the grant program is to get new projects off the ground.
• Significant alterations to the project following approval requires notification to the director of tourism and will require reconsideration of the application as a whole.
• All marketing materials such as brochures, advertisements, flyers, posters, etc. must display the Festival Country Indiana logo. Please contact Director of Tourism Kenneth Kosky at email@example.com for logos.
• All grantees receiving funding must distribute the Festival Country Indiana Travel Guide at their event, if the CVT has copies available. Please contact Director of Tourism Kenneth Kosky at firstname.lastname@example.org for guides.
• Copies of paid invoices, separate copies of checks or receipts with check numbers indicated, all promotional/marketing materials, and the post- event evaluation form will be due within 60 days after the event, or by December 15 of the year the event occurred, whichever date comes first. Materials not submitted within the 60 day timeframe are subject to the CVT reducing the reimbursement to the corresponding organization.
Grant types and amounts:
• Marketing grant: $2,500 (first year); $1,500 (second year); $1,000 (third year)
• Festivals and events grant: $2,500 (first year); $1,500 (second year); $1,000 (third year)
• Meetings, conventions, and seminars: $2,500 (first year); $1,500 (second year); $1,000 (third year)
• Sports sponsorship: Maximum $2,500
• Product development: Maximum $5,000
Successful applicants may be approved for a grant in the full amount requested or in an amount less than initially requested or, in extremely unusual circumstances, more than the maximum amount. In addition, if a grant recipient does not use the entire amount they are awarded, the leftover amount does not carry over to the next year. Each event is limited to one grant per year. A new application must be submitted each year, as there is no carryover in the application process. The same event can receive a grant for no more than three years.
Note that if an organization receives a grant, but does not use the money, they can request to receive the funds the following calendar year, if approved by the director. Funds not used in the year received, or the following year, require that the entire application be resubmitted.
Grant funds cannot be used for:
• Marketing efforts within Johnson County, unless the promotional campaign is directed to the residents to encourage visitation from their friends and relatives outside of Johnson County.
• Annual operating expenditures of the event, festival, sporting event, meeting, convention or seminar.
• Salaries, wages or employee benefits.
• Prize money, scholarships, awards, plaques, t-shirts, certificates, buttons, promotional items/giveaways, or newsletters.
• Events or attractions which are restricted to private or exclusive participation.
• Seasonal or holiday events celebrated by most communities or one-day athletic events that have a primarily local draw. The committee will consider evidence of unique characteristics and/or aspects that provide regional draw to these types of events if such aspects set it apart from the average event.