Glacier Country Regional Tourism Commission is a non-profit organization dedicated to marketing Western Montana as a travel destination. We are recognized by the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) and the state as the official marketing organization for Western Montana. Glacier Country is funded in part by the state accommodations tax (bed tax) and by private membership funds. Geographically, Glacier Country includes Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties.

  

GLACIER COUNTRY TOURISM COOPERATIVE MARKETING PROGRAM GUIDELINES


The Glacier Country Tourism Cooperative Marketing Program (GCCMP) is designed to provide matching expense reimbursement funding for projects to promote an area or event on a cooperative basis with a nonprofit 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 nonresident visitors.


PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:

Cooperative partners applying for program funds must have an active status as a nonprofit 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 nonprofit organization
  • Montana tribal government
  • Montana city or county government

The grant program is not intended to be a sustainable funding source. The amount and frequency of grant awards an applicant organization has received will be taken into consideration.

  • No “pass through” entities may be utilized to apply for grant funding. Applicant organization must own and be legally responsible for the project seeking grant funds.
  • No state or federal agencies may apply.

This is a matching fund expense reimbursement 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 grant 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.

Funding 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:

Cooperative marketing applications must be submitted to the Glacier Country Tourism office two weeks prior to the Glacier Country Tourism scoring committee meeting at which they are to be considered. Grant applications must be submitted using the official online tool Submittable. 

The Glacier Country Tourism Cooperative Marketing Program awards funds to nonprofit tourism-based/related organizations, including officially recognized convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, economic development corporations, associations, museums, etc. 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;
  • 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;
  • The cooperative marketing application needs to address how the project will be evaluated, if possible in quantifiable metrics. 

Applications for cooperative marketing will be accepted on a first come/first served basis.

Any previous breach of contract agreement with Glacier Country Tourism previously may disqualify an applicant from consideration. 


Financial Qualification Requirements:

Cooperative marketing projects must have a total budget of at least $500 ($250 per applicant). The maximum amount of matching funds that Glacier Country Tourism will supply per project is $5,000. New project submissions will typically have precedence over re-submission of projects.

Cooperative partners are to present original invoices to Glacier Country Tourism for payment.

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:
  • Quantity:
  • Color:
  • Paper stock:
  • Size and folds:
  • Ad sales: Yes or NO
  • Freight charges: (if none, please state zero)


Eligible Project and Activity Requirements:

Cooperative marketing 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). 
  • Strategic planning, destination and experiential product development. 
  • Professional design services. Total cost of services cannot be over 20% of total project budget. Services must be itemized on final billing. 
  • Paid regional or national print and digital advertising. Audience must be outside the Glacier Country region.
  • Survey Kits from Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. The survey kit is a service (for a minimal fee) by 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 rules and regulations. 


Ineligible Projects and Activities

Projects and activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 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 nonresident 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 Review and Award Process:

A review committee consisting of Glacier Country Tourism board members and the Glacier Country Tourism Executive Director will review applications and make recommendations to the authorized authority. 


Project Implementation and Financial Compliance Requirements:

Cooperative marketing projects are not to be implemented until all requirements for final approval have been met and approval is received in writing.

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. 

Projects must be completed within six months of award date.

A list of implementation, marketing, financial and performance tracking compliance requirements will be outlined in the award contract. 

  

COMPLIANCE CHECK LIST:

Applications are accepted until the funding pool is allocated. 

  • The grant process is first come, first serve
  • The grant project must positively impact visitation, promote accessibility, activities and amenities that are available during in that area or community or positively impact media or nonresident visitors with information and images
  • The grant funding pool is $40,000 (FY 2019)
  • The maximum award is $5,000
  • Applications will be evaluated on a pass/fail rating system
  • No state or federal agencies may apply


APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS: 

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt. If approved, contracts will be drawn up and upon completion, payment is issued as direct payment to vendors for services rendered at no more than 50% of actual. 


SUBMITTABLE: 

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.

We would also encourage you to “whitelist” Submittable to receive notifications without having them lost in your filter settings.


PROGRAM COMPLIANCE:

Within six months of award date, grantee will be required to submit supporting documentation to verify project completion, project performance as outlined in the original application. 

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 

PROGRAM PURPOSE AND GOALS:

The Glacier Country Tourism visitor information center (VIC) staffing assistance program's intention is to aid not-for-profit chambers of commerce, economic development corporations/authorities, tourism improvement districts, tribal governments and visitor information centers in need of financial support to supplement qualified visitor information center programs with paid and/or volunteer staff positions to operate their visitor information centers. Glacier Country Tourism has committed a total of $45,000 for staffing assistance to this program. Staffing assistance up to $4,000 is available. 


PROJECT ELIGIBILITY RULES AND GUIDELINES:

Only established chambers of commerce, economic development corporations/authorities, tourism improvement districts and visitor information centers within the Glacier Country region are eligible for this program. Geographically, Glacier Country includes Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties. This funding is not to be the sole source of funding for VIC operations. Organization must carry workers comp and liability insurance to cover visitors and both paid and volunteer staff. Thorough documentation and program adherence is a requirement of the program. If a VIC is non-compliant, it will result in a reimbursement of funds to Glacier Country Tourism and future program funding may be denied. 


Organizations that directly receive funding from the Montana Accommodation Tax are NOT eligible to apply for distribution assistance from Glacier Country Tourism (i.e. Destination Missoula, Explore Whitefish and Discover Kalispell).