(309) 266-5361 Village Hall - 120 North Main Street Morton, Illinois 61550

Tourism Grants


Morton Tourism Grant Program

The Village of Morton uses Hotel/Motel Tax funds to support events in our community. Organizations can submit a request for a grant between February 1, and March 31 for events held in the Spring & Summer and between September 1 and October 31 for events held in the Fall & Winter by using one the applicable form available below. The grant committee will review the grant applications and make a recommendation to the Village Board as to the amount each applicant should receive. The Village Board will approve the grants at subsequent Board meeting. Applicants should use the Overnight Event Grant Form for events that create over 100 room nights. The Community Event Grant Form should be used for events that are valuable to the community and have the potential to create overnight stays, but do not currently meet the 50 room night requirement.

Morton Tourism Grant Policy

I. Introduction
The Village of Morton offers a grant program that funds up to $10,000 for events which promote overnight visitors and additional traffic to local businesses. The program also offers funding up to $3,000 for community events that have the potential to create overnight stays.  This grant program is made possible through the use of Hotel/Motel Tax funds generated by overnight stays in Morton. These policies and procedures were developed to provide guidance for the administration of the Tourism Grant Program and the award and disbursement of funds.

II. Grant Applications

  • Applications for assistance shall be made using forms provided by the Village.  Applications made in any other manner will not be considered.
  • Applications must be properly completed and executed and must include all requested information and materials. Incomplete applications will not be considered. If additional space is needed for any section, please attach a separate sheet.
  • Do not solely respond “See Attached” to any section of the application. Responses to all sections must be started on the application. Additional pages can be attached if more space is required to complete the response.
  • Applicants must submit a signed, original copy of the application, along with 9 additional copies, to the Village of Morton prior to the deadline. The Spring round of grant applications are due March 31st and the Fall round are due October 31st. Grant applications shall be reviewed by a committee or the Tourism Coordinator, which shall make recommendations to the Village Board of Trustees regarding approval or denial of such grant applications.  The Village Board of Trustees shall make the final decision regarding the approval or denial of all grant funding.
  • Applications for assistance for events which have not previously received funding through the Tourism Grant Program may be submitted outside of the established grant rounds. Such applications must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the event.  Applications for assistance submitted outside of the established grant rounds shall be considered by the Village Board of Trustees using the scoring system set forth herein.
  • The Village reserves the right to limit the number of grants awarded and the amount of the grant awards based on the quantity of applications submitted and the amount of grant funds available.
  • Applications must be signed by an authorized individual of the submitting organization.
  • No faxed or emailed applications will be accepted.

ADVERTISING & PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
All promotional materials and advertising must contain the tagline “Event sponsored in part by the Village of Morton Tourism Fund”.  A Village of Morton logo is available for use at your request.

ELIGIBLE EVENTS
New and on-going events are eligible. The goal of the grant is to assist organizations in the development of self-sustaining events.

LOCAL PURCHASING
Applicants must utilize Morton businesses for purchases to the fullest possible extent. Those applicants that do so will be given additional consideration.

LOCAL EVENTS
This grant program was established to assist events held in Morton. If parts of your event take place outside of Morton, only expenses for those parts taking place within Village limits will be considered during your grant application review. Applicants must show written permission from public or private property owners granting use of said property for the event.

FOLLOW-UP REPORTING
Applicants will be required to submit reports which indicate the event’s income and expense within six months of the date held or completed. The report will require proof that all grant funds were used for the event. If, for any reason, the event is cancelled, please contact the Tourism Coordinator regarding plans to reschedule.

III. Scoring System
Applications for assistance shall be evaluated using the following scoring system:

ELIGIBLE EVENT DETERMINATION PROCESS: The Village acknowledges the value of events held in Morton for multiple years. The evaluation of all grant applications is accomplished by the Tourism Grant Committee, an ad-hoc committee appointed by the Village President. The Committee reviews the applications and submits their evaluations to the Village Board for final approval.

SCORING FOR OVERNIGHT EVENTS

  1. Intrinsic Value of the Event– This score reflects the importance of retaining the event in Morton based upon its value to the community (not based on any tangible criteria) 5 points– the event is well attended and important to residents, 4 points– the event is somewhat well attended and important, 3 points– the event has lost some of its attendance and is declining, 2 points– the event has declined but still has a chance to rebound, 1 point– support of the event does not create value to Morton
  2. Number of Overnight Stays in Morton for the Event – 10 points– 200+ Room Nights, 8 points– 199-151 Room Nights, 6 points– 150-101 Room Nights, 4 points– 100-51 Room Nights, 2 points-50-0 Room Nights
  3. Morton Restaurant Effect of Event5 points-No concessions, 4 points– Limited concessions, attendees still dine off-site, 3 points– 1 meal served, 2 points– 2 meals served, 1 point– 3 meals served or no option for attendees to dine off-site
  4. Purchase of  Goods & Services in Morton5 points– All major items will be purchased in Morton, 4 points– 75% of all major items will be purchased in Morton, 3 points– 50% of all major items will be purchased in Morton, 2 points– 25% of all major items will be purchased in Morton, 1 point– No major items will be purchased in Morton
  5. Use of Event Proceeds (Proceeds being used to build or improve facilities, educate the public, offer business opportunities, attract visitors, or improve the quality of life for residents of Morton) – 5 points– 80% of proceeds used for the above, 4 points– 60% of proceeds used for the above, 3 points– 40% of proceeds used for the above, 2 points– 20% of proceeds used for the above, 1 point– None of the proceeds used for the above

Score Funding Levels for Overnight Events

  • 26-30 Points – 100% of grant amount requested
  • 21-25 Points – 90% of grant amount requested
  • 16-20 Points – 70% of grant amount requested
  • 12-15 Points – 50% of grant amount requested
  • 7-11 Points – 25% of grant amount requested
  • 6 Points or Fewer – No grant funding awarded

SCORING FOR COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Intrinsic Value of the Event– This score reflects the importance of retaining the event in Morton based upon its value to the community (not based on any tangible criteria) 5 points– the event is well attended and important to residents, 4 points– the event is somewhat well attended and important, 3 points– the event has lost some of its attendance and is declining, 2 points– the event has declined but still has a chance to rebound, 1 point– support of the event does not create value to Morton
  2. Morton Restaurant Effect of Event5 points– No concessions, 4 points– Limited concessions, attendees still dine off-site, 3 points– 1 meal served, 2 points– 2 meals served, 1 point– 3 meals served or no option for attendees to dine off-site
  3. Purchase of Goods & Services in Morton5 points– All major items will be purchased in Morton, 4 points– 75% of major items will be purchased in Morton, 3 points– 50% of major items will be purchased in Morton, 2 points– 25% of major items will be purchased in Morton, 1 point– No major items will be purchased in Morton
  4. Use of Event Proceeds (Proceeds being used to build or improve facilities, educate the public, offer business opportunities, attract visitors, or improve the quality of life for residents of Morton) – 5 points– 80% of proceeds used for the above, 4 points– 60% of proceeds used for the above, 3 points– 40% of proceeds used for the above, 2 points– 20% of proceeds used for the above, 1 point– None of the proceeds used for the above

Score Funding Levels for Community Events

  • 18-20 points – 100% of grant amount requested
  • 15-17 points – 90% of grant amount requested
  • 12-14 points – 70% of grant amount requested
  • 9-11 points – 50% of grant amount requested
  • 6-8 points – 25% of grant amount requested
  • 5 points or Fewer – No grant funding awarded

IV. Grant Awards

  1. No grant amount shall exceed $10,000 for one event.  Events shall be considered as a whole.  All activities involved shall be considered part of the same event.  Applications for assistance for separate activities within the same event will not be accepted.  For example, an application for assistance for a track and field event may be accepted, while separate applications for assistance for broad jumping and pole vaulting will not be accepted, even if occurring at separate times, days, and/or locations.
  2. No applicant shall receive more than $20,000 per fiscal year.
  3. The Village Board of Trustees shall set the total amount of grant funds annually as part of the annual budget process.  The Village Board of Trustees is in no way obligated to budget any amount of money for the Tourism Grant Program.  The amount budgeted for the Tourism Grant Program may be amended at any time by the Village Board of Trustees at their sole discretion.

V. Administration
The Tourism Grant Program shall be administered by the Tourism Grant Committee and overseen by the Village Administrator.

Adopted: Date Of Adoption December 20, 2010
Revisions Adopted February 4, 2013
Revised September 1, 2016