TDA Fund Grant Application Instructions

Read the following instructions before filling out the Tourism Fund Grant Application

Purpose of the Tourism Promotion Fund

The Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority (Authority) recognizes the value of increasing tourism efforts within the City in order to advance the quality of life for its Citizens and visitors. The Authority has agreed to consider funding events, activities or non-capital projects that will increase overnight visitor stays in lodging facilities within the City limits. More typically, these are events and festivals that are designed to bring in some significant overnight stays.

Sports-Related Events

The Authority created a Sports Development Fund from which the Sports Commission can disburse for worthy sport-related events. The Sports Commission can qualify events that drive overnight stays using criteria it develops. Sport-related events might want to seek support from this fund rather than the competitive Tourism Promotion Fund.

Strategic Initiative Fund Applications

New for FY17, the Authority has determined it would consider applications for efforts other than events and festivals that would drive significant overnight stays in Jacksonville lodging facilities. These efforts and the application process for this fund are more completely described in another document.

Who Can Apply for the Tourism Promotion Fund

Ongoing or new festivals, events, activities or similar that are designed in such a manner that produce overnight stays in Jacksonville lodging facilities that are not previously funded or which have not previously applied to the Authority.

Organizations with whom the Authority engaged in a partnership with between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 and are in good standing.

Scope of Items and Basis for Consideration

The Authority has indicated a willingness to fund marketing and specific promotion related items connected to specific activities that would be executed between July 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017 that encourage, produce or incubate overnight stays in lodging facilities within the City limits. Such funding may also be applied to a combination of eligible items.

This application is not for capital projects, funding for operational support of an organization or

the Strategic Initiative Fund.

Authorized Use of Funds

The following are examples of how funds may be used to promote tourism for the City

Advertising, marketing and promotional expenses in out-of-market media in conjunction with an event to increase participation in the event and bring visitors to Jacksonville.

Examples: printing and distribution of promotional pieces prior to the event including creative design, printing, copying, ad placement cost, and distribution of direct mail.

In market marketing will have to be specifically authorized in the granting of the funding.

Creating an internet site promoting the event linked to the Authority website to increase participation, attendance and awareness of the event and generate hotel room nights.

Marketing items and other such devices that are clearly intended to be used out of market to drive participation in the event.

Funds May Not Be Used for:

Prize money, scholarships, awards, plaques, or certificates.

Travel expenses.

Private entertainment, food, and beverages and lodging.

Legal, medical, engineering, accounting, auditing, planning, marketing, feasibility studies or other consulting services.

Salaries or supplements to salaries for existing or future staff, or employment of personnel directly or indirectly related to the project or event.

Real property or capital improvements, new construction, renovation or restoration to facilities.

Tangible personal property including but not limited to office furnishings or equipment, permanent collections, or individual pieces of art.

Interest or reduction of deficits and loans.

Expenses incurred or obligated prior to or after the project period.

Advertising and promotional materials distributed at the event site or after the event.

Payments for services or goods purchased for previous or other events.

Media Purchase Coordination & Acknowledgement of Authority Support

The Authority has a strong desire to leverage funds used for promotion of events, activities and projects. A media agency has been hired by the Authority to coordinate, guide and place media purchases where practical.

A media plan will be required and should be created prior to application.

The Authority will not pay for placements or items not in the media plan. The applicant organization must acknowledge the contribution from the Authority and the placement of Authority logo, City seal or with wording approved by Authority staff.

Direct Payments

The Authority does not pay the awarded funds to the organization, instead the payments will be made directly to the media vendors or through the Authority’s advertising agency.

Professional Management & First Time Applicants

The Authority wishes to ensure that events associated with funding or which represent Jacksonville are presented with the highest professional manner. Therefore, the Authority will only fund events with demonstrated management capabilities. The Authority has funded events being developed as activities that will draw overnight lodging stays in the future. Applicants for incubation events should seek professional management for assistance, and provide a plan for the future of the event.

Volunteer Management

The use of the Jacksonville-Onslow Volunteer Center (938-HELP) is strongly encouraged. The Authority wishes to ensure that volunteer management is professional, and hopes to build on the cadre of available volunteers and volunteer opportunities within our community. Operated by the United Way, the Jacksonville-Onslow Volunteer Center offers assistance with volunteer management, recruitment of volunteers, volunteer hour recordkeeping and volunteer recognition.

If the event involves Sports

Activities or events that are sports-related will be required to be reviewed by the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission. Sports Commission staff are available for technical assistance on events and activities within Onslow County by calling 910 347-3141.

Partnership with Jacksonville Lodging Facilities

The Authority does not wish to endorse any specific lodging facility, but the involvement of the lodging facilities in Jacksonville as part of a package of collaborative efforts for an organizational application is likely to have a stronger demonstration that overnight stays are being sought. The use of a Jacksonville lodging facility as a host site for something associated with the eligible activity is encouraged, but not required.

Other Funding Sought

As indicated, the Authority wishes to leverage funds from the Occupancy Tax. Indicating where other funding for the activity, or where application for other funding is being made may assist the review panel in testimony to the Authority about leverage. Specifically, the Authority wishes to know whether the applicant intends to seek County Tourism funds. Any other application for funds should be disclosed in the application.

The Application & Changes after Award

The application submitted becomes a part of the contract with the Authority and the entity must have any changes, including date, name, location, organizational changes, reviewed by the Authority staff, and potentially the Authority before the change is made. This includes any changes that would alter the intent, spirit and purpose as demonstrated in the application or conditions imposed by the Authority in awarding funds. The Authority wishes to ensure that the intent of the funding awarded is paramount and wishes “no-surprises” from efforts funded.

After Action Report and Special Conditions

If awarded, the organization will be required to offer a flash report within 30 days of the event to Authority staff as well as prepare an after-action document and presentation for the Authority. While the presentation to the Authority will be at the option of the Authority members, the written after-action report is required to be submitted within 45 days after the completion of the activity unless an extension is granted by the Authority staff.

The after-action report should include:

The expenditures, revenues and in-kind activities necessary for the activity,

Attendance, participation and estimate of out-of-town and in-area participation for the activity. A scan or survey of Jacksonville lodging facilities to learn of potential impact from the activity.

A photographic and any other media survey of the festival during, before and after.

An inventory of volunteer, staff and other involvement by persons associated with the activity.

A narrative of the impact of the activity or potential for future tourism development for Jacksonville.

Any other relevant information that would help the Authority evaluate the cost effectiveness of Tourism Funds.

The award of a grant from the Authority shall also require a license or outright grant of use of any photography, video or other similar documentation of the activity. Such license or grant cannot expire or be revoked unless such documentation is found to be in violation of any law or acceptable practice. The organization will be solely responsible for clearing any images for publication and public use to the extent possible.

The purpose of the after-action and other documentation is to assist the Authority in future promotion of events and activities and to record how the Occupancy Tax has been expended.

The applicant’s past record and willingness to do more to demonstrate the impact of the activity after it has completed, can increase the willingness of the Authority to fund the activity.

Special for Organizations Awarded Funding for FY16

If your organization was awarded funding with conditions and did not accept the conditions, or your organization failed to submit the required items, your organization is deemed not to be in good standing and cannot apply for FY17 funding.

Pre-Application Contact Required

Organizations that received funding in FY16 should contact Staff directly.

New applicants must call for a meeting with staff prior to application. To set up a meeting, email or call 910 938-5220 by 5PM on March 16, 2016. Calls outside normal business hours will be returned. Callers should provide a method of communication that can be achieved during normal business hours.

Application Process

Organizations must complete and submit the attached application no later than 12 PM, Monday, April 4, 2016 in the office of the City Manager or online by the same time.

There are two options for sending the application:

Preferred: Online digital version of the Application will be available on the Authority’s website, and can be filled out there.

Paper Applications can be created using a download of an application from the same website. Submission should not be in notebooks or binders. The Application, without cover sheets or these instruction sheets, should be printed duplex on plain, substantial, white paper without hole punches, and be fastened with a paper clip or other device that can be easily undone in order that it may be copied or scanned. If a paper application is submitted, it is strongly encouraged that an electronic version of the application also be provided to assist with archiving and sharing with the review panel. Applications hand-delivered to the City Manager’s Office will be stamped by the City staff on receipt.

Address for the delivery of Application:

City of Jacksonville

City Managers Office

PO Box 128

815 New Bridge Street

Jacksonville, NC 28541-0128

Cover letters or introductory emails should not accompany the application. Narrative responses should be limited to 1000 words or less (unless otherwise indicated), in a typeface no smaller than 11 font.

This symbol will be used on the application to indicate that an attachment is acceptable when more space is needed. A spreadsheet file or printout for the detailed budget and for the timeline is required as we want you to use the best format possible to give us as much information as possible. However, please note in the application if an alternative format is being used to provide information for a specific question, and then mark the submission attachment with the appropriate question reference.

The Authority or the staff may request clarification or additional information from the applicant at any point during the application process. Questions about this application or the process may be directed to Glenn Hargett, or call Pam McIntosh at 910 938-5220 to leave a message.

Applicants should understand that this is a competitive application process for limited funding and that prior funding is no guarantee of future funding. There will be applications for programs that satisfy many of the evaluation criteria but are not funded. Successful applications may be funded for less than the amount requested.

Review Process

The Authority has adopted criteria for Staff to use in making recommendations to the Authority for potential funding. A panel will be established to review the applications. One panel will provide technical review of the applications. Another panel will consist of tourism experts from other communities which will score and review the applications.

Adopted Criteria

Yes or No Answers to be provided by the Staff:

Have appropriate organizational documents, such as organizational tax status, vendor application and other required items, been filed with the City and are up to date?

Yes or No Answers to be provided by the reviewers:

If the activity is sports-related, has it been sanctioned by the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission?

If so, is the support of the Sports Commission adequate to advance the project, or

Should additional support be considered by the Authority?

If previously funded, or if the organization has been supported by others with funding, is there a history of providing on-time, complete and accurate reports and that the organization has complied with all the conditions of funding in an adequate manner in the past.

C1 Is the funding for marketing?

C2 Is the funding for marketing out of the area sufficient?

C3 Is this a request for funds other than Marketing?

Reviewers will score these criteria adopted by the Authority. Those which fully meet the criteria are awarded a “5.” Those who do not, will receive a “0,” with intermediate scores possible for partial compliance.

Will the event, activity or project advance the mission of the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority to increase and support tourism within the Community?

Will the activity directly advance overnight stays in Jacksonville Lodging Facilities?

Does the activity provide a promise that it will occur regularly, or is it a large one-time event that will generate significant overnight stays within Jacksonville? Alternately, is it an activity that has national, regional or significant importance which will take place within the City of Jacksonville?

Does the event, activity, signage, promotion or support follow any of the goals set by the Jacksonville City Council?

Will local people attend, or will new forms of family entertainment be born of the event? Does this activity improve the Quality of Life in Jacksonville?

Do competent persons whose knowledge of event or activity management is unquestioned operate the event? Does the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority have confidence in the operators and organizers of the event?

Is the activity, event or project to be operated or performed in a manner that is consistent with standards for such events, activities or projects?

Is the involvement of the Tourism Development Authority or staff beneficial to the success of the event, activity or project?

Does the involvement of the TDA promote overnight lodging during a slow period, or does it drive sales into the future for overnight stays and benefits to Jacksonville lodging facilities?

If a recurring event, would the TDA funding provide incentive for growth of overnight stays and not supplant funding that the organization should be funding, or

- Does the TDA funding provide a promise of growth that would benefit overnight stays, or

- If a new event, does this provide promise or demonstration of overnight stays.

The criteria are guidelines for establishing support and are designed to reflect the desires of the Authority and the scores will form recommendations to the Authority which shall make the final decision on funding.

Contracts and Further Submissions

New organizations whose applications are selected for funding will be required to sign a contract likely to require:

IRS Tax-Exempt Determination Letter

Articles of Incorporation or equivalent

By-laws and any policies that regulate the board of directors in their governance function

Annual Audit or Financial Report

Submission of these items is not required for the application.

For organizations which have been funded in the past, submissions must be up-to-date and current at the time of filing. Failure to do so could result in a negative score or loss of funding.

Advice for Successful Applications

Answer each question directly. Carefully consider what the question is asking and answer that question. Each section is designed to assist the review panel and the Authority in evaluating the application against others and as part of the review of the adopted criteria. Some questions are directly tied to a score and the lack of information could lead to a zero for that criteria.

Don’t pad answers. The review panel and the Authority like clean, direct answers. All the questions are formed from questions the authority or previous members of the Review Panel have asked.

Give enough detail so that the review panel, and later the Authority, can understand the activity, but do not overwhelm the reader of the application with unneeded information. Too much verbiage only complicates the application. But ensure you have given sufficient information to answer the question.

Be sure that you clearly state, label and define the budget for the project. The use of abbreviations may be clear to the applicant, but may be foreign to the review panel or the Authority.

Be very clear about how the Authority assistance can benefit the activity.

Be very clear about how this will drive overnight stays at Jacksonville lodging facilities.

Follow the directions, including how the application is to be delivered.

Process for Review, Award and Funding

  1. Organizations determine if they desire to apply for an activity and attend a workshop.
  2. Applications submitted by April 4, 2016 at Noon online or in the City Manager’s Office.
  3. Applications will be received and reviewed for technical compliance by the Staff and a panel of local tourism affiliated persons.
  4. A panel composed of out-of-county tourism professionals will be convened to review and score the applications.
  5. The scores will be applied against available funding and potential uses.
  6. A Staff recommendation is prepared using available funding, potential uses and the recommendation from the panels with information about whether past organizations have complied with the rules and an estimate of how new organizations are likely to follow the Authority guidelines and fiscal requirements.
  7. The Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority will receive the Staff Recommendation and give direction on April 12, 2016.
  8. The Authority may ask for additional information, act on the recommendation or take other action.
  9. The Authority will consider the budget for the Authority at their April 28, 2016 meeting.
  10. The final budget is likely to be adopted in April, subject to change. Funding is committed at the time of the final adoption of the budget.
  11. Contracts with the organizations awarded funding will be prepared for signature.
  12. Staff and Representatives will meet with the organizations to review the terms of the contract and coordinate media buys.
  13. After the event is over, an after action report must be provided to the Authority staff.
  14. The Authority, at its discretion, will determine if a presentation is requested at a meeting.

Submission Instructions

To be considered for grant funding, the organization must complete the Tourism Promotion Fund Grant Application Form in its entirety.

Please be sure that all supporting schedules are provided at time of application

Please be sure the application is signed certifying that you have read and agree with the conditions.

Deliver the application to the Jacksonville City Manager’s Office and have completed the Vendor Application by 12PM, Tuesday, April 4, 2016.

Or fill out the application online here before the cut off date.