Grant Guidelines

Purpose: This grant is intended to aid organizations that produce projects, programs or events that promote local business and tourism, and for festivals and special events for the benefit Gilmer County.

Funding: Funding for this program is disbursed to multiple organizations. The funds are made available from the City of Ellijay, City of East Ellijay and Gilmer County’s transient lodging taxes that are assessed to hotels, motels, cabins and bed and breakfasts for guests in the area.

Process: The online application for the Gilmer County Tourism Grant Program will be the primary way of communicating project funding intentions to the grant review committee. Be sure to include all important information you want the committee to be aware of in this application.

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the annual meeting of the Tourism Promotion Committee (May, 6, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.) to make a brief presentation. The presentation will be limited to a maximum of three minutes. The best use of this time is to emphasize the importance or impact of your project, service or program; not to recap or review your written material.
  • Please be sure that your request satisfies the conditions of the grant and you provide all the information requested. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicant Criteria

  1. Applicant must be a qualified tax exempt or non‐profit organization (exceptions on case-by-case basis for special events that agree to certain terms including: not directly receiving funds and having approved marketing invoices paid directly by the Chamber).
  2. Only two grants per year (Jan. – Dec.) is awarded to any one organization.
  3. Project/event must take place within the limits of Gilmer County:
    • Events that are hosted in Gilmer County are eligible for full funding.
    • Projects/events that are not hosted in Gilmer County, but have a portion of their program/event taking place in Gilmer County, are eligible for partial funding as determined by the review committee.
    • Projects/events outside of Gilmer County limits are not eligible for funding.
  4. An organization will only be considered for a grant if the previously awarded grant project has complied with grant procedures, including filing a final financial statement and project evaluation.

Types of Projects to be Considered 

  1. A project, event or annual festival that would further tourism in Gilmer County, directly benefiting the economy, culture, and image of Gilmer County.
  2. The production of a new product or event to attract tourism and/or convention business to Gilmer County.
  3. A one‐time festival or event attracting community participation and visitors to Gilmer County.
  4. An annual Gilmer County event with introduction of new or expanded attractions.
  5. Media advertising, public relations or marketing projects which are directed towards the consumer or travel trade and promote specific event(s) or site(s) for the purpose of destination tourism to Gilmer County.

Evaluation Criteria

A review committee of the Gilmer County Tourism Promotion Committee will review applications and determine awards according to the criteria and the intent of the grant program.

All decisions of the Gilmer County Tourism Promotion Committee will be final. Please address each of the following items as you prepare your application:

  1. The project must demonstrate a clear need for financial assistance. Factors such as all  other available financial resources and the organization’s total budget will be considered.
  2. The project must demonstrate potential for tourism promotion.
  3. Consideration will be given to the uniqueness and quality of your project.
  4. Projects receiving grant funds must be completed by December 31, 2023.
  5. The project must provide evidence of equal matching resources other than the grant.
    • Matched resources may be in the form of in‐kind donations, as well as cash.
    • Matching funds must be documented and must be committed prior to the distribution of grant funds.
  6. Annual events must show continued access to additional supporting funds other than City/County resources.

Important Financial Information

  1. The maximum amount to be granted is limited. Full funding is rare due to the number of applicants competing for the available funds.
  2. If an organization is awarded and accepts funds less than their request, they will be expected to fulfill the project as presented in their application or notify the GCTPC of alterations of the goals of the project. If a project is cancelled for any reason, any grant funds must be returned to the Gilmer Chamber.
  3. Upon receipt of grant funds, the administering organization agrees to be bound to the      commitments of their application. If it is determined that grant monies are used for any item not specified within the grant application, or in the timeline specified, the funds in question must be returned to the Gilmer Chamber.
  4. The organization receiving grant funds and the officers named in the application are jointly and  severally responsible for the final financial report required with approved applications.
  5. The final report must include financial income and expense statements related to the project and a copy of any publicity or printed materials that include the statement acknowledging the source of funds. List your achievements, and accurately verify attendance and/or people served.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Ron Cheslock, Tourism Director, Gilmer Chamber