The Iowa City Tourism Grant (ICTG) Program promotes tourism in Iowa City by funding tourism-related marketing initiatives, events and meetings that benefit the local economy. Applications are available until 2026 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Funds must be spent by December 31, 2026. This grant will reimburse up to 50 percent of qualified eligible expenses. Some eligible qualified expenses may be reimbursed prior to the event/program completion.
- Applicants may include nonprofits or for-profit entities.
- Applicants may submit multiple applications during the life of this program though the same project cannot receive funding multiple times.
- Applicant need not reside in the City of Iowa City, but the event/programming must take place in the City of Iowa City to be eligible.
- Applications for event funding must be submitted no later than 60 days prior to an event.
- Minimum grant request: No minimum.
- Maximum grant request: $30,000 for new events or initiatives. $5,000 for existing events or initiatives.
- All funds requested must be whole numbers and be in increments of $100. (i.e., $2,500; $2,600; $20,900; etc.)
Each application must contain the following:
- Applicant name, address, email, phone number, contact person and federal identification number
- Description of how the application supports tourism in Iowa City
- Selection of the primary focus of the project: New Event Marketing/Promotion, Existing Event Marketing/Promotion, New Event Infrastructure, Existing Event Infrastructure, Both Marketing and Infrastructure, or Non-Event Based Project
- Documentation that the grant request is consistent with the cost of implementing the project, which includes vendor quotes, bids fees, performer fees, advertising rate sheets and invoices (must total at least the grant amount request plus the cash match).
- Written documentation establishing the amount and source of the required 50 percent cash match
- Completed Minority Impact Statement Form and W9
All project expenses (grant request plus cash match) must directly relate to the implementation of a tourism-related marketing initiative, event or meeting. Examples of eligible expenses include:
- Costs associated with executing marketing tactics and strategies, including planning, design and production of advertising, print materials, digital tools, and media purchasing.
- Payments for venue rental and equipment rental, and equipment purchases for tourism-related events.
- Payments or bid fees, performance fees, and vendor fees.
- Equipment that contributes to the event experience such as signage, sandwich boards, tents, etc.
Examples of ineligible expenses or projects include:
- Expenses that do not directly relate to the project
- Staff salaries and wages
- Office supplies and equipment such as computers, office furniture, printer paper, etc.
- All travel, meal and lodging costs of staff and contractors
- Alcoholic beverages
- Solicitation efforts
- Lobbying fees
- Projects that receive funding from other Think Iowa City or Iowa City Area Sports Commission programs during the concurrent fiscal year
- Prizes given to participants or attendees
ICTG applications receive a score between zero and 100 points. Applications receiving scores of 70 or less will not be considered.
Project Information – 20 Points
Explain the project, the timeline for implementation and how funds will be used. Remember to include how the project will positively reflect on Iowa City.
Economic Impact and Ability to Promote Tourism Industry Growth – 20 Points
Describe how the project supports the economy of Iowa City in broader ways. Use numbers—economic impact, ROI, attendance, number of households/people reached, etc.—where applicable. Out-of-town attendees, hotel room nights, and dates that lack other events/programming that bring tourists are of great importance.
Innovation – 15 Points
Describe the innovative qualities of the project. If the application is not for a new marketing initiative or event, explain how the proposed project will enhance the current marketing initiative or event. If a new event or initiative, explain how this is different from any other events or programs in the Iowa City area.
Need – 10 Points
Explain the need for funds to implement the proposed project. Provide information on other funding sources, including both successful and unsuccessful requests. State whether the project will continue without an award.
Sustainability – 10 Points
Describe plans to continue and sustain the project upon completion of the grant. Include how the project’s success will be measured and how the project’s benefits will be utilized for future marketing endeavors. Can this event/program/initiative continue to grow year-after-year?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – 10 points
Describe how the plan will positively impact and advance DEI initiatives and incorporate diverse voices and perspectives. Note if your organization is a Certified Diverse Supplier or MBEWBE.
Budget – 10 Points
Budget must be relevant to the project. Provide clear documentation of planned project expenses.
Collaboration – 5 Points
An application that represents a collaboration of multiple entities will receive five points. A collaborative application has multiple partners investing in the project.
Grantees must submit invoices for eligible project expenses and proof of payments that total to at least the grant award amount plus the 50 percent minimum cash match within 60 days of purchase of eligible equipment/fees/media or after the event. Additionally, a tourism economic impact report must be submitted within 60 days following the event/program. Projects that are under budget or cannot produce eligible invoices and payment records will not be reimbursed fully for the awarded grant.
The application opened on September 9, 2022. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed monthly by the grant review committee. Applications are available until 2026 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
Questions? Call 319-337-6592 or email Nick Pfeiffer at [email protected]
Fill out your application here.