An organization has a great idea for a half-marathon. They are going to pair up with a local charity with the hope of attracting people in the community and people from a few counties over. Even more fantastic would be attracting people from outside the state. However, there is one problem. They’re not sure if they will be able to raise enough money through fundraising and sponsorships. What to do? Well, there is a solution to this and that is to apply for grant funding.

What Grants Are Available?

The Willamette Valley offers many grants applicable to both sports and tourism. Two high profile ones include: the Willamette Valley Visitors Association (WVVA) Grant Program and the Travel Oregon Small Competitive Grants Program. The WVVA Grant Program applies to any business that falls into one of Willamette Valley’s distinguishing categories of outdoors, farms, family, food, culture or wine. As long as an event fits into one of these broad categories, it is possible to apply to this grant.

Travel Oregon’s Small Competitive Grants Program awards money to entities doing business in Oregon who improve the economic impact of Oregon’s travel and tourism industry. The Small Competitive Grants guidelines can be found here.

Person working with computer and paper

Tips and Tricks

Both WVVA and Travel Oregon highly encourage applicants to download the application questions and fill them out before starting the actual application. By doing this, the applicant can make sure they have all their documents and questions proofread and ready to upload or copy and paste.

Follow the grant application instructions carefully and make sure you have all the required documents in one place to complete the grant application. These programs are extremely competitive and as they receive hundreds of applications, most reviewers will disqualify applications that are missing a single key document or didn’t follow the instructions.  

When asked to specify how you will use the funds if granted, provide a detailed plan with specific examples. Do not give vague or incomplete answers.

If a grant is not awarded, it is possible to follow up and request feedback about their decision process.

For more FAQ’s on WVVA’s Grant program and for their contact information click here.

 For more information on Travel Oregon’s Small Competitive Grants Program click here.