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Transformational Tourism, Events, and Regional Marketing T-Term Grants


About the Program

The Transformational Tourism, Events, and Regional Marketing (T-TERM) Grant Program is part of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing’s (VDTM) strategic implementation of a federal funds award under the American Rescue Plan Act, administered through the Economic Development Administration (EDA). These funds are intended to support long-term economic recovery and sustainability of travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation in Vermont in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on these sectors.

Program Goals

Grant funds are intended to increase the ability of regional or statewide organizations to create marketing projects that aim to attract visitors to Vermont, demonstrate the potential to transform the economic vitality of local communities, and enhance the visitor experience. Proposed activities must be targeted to out-of-state visitors and applicants are encouraged to look beyond traditional marketing campaigns to design proposals that will have long-term, transformational impacts. Priority will be given to project workplans that include specific information on how the project will reach historically underrepresented communities and new and diverse communities of visitors.

Key Dates:

Application Guidelines Posted: May 17, 2024

Application Deadline: June 17, 2024

Conditional Award Notifications: July 1, 2024. All awards are contingent upon final approval from the EDA.

Project Duration: All project work and reporting must be completed by September 1, 2025. No extensions will be allowed as part of this program.

Funding Details and Requirements

Minimum grant request: $50,000

Maximum grant request: $150,000

Applicants are not required to provide any matching funds in the grant request.

Staff time is not an eligible expense for this grant.

An initial disbursement of 40% of the grant award will be advanced to the Grantee for eligible project costs upon final approval and full execution of a grant agreement. At the halfway point in the project (to be determined in consultation with successful applicants), but no later than six (6) months after the initial advance, the grantee will be required to submit an interim report on the progress of the project, any impediments or delays and plans to mitigate, as well as invoices for eligible expenditures to date and any other documentation that may be requested. Upon approval of the materials received with the interim report, a second disbursement of 40% will be advanced to the Grantee.

Within thirty days (30) of the project conclusion, but no later than September 1, 2025, the grantee will be required to submit a final project report, complete with full documentation of eligible expenditures and a detailed summary report with metrics as outlined in the grant agreement. The remaining 20% of the grant award will be disbursed upon receipt and approval of project documentation. Failure to submit an acceptable final report with the required documentation can result in a recapture of funding up to the full award amount.

Grantees will be required to comply with all of the Specific Award Conditions for this EDA award, including but not limited to the Standard and Specific Award conditions and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 C.F.R. part 200). Terms and conditions can be found at

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants must be a private or public non-profit organization, based in Vermont; or a Vermont municipality and/or regional development organization.

Eligible applicants must show they have a goal-oriented project plan for travel and tourism promotion and demonstrate adequate resources to carry out the project plan, operate and maintain a financial management plan, as well as the ability to administer the requirements of the grant.

The eligible entity must be the primary organizer of the project. The applicant organization receiving grant funding must be the responsible party for all expenditures.

Individuals and for-profit entities are not eligible to receive subawards. No grant funds, whether expended by the recipient or a subrecipient, may be used to subsidize or defray the operating costs of for-profit businesses.

Eligible Projects

Types of projects eligible for grant funding include:

  • Destination Tourism Events: Funding for existing events and new events that will generate out-of-state attendance, increase visitor spending, and generate community revenue. Potential projects could include, but are not limited to:
    • Development of brand-new events designed to attract an out-of-state audience. Prioritization of funding will be given to events that will occur in the shoulder-seasons of the year.
    • Significant expansion of existing events currently being held in the region to increase attendance and/or improve the visitor experience.
    • For all events, new or expanded:
      • Events should be destination events that attract overnight visitation.
      • Events must be tourism-related and should promote Vermont’s culture, history, and unique story.
      • Preference will be given to events that support regional collaborations and have not previously received funding from VDTM.
      • The event must be held in Vermont and be suitable for broad and diverse audiences.
  • High-Impact Marketing Projects: Funding for marketing campaigns will be only considered if they are targeted to an out-of-state audience. Potential projects could include, but are not limited to:
    • “First-time” marketing tactics or campaigns that target out-of-state visitors. The applicant must be prepared to address how the tactics funded are supplemental to any existing tactics deployed and the expected economic benefit to the community generated by the marketing activities.
    • Development and implementation of strategic marketing plans to assist a region identify, develop, and deploy a strategic approach to attract more overnight visitors to their communities.
    • Asset procurement and creative development of video and photography for tourism promotion and media use. Licensing provisions must allow that any assets created can be shared with the State in an effort to promote regional activities.
    • Website design projects are eligible for new online resources that currently do not exist. Enhancement of current websites will only be considered if the applicant can demonstrate a transformational impact from the proposed enhancement.
  • Destination Development Projects: These should be innovative approaches or concepts to enhance tourism experiences and drive visitor engagement. Potential projects could include, but are not limited to:
    • Initiatives that promote destination stewardship and/ or sustainable practices within the tourism and events industry to help improve the visitor experience and support the long-term management of natural assets for continued, sustainable visitation.
    • Diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion programming and/or training for regional tourism stakeholders to improve the visitor experience.
    • Development of culturally relevant and/or targeted programming to support visitation for communities that have traditionally been underserved or under-resourced. May include language translation of promotional assets, multi-language interpretive signage/wayfinding or assistive technologies.

Eligible projects are encouraged to:

  • Be long-term investments that will be transformative to the region.
  • Leverage additional financial investments.
  • Create assets and/or collateral that will be used beyond this grant project and can be shared with the State in an effort to promote regional activities.

The following project types are ineligible for this grant funding:

  • General economic development and workforce development projects.
  • Construction projects or capital costs.
  • Projects and events designed primarily for a local audience and not organized for the purpose of attracting visitors to the community.
  • Projects and events that are not related to travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation.
  • Ineligible events and activities include, but are not limited to, fundraisers or benefits, religious activities or events, or political activities or events.

Project Evaluation

Applicants who have met the eligibility criteria will move forward to a competitive scoring process. Projects will be scored by a panel of at least 3 reviewers and those scoring the highest will be funded as determined by the Department of Tourism and Marketing.

Priority consideration will be given to:

  • Projects that are transformative to the region.
  • Projects that bring overnight visitation and new out of state visitors to the community.
  • Projects that show specifically how they will target diverse communities of visitors.
  • Projects that result in assets and/or collateral that lives on beyond the life of the project.
  • Geographic distribution of projects.
  • Past grant performance, including grant management will be considered when evaluating applications.

Overall Scoring Criteria (up to a total of 100 points):

  • Project Plan, Approach, and Regional Impact (up to 50 Points): Demonstrates the proposed project will have a transformational impact to increase local/regional awareness, encourage out-of-state visitation and/or improve the visitor experience. Additionally, demonstrates the proposed project addresses the current needs of the region, fosters and supports regional collaborations, will have long-lasting benefits beyond the grant cycle and leverages new ideas, creativity, and/or technologies to produce tangible successes.
  • Detailed Project Plan and Budget (up to 30 Points): Provides a detailed work plan and operational budget for the project, demonstrates the applicant has the capacity to complete the project goals and objectives within the required time frame; and has appropriately detailed tasks and expenses in such a manner that the grant can be tracked and managed effectively.
  • Project Metrics and Return on Investment (up to 20 Points): Demonstrates the proposed project includes a sound methodology for measuring impact, articulates a strong return on investment that the implemented project is the best use of funding to enhance visitor engagement and achieve overnight stays, and that the project plan builds on previous activities and will be a foundation for future promotional efforts.

Outcomes and Reporting Requirements

Proposed projects must:

  • Demonstrate how the applicant will show that more out of state visitors were brought to the region as a result of this project.
    • Ideally, applicants will provide baseline numbers of current activities vs what will be expected as a result of the project (e.g. increase in attendance and/or ticket sales, revenue generated at member businesses during a particular time frame, etc.)
  • Illustrate the longevity of the project and how applicants will sustain project activities, outcomes, and benefits beyond the grant period.
  • Detail expected outcomes for the project such as jobs or businesses created and/or retained, programming and/or assets created, how improvements to the visitor experiences will be calculated and documented, etc.

Within thirty days (30) of the project conclusion, but no later than September 1, 2025, grantees must submit a final project report which summarizes the outcomes of the project, including measurable results, tasks completed, deliverables, documentation of expenses, and the amount of funds leveraged from other entities.

Grantees must be willing to share project details, including successes and challenges, that may be shared with the Vermont Legislature, EDA, VDTM and/or the media, illustrating how the grant has impacted Vermont’s tourism economy.

Timeline & Application Process

Deadline for applications is June 17, 2024. If grant monies are not fully expended, the application period may be reopened.

Prior to receiving funding, successful applicants must sign a grant agreement with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) indicating their intent to complete the proposed project and authorizing ACCD to monitor progress. The grant agreement will include provisions (terms and conditions) set by the State of Vermont as well as any program-specific requirements. Review Attachment C - Standard State Provisions for Contracts and Grants (revised 12/15/2017) for the most recent State of Vermont grant provisions.

Grantees will also be required to comply with all of the Specific Award Conditions for this EDA award, including but not limited to the Standard and Specific Award conditions and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 C.F.R. part 200). Terms and conditions can be found at

Within ten (10) business days of conditional award notification, grantees must submit:

  • A current IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification), signed within the past six months.
  • A certificate of insurance consistent with the requirements set forth in Attachment C of the grant agreement.
  • Confirmation of registration (with UEI Number)
  • The organization’s articles of incorporation
  • A signed copy of the organization’s bylaws
  • The organization’s certificate of status

Before You Begin

We encourage all applicants to draft responses in a separate document and copy them over to the Application Form. Applications may NOT be saved and must be completed in one sitting.

The following questions will be asked on the Application Form (in addition to basic organizational information and a variety of financial attestations). All of the questions on the application can also been seen on this PDF.

  • Please provide a brief project overview of your proposed goals and objectives.
  • Please provide details about your proposed project(s).
  • How will you measure the success of your proposed project(s)?
  • Please detail how this funding will be transformational to your region, event, or town.
  • Give a brief description of how your organization's mission meets the goals of the T-TERM grant program and the needs of your region.
  • Please detail what you will do to target new and diverse visitors to your region.
  • Please provide a detailed description of how your project will increase out of state visitation and how you will track that.
  • What is your current budget? (For Events, please indicate your total budget for the event. For Marketing or Destination Development projects, please indicate the amount of your organizations’ total budget that would include this type of activity.)
  • Has this budget fluctuated over the last five (5) years? (Please provide some context for whether funding for this type of activity for your organization has been erratic, or steadily increasing or decreasing, etc.)
  • What is the current funding source for this budget? (If the budget is from a combination of sources, please estimate percentage from, for example, grant funding vs fundraising vs local taxes or fees, etc.)
  • Please indicate the total funding that is requested for your proposed project(s). Will you accept a partial grant award?

The following documents are also required for submission of the application:

For any questions, please contact:

Name: Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing
Contact: Sara DeFilippi
Phone: 802-272-2633

To receive this information in an alternative format or for other accessibility requests, please contact:

Name: Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing
Contact: Shelley Pembroke
Phone: 802-522-4576

If you are a non-English speaker and need translation assistance, please contact Department of Tourism and Marketing staff ( to be connected with State-contracted translation and interpretation services. Be prepared to leave your name, phone number and email address so we can contact you with a translator.