Community Event Marketing Fund
DEFINITION AND PURPOSE
Mono County, through its Economic Development, Tourism & Film Commission, is pleased to announce the availability of a Community Event Marketing Fund (CEMF) reimbursement program to support established non-profit groups that may require additional revenue to advertise and promote tourism-based community events to markets outside the Eastern Sierra. The purpose of this program is to further the Mono County Economic Development, Tourism & Film Commission’s (EDTFC) goal to increase year-round visitation and overnight stays in Mono County which provide economic benefit to the region. Primary consideration will be given to newly established events, and those that take place in the less busy “shoulder” seasons.
Up to $5,000 in funding on a reimbursement basis is available per event; additional funds may be awarded depending on the total amount allocated to each community. Total funding available for CEMF is $25,000; these monies are identified in the EDTFC 2023-2024 operating budget adopted by the Board of Supervisors. Mono County is under no obligation to expend any or all of the funds; EDTFC reserves the right to modify the allocation process as needed.
To help make the process more efficient, applications will be evaluated with a point system.
- The event is brand-new = +2
- The event is 1-3 years old = +1
- The event has occurred more than five times = -1
- This is the first time the event has applied for CEMF or other county funding = +1
- The event occurs during shoulder season (non-holidays after Labor Day to June 30, excluding Dec. 20-March 30 for Mammoth Lakes) = +2
- The event occurs during a peak visitation time (July, August, Labor Day weekend, and for Mammoth Lakes, winter high season from Dec. 20-March 30) = 0
- The event is two or more consecutive days = +1
- The event failed to spend 90% of marketing funds that were awarded in the previous year = -1
- The event provided a report (or, if new, commits to conducting a survey to provide demographics of attendees, estimated overnight visitation, etc. to Commission) = +1
FUNDING ALLOCATION MODEL
The total grant fund of $25,000 will be divided equally by the number of communities from which qualifying applications are received. For example, if applications are received for events in five communities, each of those five communities will be allocated a total of $5,000, etc. From each community’s total, the grants will be awarded to qualifying applicants within that community based on the point system above, and allocated according to the following grid:
Example: AWARDS MODEL EXAMPLE* with applications from five communities:
Allocation per community** ($25,000 divided by communities with applications - for this example, 5) = $5,000
1st Place - Application with highest score = $2,700
2nd Place - Application with second highest score = $1,500
3rd Place - Application with third highest score = $800
Total = $5,000
* The funding per community will be granted to the top-scoring applicants in that community. If there is only one qualified application from a specific community, that applicant will receive 100% of that community’s allocated funds.
In the event of a tie for 1st place, the funds for 1st and 2nd (and possibly 3rd if there are three or more applicants with the same top score) will be combined and the total divided equally between the tied applicants. Similarly, if there is a tie for 2nd place, the funds for 2nd and 3rd will be combined and divided equally. In the event of a 3rd place tie, the funds for 3rd place will be split among the tied applicants.
**For the purpose of this application, Mono County communities are defined as follows: (1) North County (Walker, Coleville, Topaz); (2) Bridgeport; (3) Lee Vining; (4) June Lake; (5) Mammoth Lakes; and (6) South County (Crowley Lake, Benton, Chalfant).
ELIGIBLE EVENT MARKETING PLANS
Examples of marketing initiatives that promote tourism-based, community events might include: Temporary promotional signage, flyers, posters, brochures, direct mail, online and traditional advertising, etc.
- Promotional communication/advertising and marketing must be targeted and distributed to destination markets outside Mono County and the Eastern Sierra, e.g., Southern California, Bay Area, Reno, etc.
- Promotional materials funded by the CEMF must be professionally designed and produced.
- Again, new events will be given higher marks, as will events that are scheduled during non-holidays after Labor Day through June 30th (and excluding high season for Mammoth Lakes, Dec. 20-March 30). However, applications for events occurring outside the preferred date will be accepted, because the distribution of funding may include events outside the preferred dates, depending on the applicant pool.
- Every community in Mono County is encouraged to submit applications for funding and EDTFC will strive to ensure that funding is dispersed as equitably as possible between communities and applicants.
- Both new and existing events are eligible for funding; however, EDTFC encourages organizations to develop self-sustaining events -- and the point system takes this into consideration.
To apply for Community Event Marketing Fund reimbursement, organizations must submit:
- Community Event Marketing Fund application form. Note: EVENT DESCRIPTION AND MARKETING PLAN MUST BE THOROUGHLY OUTLINED with all questions answered in detail
- Detailed budget specific to the event, including revenue, expenses and marketing/advertising plan. Please specify and highlight what exactly the CEMF money be used for if awarded.
- Proof of non-profit organization status (W9)
APPLICATION SUBMISSION DEADLINE
All applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 5, 2023.
Please ensure applications are complete and detailed--there will be no live presentations. All complete applications will be reviewed by Mono County staff. County staff will evaluate applications based on overall viability, including the identification of potential issues with the proposed event. County staff may contact applicants for more information. Applications determined to meet viability and funding criteria will be ranked using the above point system, and funding will be awarded in accordance with the approved schedule.
FUNDING APPROVAL NOTIFICATION
We will notify you by e-mail if your funding request is approved, by or before Wednesday, November 22, 2023 (subject to change).
FUNDED EVENT REQUIREMENTS
Events that are approved for CEMF reimbursement program must adhere to the following requirements:
1) Recipients must adhere to the business/marketing plan (scope of work), as proposed, and sign a contract with the County before receiving any funds from the Community Event Marketing Fund. Recipients are advised that any expenditures made prior to contract execution are at the Recipient’s risk.
2) Recipients are required to provide progress reports by phone or email leading up to the event.
3) All promotional materials and online/website presence must include the following Mono County information; however, the primary call-to-action for the event must clearly be the event’s own contact info.
Mono County Economic Development, Tourism and Film Commission logo (artwork provided)
The 800 Tourism number: 800.845.7922
Mono County Tourism website address: www.MonoCounty.org.
4) Design and content of all materials must be professionally created, reviewed and approved by County staff before printing, publication or distribution. CEMF can be used for graphic design costs, but the majority of the funding must be used for advertising.
5) All content and photos, information, logos, music for public concerts, etc. must be properly licensed.
6) All original invoices and/or original paid receipts must be presented to Mono County staff for reimbursement to the requesting organization within 30 days after the event. Reimbursements will not be made before the event occurs. Any reimbursement is limited to eligible expenses incurred to market and promote events taking place Nov-Dec 2023 or within the 2024 calendar year.
Reminder: funding may not be used with local advertising outlets such as The Sheet, Mammoth Times, KMMT, Sierra Wave, Inyo Register, Mammoth Channel, etc.
7) Recipients who are approved for funding from the 2023-24 fiscal year budget are required to hold the event on the scheduled date on the application. The allocated funds cannot be rolled over into another fiscal or calendar year.
8) If an event is not held on the scheduled date as indicated on the application, the applicant may not be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this 2023-24 event marketing fund.
9) Recipients should contact Economic Development staff as soon as possible if an event will be postponed, or if an event format will be modified from that which was originally described on the application. Similarly, please let staff know as quickly as possible if an event will be canceled so that funds may potentially be reallocated.
10) Reimbursement will be made only for marketing/advertising expenses targeted at audiences outside Mono County and the Eastern Sierra.
11) Organizations must provide Mono County staff and the EDTFC with a written Project Report on the success of the event and advertising.