TAP Grant
Tourism Advertising Promotion Grant Program

The Tourism Advertising Promotion (TAP) Grant program has been developed to assist South Dakota’s tourism industry with additional marketing dollars. The grant is intended to help increase travel/visitation to tourism-related events while enhancing the state’s image.
 

CHECKLIST        APPLICATION        TIMELINES        USE OF FUNDS        METRICS        RECIPIENTS        FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS        CONTACT

ABOUT

The purpose of this competitive grant is to provide marketing funds for tourism-related events in South Dakota. The event may be new or ongoing. This grant program is focused on providing funding to events in smaller towns, cities, and rural areas of the state. However, events which take place anywhere in South Dakota are encouraged to apply for funding.

Festivals, anniversary events, special events, concerts, rodeos, powwows, etc. in South Dakota are all eligible to apply for the grant. The program is open to tourism-related businesses, events, communities, chambers of commerce, convention & visitors bureaus, tribes, and destination marketing organizations (DMO). If you have a question about whether your DMO, business or event is eligible, please contact Jacey Ellsworth.

The YEAR 2 (FY25) application window is open April 2-30, 2024.

Year 2 (FY25) Program Summary
 

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Travel South Dakota has worked to keep the application as simple and straight-forward as possible, but there are some necessary items from you that are required. Before you start your online application, here's what you'll want to have handy (see the PROGRAM SUMMARY and the APPLICATION FORM for more specifics):

  1. Contact information — for primary point of contact, must include email
  2. Event details — include event name, date, location, detailed description (be as specific as possible)
  3. W-9 form — dated within the last year, if needed: blank W-9 form (link goes to IRS.gov)
  4. Event marketing budget and plan — include timelines, target audiences, target markets, marketing mediums, etc.
    (downloadable sample TAP Grant budget tracking sheet)
  5. Grant amount requested — minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000
     

APPLICATION

Applications are only accepted online. No print applications are available. There is a limit of one event per application and one application per fiscal year application window. The online form allows you to upload other documents as needed. The fiscal year 2025 application deadline is Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (The online application form will be available through April 30, 2024.)

Year 2 (FY25) Online Application Form
 

TIMELINES

YEAR 1: FISCAL YEAR 2024 (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024)

  • August 17-September 22, 2023 — application window
  • Friday, September 22, 2023 — application deadline
  • October 16-20, 2023 — award letters sent to grant recipients
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2023 — signed Letter of Agreement deadline
  • November 1-December 15, 2023 — grant funds awarded
  • 60 days prior to event (at least) — recommended start of marketing
  • 30 days after event — deadline for final documentation to Travel South Dakota and return of unspent funds

FY24 Online Final Report form
 

YEAR 2: FISCAL YEAR 2025 (July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025)

  • April 2-30, 2024 — application window
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2024 — application deadline
  • May 13-17, 2024 — award letters sent to grant recipients
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2024 signed Letter of Agreement deadline
  • July 1-30, 2024 — grant payments made to successful applicants
  • 60 days prior to event (at least) — recommended start of marketing
  • 30 days after event — deadline for final documentation to Travel South Dakota and return of unspent funds

FY25 Online Final Report form
 

USE OF GRANT FUNDS

All TAP Grant funds must be used to market the event. These funds are subject to audit at any point. You must be diligent about expending these grant funds as outlined in your application or be subject to penalties. You should also keep meticulous financial records on the receipt and use of the grant dollars and always be prepared for a potential audit for a period of no less than three years after you have expended the funds.

BUDGET TRACKING SHEET:

Download and save this sample budget tracking sheet to document how you intend to spend the TAP Grant funds (not your entire event budget).

  1. Use the spreadsheet to create your TAP Grant budget and submit with your application (question 7).
  2. Following your event, update the spreadsheet with actual TAP Grant expenditures and submit with your final report (question 3).

ELIGIBLE USES:

  • Television – traditional broadcast, targeted cable, advanced television commercials
  • Print – magazine ads, newspaper ads, rack card
  • Out-of-Home – billboards, digital displays, outdoor advertising
  • Audio – radio, podcast
  • Digital – display, rich media, paid search, email marketing
  • Social – paid ads on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
  • Ad production costs charged by vendors directly related to these efforts
  • Media commission fees charged by an ad agency
  • Online event calendar listings (many of these should be free)

INELIGIBLE USES:

  • Travel show or tradeshow booths/registrations
  • Swag and giveaway items (such as T-shirts, pins, bags, stickers, pens, etc.)
  • Websites
  • Personnel wages or salaries
  • Travel guides, magazines or publications (print rack cards and event posters are eligible)
     

SUCCESS METRICS

Each grant recipient must make a concerted effort to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and this information should be included as part of the event final report. The level of success can be measured by two or more of the metrics listed below. Other measurements for your specific marketing plan or event may be used with prior approval. Contact Jacey Ellsworth.

Year 1 (FY24) Online Final Report form
 

Year 2 (FY25) Online Final Report form
 

  1. Attendee count:
    Report or estimate attendance numbers from counter clickers at event entrances, vehicle counts, online RSVPs, ticket sales, etc.
     
  2. Hotel occupancy/rooms booked:
    Request percent increase/decrease from local lodging properties during event.
     
  3. Word-of-mouth/anecdotal reports:
    Check with several local businesses and attractions about increase/decrease in business during the event.
     
  4. Tax revenue
    Contact your city finance officer to obtain local tax revenue and find out if there was an increase/decrease.
     
  5. Media Performance
    Measure how your specific marketing mediums performed or other points of interaction with consumers, such as:
    • Estimate of how many consumers were reached by your advertising (impressions, reach, delivery). This can be obtained from the media vendor you use, in most cases.
    • Estimate of how many consumers interacted with your paid media placement(s) or your online presence (clicks, page engagement, photo or video views, social post shares or saves, email opens etc.).
    • Estimate of how many consumers signed up or requested more information (general inquiry, e-newsletter opt-ins, brochure requests, sign-ups for giveaway or sweepstakes, etc.).
       
  6. Other metrics
    If you have other methods for measuring or tracking your marketing and/or event, please check with Jacey Ellsworth for prior approval to use them in your final report.
     

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:

When are TAP Grant applications due?

Q:

Do I have to match the amount of the TAP Grant funds I am awarded?

Q:

If my application is selected, when can I expect to receive my TAP Grant funds?

Q:

What is required once I receive the TAP Grant funds?

Q:

What happens if I do not spend all the TAP Grant funds I am awarded?

Q:

May I include more than one event in my application?

Q:

What is the review committee looking for in a strong marketing plan?

Q:

When can I begin using TAP Grant funds to promote my event?

Q:

What kinds of expenses can I use the TAP Grant funds for?

Q:

My event takes place July 20, 2025. Can I apply during the current fiscal year (FY25)?

Q:

If I do receive or do not receive a TAP Grant, am I allowed to re-apply in the future?

 

FOR INFORMATION

For more information, please contact Jacey Ellsworth, Industry Outreach & Development Representative and Agritourism Manager, at 605-295-3077 or [email protected].