Glacier Country Tourism is a nonprofit organization with a focus on ensuring economic sustainability for the region while preserving the quality of life for residents and quality of place for visitors. We are recognized as the official destination organization (DO) for Western Montana by the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) and are funded in part by the state accommodations tax (bed tax) and by private partnership funds. Our region includes Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties.
Welcome to the Recreate Responsibly Business Partner Certification!
Various Montana stakeholders involved in tourism, land management, and conservation have come together to create a Recreate Responsibly Business Partner Certification. Businesses across the state, who most frequently interact with visitors, are encouraged to take part in educating on the key recreate responsibly principles. Businesses who participate in the checklist of outreach/education tools are encouraged to hang a decal in their window to spread awareness of the certification and distribute Recreate Responsibly marketing materials such as stickers, rack cards and flyers.
Here’s why you should get involved:
- To educate Montana’s visitors on key Recreate Responsibly principles, destination stewardship and to help preserve the public lands around us. Be a part of the solution! We all need to work together to educate our visitors (and locals, too).
- Front-line staff at local businesses frequently interact with visitors and will be key in disseminating these messages and marketing materials.
The certification program includes a list of activities (some big, some small) and we ask you do as many as you can, with a minimum of 3 activities to be considered certified. We trust our business partners, and the certification is based on the honor system.
On the following page, please indicate which of these activities you and your business will commit to doing. Upon completion, you will be directed to the Montana Recreate Responsibly Business Partner where you can view additional resources by Leave No Trace and TreadLightly!, and opt to take their online course "Take Action to Protect the Outdoors" and "TreadLightly! 101 Online Awareness Course" respectively.
Your certification confirmation email will provide you links where you can view a toolkit to use and order rack cards, posters, stickers, and other informational collateral to distribute.
Note that your Recreate Responsibly Business Partner window decal will automatically be sent to your business based on the address you have provided.
GLACIER COUNTRY TOURISM COOPERATIVE MARKETING PROJECT MATCH PROGRAM GUIDELINES
The Cooperative Marketing Project Match Program (CMPMP) is designed to provide 50/50 matching expense funding for projects to promote an area or event on a cooperative basis with a not‐for‐profit tourism‐related organization. The intent of this program is to encourage the development of new or expanded marketing projects, thereby increasing the tourism appeal of the city or region to out-of-area visitors.
Applicants for the program must have an active status as a not‐for‐profit organization with the Montana secretary of state. Proof of registration as a not‐for‐profit corporation, with active standing, registered with the Montana secretary of state must be provided in advance. Tribal governments must provide a letter of approval from the authorized tribal chairman at the time of the project.
- Montana not‐for‐profit organization
- Montana tribal government
- Montana city or county government
The match program is not intended to be a sustainable funding source. The amount and frequency of awards an applicant organization has received will be taken into consideration.
- No “pass through” entities may be utilized to apply for project funding. The applicant organization must own and be legally responsible for the project seeking grant funds.
- No state or federal agencies may apply.
This is a match expense program. The applicant match must be "hard" dollars, an actual money investment in the project. The cash match is $1 or more grantee: $1 GCT. In‐kind services are not considered a qualified match. The match must be applied to the project as outlined in the application. Glacier Country Tourism may provide up to, but not more than, 50% of any one line item within a project application. Under no circumstances will Glacier Country Tourism provide more than 50% of the total marketing budget or any line item within the project.
Projects are limited to applicants within the Glacier Country Tourism region geographic boundaries: Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties.
All state of Montana bed tax guidelines/rules/contracts to which Glacier Country Tourism must adhere are relevant and required for the cooperative partner. These rules and regulations are law under Montana Administrative Rule (ARM). Glacier Country Tourism will be active in every aspect of the project to ensure it meets these legal requirements.
APPLICATION QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:
Applications must be submitted to the Glacier Country Tourism office using the official online tool Submittable. The Glacier Country Tourism Cooperative Marketing Program awards funds to not‐for‐profit tourism‐based/related organizations, including officially recognized convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, economic development corporations, associations, museums, etc. and projects that develop new or expand marketing projects, thereby increasing the tourism appeal of the area or city.
All applications will provide:
- A narrative describing your project/event
- A description of what are you requesting funding for
- A detailed budget
- A description of your short- and long- term strategy for the success and sustainability of the project or event
- Research and statistics, if available, as a baseline to evaluate the success of the project
- Details of how the project will be evaluated in quantifiable metrics
There are two steps in the review phase of the grant.
- Phase one is project qualification where the organization and project are reviewed to ensure they meet the requirements of the program.
- Phase two is committee review where GCT's Grants Committee reviews and discusses the application.
These two phases can take two to six weeks.
Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Any previous breach of contract agreement with Glacier Country Tourism may disqualify an applicant from consideration.
New project submissions will typically have precedence over resubmission of projects.
FINANCIAL QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:
Cooperative marketing match projects must have a total budget of at least $500. The maximum amount of matching funds that Glacier Country Tourism will supply per project is $7,000.
For print projects or for purchase of goods and equipment over $500, a minimum of three bids must be obtained, and the lowest bidder must be used. Original bids or original bid faxes must be on file in the Glacier Country Tourism office for all approved cooperative marketing projects. A sample bid request is part of these guidelines.
Sample Bid Request Form:
- Sample Bid Request Form:
- Item to be printed/purchased:
- Paper stock:
- Size and folds:
- Ad sales: Yes or No
- Freight charges: (if none, please state zero)
ELIGIBLE PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES:
Cooperative marketing match program funds are to be used solely for marketing projects. Administrative expenses are not eligible, including wages and travel expenses. In‐kind services are not eligible to be matched.
Eligible Projects and Activities: (All service providers must be preapproved by Glacier Country Tourism)
- Workshops and trainings (customer service, hospitality, marketing)
- Travel trade and conference exhibit space and/or display booth
- Strategic planning, destination and experiential product development and packaging
- Professional design services; total cost of services cannot be over 20% of total project budget with services itemized on final billing
- Paid regional or national print and digital advertising; audience must be out of area to the host community
- Survey Kits from the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research; the survey kit is a service (for a nominal fee) by the ITRR that helps Montana communities gather information about their visitors and/or attendees of a specific Montana event
- Marketing display
- Promotion of special events
- Brochures, rack cards, maps, etc.; must include long‐term distribution plan and, if a print piece, must also be available in online digital format
- Contracted distribution services
- Costs to erect outside information areas and/or official wayfinding signage
- Case‐by‐case project
- Must meet the Montana Tourism Advisory Council Rules and Regulations
INELIGIBLE PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES:
Examples of ineligible projects and activities include, but are not limited to:
- Applicant's personnel costs including wages, travel, per diem
- Administrative overhead/indirect costs
- Office supplies including but not limited to postage, photocopies, telephone or internet charges
- Costs of promotional items (pens, pencils, t‐shirts, hats, general merchandise, etc.)
- Annual subscriptions/membership costs
- Projects that do not contribute to increased out-of-area visitor capacity and expenditures
- Projects where the investment could be considered a regular cost of doing business
- Webpage development, domain registration and website hosting
- Social media posts, Google AdWords and press releases
- Routine upkeep and maintenance expenses
- Infrastructure of any kind
- Relocation information of any kind
APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Applications will be reviewed upon receipt. Projects and activities will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis. A review committee consisting of Glacier Country Tourism board members and the Glacier Country Tourism President CEO will review applications and make recommendations to the authorized authority. If approved, application will be considered a contract between GCT and applicant.
- Applications are accepted until the funding pool is allocated.
- Beginning July 1 of Glacier Country Tourism's fiscal budget year, the grant process is on a first-come, first-served basis. The grant program is open until all available funding is allocated for the respective budget year.
- The grant project must positively impact out of area visitation - promote accessibility, activities and amenities that are available in that area or community or positively impact media or nonresident visitors with information and images
- The project funding pool is $50,000 (FY 2024)
- The maximum award is $7,000
- Applications will be evaluated on a pass/fail rating system
- No state or federal agencies may apply
- Payment is issued as direct payment to vendors for services rendered at no more than 50% of actual up to the award amount.
PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND FINANCIAL COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS:
- Proof of registration as a not‐for‐profit corporation, with active standing, registered with the Montana secretary of state must be provided in advance.
- Projects must be completed within six months of award date. Grantee is required to submit supporting documentation to verify project completion and project performance as outlined in the original application.
- Project evaluation results must be submitted to the Glacier Country Tourism office upon completion of the project. All cooperative marketing projects are subject to an annual review of compliance.
- A list of implementation, marketing, financial and performance tracking compliance requirements will be outlined upon award.
Documentation includes, but is not limited to:
- Copies of original invoices
- Accounting of all project revenue and expenses
- Media performance reports
- Photos of travel booth, signage
- Example of printed material
- Digital copy of video or audio
Submittable is the same online grant submission tool the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development and many other organizations use. Most of you have created an account with Submittable; you are able to utilize the same login credentials and track all of your applications in one easy location.
If you have not used the program previously, you will need to set up your own account. Please note your username and password for future applications through Submittable. This is a third‐party application, and they will be the only ones who will be able to reset your login credentials if you forget.
All correspondence and reporting related to the grant will be conducted via the Submittable program messaging tool on the right‐hand side of the window.
We would also encourage you to “whitelist” Submittable to receive notifications without having them lost in your filter settings.
GLACIER COUNTRY TOURISM COMMUNITY EVENT MARKETING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Community Event Marketing Assistance Program, offered through Glacier Country Regional Tourism Commission, assists communities within the Glacier Country region to promote out-of-area attendance and increase nonresident visitor commerce and community revenue. This program is for either 1) existing events that have been consistently held in a community and have a demonstrated history of economic impact for that community or for 2) new events that can demonstrate through the submission process the event will generate out-of-area revenue coming into the community. This program is paid for and managed by Glacier Country Tourism. Events, creative and target markets must align with Glacier Country Tourism’s brand and strategic plan. Funding is strictly used for paid promotions on Facebook and Instagram.
The community event must be held in the Glacier Country region, which includes Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties. The event organizer must be an eligible entity based in-region and be either a tribal government; a primary, registered nonprofit 501(c) organization; a city government; or a county government. Eligible entities are limited to two submission events per fiscal year, one in the warm season (June – October) and one in the off-season (November – May). The eligible entity must also be the primary organizer of the community event. Events are not eligible for assistance in back-to-back years.
The purpose, content and/or material aspect of the community event must be suitable for audiences of all ages. Some event-based activities are not eligible to be considered for funding, including but not limited to county and community fairs, school and league tournaments, high-school and family reunions, professional events, or sporting and/or other events that are not identified as an interest to nonresident visitors, as well as members-only events.
MARKETING ASSISTANCE DETAILS:
Each awarded event will receive $500 of in-kind marketing assistance; a match is not required, however, the eligible entity may contribute additional funds to the campaign. Additionally, awarded events will be promoted on GlacierMT.com with a 30-day event package worth $700 in-kind value.
- Featured event listing on glaciermt.com/events for the month ($75 value)
- Run-of-site banner ads on glaciermt.com for the month ($120 value)
- 728 x 90, 300 x 250 and 320 x 50 (ad specs)
Facebook and Instagram paid event and/or click to web ads for one month ($500 paid promotion)
- Ads placed through Glacier Country pages
- Linked to Facebook event or event webpage
- Promoted to your target audience (geographic markets, demographic, interests and behaviors)
ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARD CYCLE:
The Event Application Cycle is ongoing with two event packages per month awarded. Submissions are considered, reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis until 24 events are awarded for the upcoming fiscal year (July 2023 – June 2024). A determination of award and award amount will be made within 30 business days from the date of completed submission. A high level of concentration will be given to events held in rural communities. Glacier Country Tourism will provide detailed reporting of the media placements.
Submittable is the same online grant submission tool the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development and many other organizations use. Most of you have created an account with Submittable, you are able to utilize the same login credentials and track all of your applications in one easy location. If you have not used the program previously, you will need to setup your own account. Please note your username and password for future applications through Submittable. This is a third-party application and they will be the only ones who will be able to reset your login credentials if you forget. All correspondence and reporting related to the grant will be conducted via the Submittable program messaging tool on the right hand side of the window.
We would also encourage you to “whitelist” Submittable to receive notifications without having them lost in your filter settings.