Matching Local Projects Grant Application & Guidelines 2016-17

Introduction

The Visitor Advisory Committee (VAC) to the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors makes grants to local projects that strengthen the economic impact of the tourism visitor industry in our community. Priority is given to projects that most closely match the marketing plan, goals, and mission of the Chamber of Commerce (see Mission Statement below). In general, the Committee prefers to support projects geared toward increasing the length of stay of our visitors, the number of midweek and shoulder-season visitors to our area, and the degree to which our visitors are immersed in our local business community during their stay—with projects producing increased overnight room stays in Spring, Fall, Winter, and midweek given preference. The Committee accepts written applications from both nonprofit and for-profit entities no later than 90 days prior to the event. Applications are reviewed by the Visitor Committee, after which selected applicants are invited to make a presentation at a Visitor Committee meeting. The Visitor Committee then votes on acceptance of the application and the amount of funds to be dispersed.

Mission and Goals

The Mission of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce is to promote the prosperity and livability of Hood River County. It is the purpose of the Visitor Advisory Committee (VAC) to provide a forum for the region’s public and private tourism-related organizations, agencies, and enterprises to work collaboratively and cooperatively to achieve the goal of marketing Hood River County as a premier travel destination in Oregon. Through promotional marketing and program efforts, the Committee’s goal is to increase visitor expenditures within the County and surrounding communities. The VAC shall encourage increased expenditures by our visitors during peak seasons, and increased visitations during shoulder seasons and midweek.

To fulfill this mission, the Chamber has established the following goals:

  1. Serve as the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Hood River County.
  2. Encourage longer visitor stays and increased visitor volume during off-peak seasons.
  3. Create community awareness and acceptance of the positive effects of the tourism industry in Hood River County.

Policies and Procedures

  • Grant applications must be received in writing no later than 45 days prior to the event.
  • Maximum grant award for 2016-17 will be $1,500.00.
  • Maximum consecutive years of grant eligibility are 2 years (per project).
  • A maximum total year of grant eligibility is 4 years out of every 10 years (per application organization)
  • The VAC provides funds for marketing only—and that marketing must occur a minimum of 50 miles outside the Mid-Columbia area, with marketing geared toward overnight room stays.
  • VAC grant funds may not be used to support event production.
  • Preference is given to projects impacting off season and midweek.
  • All grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar—in-kind contributions are not considered. The match must also be dedicated to the marketing line items of the project (not administration, supplies, equipment, etc.). A show of matching funds at a rate higher than one-to-one will generally make a proposal more competitive. Projects with the matching funds coming from a second outside source, rather than grant applicants general fund, will also be given preference.
  • Grant recipients must submit to the Chamber a minimum of 10 event photos for the Chamber’s unlimited use in promotions and marketing of the County. The images must be in both high and low resolution and the Chamber must be given full rights for use of the images. The Chamber will do its best to give photographer credit if desired.
  • A mandatory written follow-up report is required and due within 60 days of the completion of your project. Failure to file your follow-up report will disqualify your organization/project from any further funding consideration. The follow-up report should contain demographic information, a detail of how the marketing funds were spent, and a recap of the event’s successes and needed improvements if held again.
  • All public notices and printed promotional materials for your project or event must acknowledge the support of the Visitors Advisory Committee, i.e. “This project made possible in part by the financial support of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.” Display of the Chamber’s Logo and/or website on promotional materials is required.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submit your grant application to The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce, attention Mike Glover at director@hoodriver.org. Your application should include this form along with separate sheets for your answers to the questions below, your line item budget, and any other information you wish to include.
  2. GRANT APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUMBITTED TO THE CHAMBER AT LEAST 45 DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT OR PROJECT DATE.
  3. Your grant request will be reviewed by the Chamber and an evaluation form submitted by the Chamber to the VAC at a VAC board meeting within 60 days of the date your application is submitted.
  4. The VAC will review the evaluation and either vote for or against the request, or ask that you make a presentation at the following VAC board meeting if that is deemed necessary.
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