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Grants to Iowa Organizations for Programs that Promote Tourism in Eligible Locations


Geographic Focus

USA: Iowa: Mason City

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Tourism Marketing Grant

Visit Mason City

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #177482

Grant Description

Grants of up to $1,000 to Iowa organizations for projects, programs, and events that promote tourism in eligible locations. Funding is intended to attract visitors and generate visitor spending. Grant funds may be used for a broad range of programs and activities, including conventions, events, activities, tournaments, and facilities that increase tourism. Projects must generate visitor spending in Mason City, with a focus on visitors from outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.

The amount of grant funds allocated directly depends on:

  • The number of visitors the marketing project will attract to town
  • The number of days the visitors are in town
  • The number of hotel rooms used by the visitors

Eligible Projects and Use of Funding

  • Design, production and placement costs for marketing that targets visitors who live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City (brochures, flyers, posters, direct mail, registration materials, e-blasts, websites, print ads, radio ads, television ads, digital ads, social media ads, etc.
  • Purchase of marketing lists, search engine marketing, pay-per-click marketing, Google Ad Words, etc. targeting visitors who live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
  • Off-site signage (billboard, wayfinding, trailblaze) targeting visitors who live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
  • Shuttle service for tours within Mason City/Clear Lake, transportation between convention facilities used by visitors who live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
  • Welcome reception food (appetizers/ hors d'oeuvres) and non-alcoholic beverages for visitors who live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
  • Fees must be payable to a third-party vendor.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Priority will be given to projects that focus on attracting visitors to town versus projects that focus on visitors once they have already arrived.
  • Number of visitors attracted outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City by marketing project.
  • Number of lodging rooms generated by marketing project.
  • Distribution Plan.
  • Attract visitors during the “off-season,” during the months of September-May
  • Attract visitors during the week, Monday-Thursday

Need help writing this grant?


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations in Mason City, Iowa are eligible.

Projects that are not eligible for funding include:
- Projects that do not attract visitors, visitor spending, use of hotel rooms to Mason City.
- Projects in which the majority of the target audience live within a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- Domain names, hosting fees, postage fees, on-site signs.
- Funding for entire organization website versus just the tourism event page.
- Prizes and soft marketing items (t-shirts, stickers, promotional items, etc.)
- Shuttle service/transportation in which majority of passengers are locals. Transportation for tours not in town.
- Meal, venue rental and alcoholic beverages.
- Receptions in which the audience is largely from within a 90-mile radius of Mason City.
- In-kind services
- Funds cannot be used to "pay" yourself (example: reimburse your own organization for copies).
- Projects that receive funding from the FY23 Regional Sports Authority District program are not eligible.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Visit Mason City staff is available by appointment (Monday-Friday, 8 AM-4:30 PM) to provide application assistance. To schedule a meeting, contact Visit Mason City, at Contact Information, below.

Appointments must occur three business days before the grant deadline. Applications received three business days before the grant deadline will not receive staff application assistance.

Pre-Application Information:

Round 1 application deadline: 4 PM on September 30, 2022 for marketing projects completed October 1, 2022-September 30, 2023

Round 2 application deadline: 4 PM on January 27, 2023 for marketing projects completed March 1, 2023-September 30, 2023

Applicants will be notified 30 days after the grant deadline regarding their funding status.

Grants have a required partner cash match of at least 50%.

Grant awards are paid as reimbursements to the applicant upon completion of the project. Grant recipients are encouraged to use Mason City vendors when possible.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Minimum Request: $100.
- Maximum Request: $1,000.
Grants are limited to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs or $1,000 (whichever is lowest).

Term of Contract:

Round 1: Marketing projects must be completed October 1, 2021-September 30, 2022.
Round 2: Marketing projects must be completed March 1, 2021-September 30, 2022.

Contact Information:

To apply:

Phone: 641-422-1663 / 800-423-5724.

Visit Mason City Iowa
2021 Fourth Street Southwest
Mason City, IA 50401

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