The Hancock County Tourism Commission offers a grant program that assists local organizations with projects that increase tourism and attracts out-of-county visitors to economically benefit Hancock County. Organizations requesting funds must use the funds to bring in new business; develop local events, attractions, festivals, conventions or sporting events. It is our goal that funding such projects will draw and increase the number of visitors, especially overnight visitors to Hancock County, thereby providing added economic benefits to the community. Please look at the following guidelines for grant applications:
- “Tourism” in Hancock County is defined as any activity that brings people who live outside of the county boundaries into the county’s boundaries for a “destination experience.” This could mean an overnight stay; however, it could also be a day trip to an activity such as a fair, festival, recreational event, attending a performing arts event, visiting a museum or a leisure time activity including dining and shopping.
- Hancock County Tourism is supported through an Innkeeper’s tax. This tax is at a 5% rate on all guests who stay in Hancock County’s hotels or bed and breakfast type facilities. For this reason it is important to engage our local hotels in encouraging guests attending your tourism event or attraction to stay in these local facilities. If your event will be hosting out of town vendors or potential out of town attendees – please work with these local hotels in order to promote their services to your guests. You can contact the Hancock County Tourism Office with a list of hotels and facilities and their contact information, or you can find that information on the Tourism website at: www.visitinhancock.org
The Tourism Commission
- The Hancock County Tourism Commission, a seven member government appointed board, will be making the decision on your grant request. Five of these board members are appointed by the Hancock County Commissioners, and two of these board members are appointed by the Mayor of Greenfield. To find out who is on this board, please go to the Tourism website and look under the “About” section and then look for the “Tourism Commission.” All board members are listed there.
Preparing and Presenting Your Grant
- The Hancock County Tourism Commission meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5pm in the City Council Chamber at the Keith McClarnon City Hall, located at 10 South State Street, Greenfield, IN. You will be expected to be present at a Tourism Commission meeting in order to introduce your grant and to answer questions from the Tourism Commission.
- In order to be placed on the agenda, your grant request and ALL ancillary materials must be turned into the Hancock County Tourism and Visitor Center Office, located at 119 W. North St., Greenfield, IN 46140 no later than 6pm on the last day of the month – previous to the month in which the Tourism Commission will meet. (For example, if the Tourism Commission meets the 10th of July, then your grant request is due into the Tourism office by the 30th of June at 6pm.). **It is preferred that this material be submitted electronically in a pdf form via email. Please email the grant request to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with this, you can contact the Hancock County Tourism and Visitor Center office.
- Once the agenda is completed, you will receive an email notification that you will be placed on the agenda.
- Previous grant requests, budgets, and other ancillary materials are available for public review on the Tourism website. Go to the “About” section and go to the section labeled “Tourism Commission Meeting Minutes.” You can even download these pdf’s for your review to see how others completed their grant applications.
- Grants will be reviewed based upon the order in which they were received unless a presenter has expressed a special need or urgency in regards to their place on the agenda due to travel time, or conflicts with other obligations.
- A grant request can only be made once within a calendar year from the same organization or facility.
- The grant must support a tourist location, a festival, fair or event that brings tourism to Hancock County, or a project that will promote tourism to Hancock County.
- Grant applications will be considered for the support of advertising, publicity, and promotion of visitors, conventions, and tourism to Hancock County.
- Grant monies are not to be used to provide salaries or employment.
- Grant monies are only to be used by Not-for-Profit Organizations who are in good standing with the Secretary of State’s office.
- You will need to provide a detailed accounting of every item in your grant support budget, which will include a breakdown of all of the costs, and vendors. You will also need to provide an overall budget for your event or project, including all outside monies and support from other groups and organizations – including your own.
- You will need to show how you are working with local hotels in supporting their business at your event. This can be done by collaborating with these facilities to negotiate rooms and rates for vendors or attendees, providing links on your website to the Hancock County Tourism’s Hotel page, working with the hotels to provide advertisement about your event or project to encourage their overnight visitors to attend your attraction or event.
- You will need to show how you are tracking out of county visitors. This can be done through surveying attendees, collecting zip codes from attendees, checking license plates, or collecting that information via registrations or guest registers. This information WILL BE REQUIRED for an end of project/event report.
- You can submit supporting documents including: details and data from past events in regards to visitors and their origin; quotes for advertising expenses; letters of support; and any other information that you may want to include. These should be submitted along with the grant request at the time of submission, or it will not be considered.
- If you choose to bring any samples of items (advertising pieces, etc) to the board meeting, and you want each board member to have one – please bring 8 – – one for each board member and one for the Executive Director.
- Normally, you will find out that evening whether or not you have received grant monies, and the exact amount that you will be receiving.
If You are Awarded a Grant
- If you are awarded grant money, the board will issue you a check in the amount approved within one month of the board meeting.
- Part of the requirement upon receipt of these funds is that you will promote the Hancock County Tourism Commission as a sponsor of your event. You MUST use the Hancock County Tourism logo on all PRINT and ELECTRONIC promotions of your event or project. Please contact the Hancock County Tourism Office to get the correct logo for your promotional pieces.
- Within SIXTY DAYS of the close of your event or the completion of your project you must provide a follow up report with receipts and documentation as to how the grant money was spent. There is a Final Grant Report Form that is on the Hancock County Tourism website at http://www.visitinhancock.org You must download the form, complete it and, submit it with the receipts and documentation of all spending for the Grant Support Dollars. If you choose, you can come to the board meeting and present a follow up report in person. Please contact the Tourism office – to get added to the agenda for Final Grant Reports.
- If you do not use all of your grant money – you must return any unspent money to the Hancock County Tourism Commission board. This should be submitted in a check and made out to the Hancock County Tourism Commission and submitted along with your Final Grant Report.
- Failure to complete a Final Grant Report and submit the necessary documentation will result in your organization being banned from receiving future tourism funds. Failure to supply the necessary receipts for these expenditures could require you to return funds that are not supported by appropriate documentation. These would be considered unspent funds.
- The Hancock County Tourism Grant Application and Final Grant Form are both found on the Hancock County Tourism Website in a pdf version. You can fill this out using a pdf editing program, or uploading it to an online pdf filler program (www.pdfescape.com). You can also fill this out by hand. Please remember that the **preferred** method of submission is a completed pdf form sent electronically via email to the Tourism Office. If you need help with any of this please contact the Hancock County Tourism Office.
The HCTC board meets monthly and grant money is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Amounts that are awarded are based on individual requests.