Discover Downtown

ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant

The ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant helps nonprofit organizations, tourism marketing organizations, and local city and county governments market themselves to increase traveler spending in the communities of Clay County, Missouri.

To help meet the needs of industry partners, applications will have a maximum grant amount of $25,000 per Clay County community. Communities that are eligible for this grant opportunity include the following: Excelsior Springs, Gladstone, Kearney, Liberty, North Kansas City, Smithville and areas of Kansas City that are within the boundaries of Clay County. Requests must have a funding ratio of 1-to-1 non-grant funding to grant funding. For example, if you request $25,000, you need to have at least $25,000 in other funding.

Program goals are to:

  • Increase traveler spending and economic benefit for Clay County, Missouri through effective marketing and promotion.
  • Leverage funds to maximize marketing impact.
  • Support industry collaboration and align industry marketing efforts to enhance Clay County’s competitiveness in the tourism market.

The Program will look for Proposals that:

  • Reinforce and strengthen the Clay County and community brand.
  • Contribute to a key countywide marketing initiative.
  • Inspire destination experiences founded upon a common community theme or themes.
  • Demonstrates industry collaboration.
  • Supports better management of a destination.


Each submitting lead applicant is limited to one Marketing Matching Grant project per the fiscal year, unless all funds are not distributed, and a second round of applications is opened. Applicants need to be either:

  • A nonprofit organization responsible for promoting tourism on behalf of a destination or tourism industry section.
  • A Clay County city or county government engaged in tourism promotion.

Ineligible applicants include:

  • For-Profit Organizations
  • Individual attractions, museums, or businesses


An awarded community applicant is responsible for working with tourism organizations and businesses to promote tourism on a communitywide basis.  Although the awarded community applicant is the primary partner, the ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching grant supports additional financial partnerships.  Upon entering in a financial agreement(s), it is recommended the participating awarded applicant share ARPA TMMG guidelines, requirements, and updates with their partner(s) to ensure program compliance and foster transparency.

The ARPA TMMG Review Team will not be communicating with partners of the awarded applicant’s project.  All project communications must be between the ARPATMMG Review Team and the awarded applicant.  The awarded applicant must provide one primary contact, referred to as the “Project Director.”  However, it is important that the awarded applicant provide both the President/CEO and the Project Director’s contact information and they must be two different individuals. 

Eligible Projects

Eligible projects are for marketing initiatives and should allow for strong measurement capabilities. The list of eligible and ineligible uses of funds applies to both grant funds and an applicant’s matching funds. Eligible projects incluude:

  • Creative executions specific to your advertising campaign
    • Creative advertising production (print, digital, video, social, and radio)
    • Content development (written, video, or audio)
    • Photography
    • Videography and post-production video editing
    • Audio development (radio, etc.)
    • Print and collateral (brochures, visitor guides, posters and maps)
    • Fulfillment costs
  • Marketing executions specific to your advertising campaign
    • Media placement (print, digital, television, social, and radio)
    • Social media initiatives
    • Public relations initiatives
    • Search engine marketing initiatives (SEO/paid search)
  • Trade show registration and booth rental fees – only 10% of grant dollars are eligible for airfare or lodging fees associated with a consumer show; food and beverage are not eligible expenses.
  • Website development, refresh, or restructure
  • Other approved projects

Ineligible Projects include:

  • General administrative costs such as employee salaries, personnel costs, and office supplies
  • Grant writing or grant management costs
  • Retainer fees
  • Items for resale or promotional items, including gift cards
  • Lobbying or membership dues
  • Travel expenses, except for trade show attendance, as specified above
  • Purchase or rentals of equipment or supplies
  • Food or alcoholic beverages
  • Gateway finding or informational signage
  • Familiarization Tours (FAMS)
  • Expenses incurred or commitments made prior to the grant award
  • Scholarships
  • Contests

Advertising Pre-Approval

Artwork for ads placed with funding from the ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant must receive approval from the Review Team prior to placement.  This process requires up to five business days after the submission of the final and/or revised ad.  Only finalized ads should be submitted for approval, incomplete ads will not be reviewed.  If no changes have been made, an ad placed in numerous media requires approval only once.  The Review Team reserves the right to deny approval on ads considered offensive, profane, or inappropriate in any way and those that do not represent the program’s intent.  The pre-approval forms can be found online.

How To Apply

The application process is as follows:

  1. Verify your eligibility by reading through the guidelines carefully
  2. Prepare your application materials by filling out the ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant Application
  3. Submit your full application in the application portal
  4. Applications will be reviewed
  5. Status notification will occur 4 weeks after the application closes

Supporting Documents

You will need to provide:

  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Missouri Secretary of State
  • Completed ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant Financials Worksheet
  • Completed Marketing Matching Grant Timelines
  • Previous two years profit loss statement showing evidence of required cash match. City or County applicants may supply the previous two years profit loss statement for tourism related income and expenditures only
  • Project support letters – all grant applications will need to include at least three letters of support from community and tourism industry partners within the applicant’s community

Selection Process

ARPA Tourism Marketing Match Grant applicants receive decisions in late June

This will be a competitive award program, and not all applicants will receive funding. The Clay County Tourism Board Members will receive all applications. Grants will be awarded based on application scores and availability of grant funding.

Reviewers will prioritize applications that include:

  • Marketing plan that states clear objectives and attainable deliverables targeted toward attracting travel and tourism to Clay County
  • Applying entity with a track record of effective work, evident through strong support letters
  • Well-planned project timeline and budget
  • Project effectiveness plan with clear, appropriate and achievable outcomes
  • Demonstration that project will achieve food return on investment by:
    • Promoting Increased Traveler Spending in Clay County
    • Increasing Economic Benefit for Tourism Related Businesses in Clay County
  • Clear writing and a strong case for support

The Tourism Board Members will score applications on these criteria:

  • Strength of Marketing Plan (40%)
  • Expected Impact (35%)
  • Performance Measures (15%)
  • Implementation Capacity (10%)

Reimbursement Requirements

Quarterly Reimbursement and Reporting

Quarterly reporting of marketing activities is required for all grant contracts with the submission of the Quarterly Project Update/Reimbursement Request form.  This form is due each quarter to request reimbursement of project expenses, however, the form must be submitted even when no expenses were incurred.  It must be filed within 30 days following the end of each fiscal quarter.  All applicants with an approved grant contract will receive reimbursement through check.  Grand funds and the applicant match must be used in accordance with the itemized budget grid submitted in the approved application. 

Basic Requirements for Reimbursement

The awarded applicant must first incur the approved expense and pay at least one-half of each invoice amount prior to submitting the expense to the ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant Review Team for reimbursement.  Invoices submitted for reimbursement must be for expenses approved in the most recent version of the applicant’s budget grid.

A properly completed quarterly project update/reimbursement request report, along with reimbursement paperwork for expenses incurred, must be postmarked by the deadlines indicated on the Program Calendar

  • The Quarterly Project Update/Reimbursement Request form
    • Quarterly Project Update/Reimbursement Request form
    • Reimbursement Summary Sheet (if requesting reimbursement)
  • All reimbursements must include proof of expense, proof of payment and proof of performance

Proof of expense (invoice) is required for each ad placed.

The invoice must show the applicant as the “bill to” organization, contain the name and address of the vendor providing the service, provide an itemized detail of the service provided (including dates of service or date cost incurred), and include the total cost.

When services are provided through an advertising agency, an invoice is required from the vendor to the ad agency AND an invoice from the ad agency to the participant for each expense.

Proof of applicant’s payment is required.

Checks must be written from the applicant’s account for at least 50 percent of the charge for the service invoiced.  If the check covers more than one expense, include a copy of the check detail.

Credit card payments must include a copy of the credit card statement detailing the reimbursable expense.  All other expenses must be redacted from the statement.

When services are provided through an advertising agency, proof of payment from the participant to the ad agency AND proof of payment from the ad agency to the vendor must be submitted.

Proof of performance documentation is detailed in the Quarterly Reimbursement Report information.

ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant Reporting Requirements

Project Assessment

All awarded applicants are required to submit the Project Assessment Report assessing the success of the funded project.  Failure to provide the required reports may result in the applicant’s suspension from future programs.  Applicants for future funding will not be accepted by organizations with an outstanding or untimely assessment report.  The Project Assessment Report will be available on the website.

Contact Review

Following the receipt of the Project Assessment Report, each contract is reviewed for completeness.  Participants are required to provide a written explanation detailing the circumstances surrounding the unsuccessful project completion if:

  • The usage of awarded funds falls below 85 percent.
  • Less than 85 percent of the approved marketing activities were completed.
  • The Project Assessment Report was not completed and received by the deadline.

Failure to complete contract requirements could result in one of the following actions:

  • A written warning
  • A one-year suspension from participation in future Marketing Matching Grant opportunities.
  • Revocation of eligibility in future Marketing Matching Grant opportunities.

ARPA Tourism Marketing Matching Grant Calendar

April 13, 2022 – ARPA TMMG Applications Open at 8:00 AM

May 13, 2022 – ARPA TMMG Applications Close at 5:00 PM

June 13, 2022 – ARPA TMMG Awards Announced

July 1, 2022 – ARPA TMMG Program Year Begins

October 1, 2022 – ARPA TMMG 1st Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Open

November 1, 2022 – ARPA TMMG 1st Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Due

January 1, 2023 – ARPA TMMG 2nd Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Open

February 1, 2023 – ARPA TMMG 2nd Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Due

April 1, 2023 – ARPA TMMG 3rd Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Open

May 1, 2023 – ARPA TMMG 3rd Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Due

July 1, 2023 – ARPA TMMG 4th Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Open
ARPA TMMG Final Project Assessment Open

August 1, 2023 – ARPA TMMG 4th Quarter Reporting & Reimbursement Requests Due
ARPA TMMG Final Project Assessment Due