We want to make sure you are equipped to submit a competitive grant application so below is a list of frequently asked questions.
Please email email@example.com with any additional questions you may have, so we can answer them and add them to this page as a resource for others.
Q: How do I complete the alternate Travel Oregon W9?
A: To complete the alternate W9, first please select your tax classification, PART I question 3. Selecting the accurate classification will make the necessary fillable fields available to edit.
Q: Once I start the letter of intent or application, will I be able to save my work and return at another time?
A: Yes. You will create an account through our online application system. Accessing the letter of intent form and application through a secure login will enable you to save the application and return at a later time to complete. However, once you submit your letter of intent or application, you cannot make changes to it. You will only be able to view your submission.
Q: Can I view the application questions before I access the actual application?
A: Yes. We encourage you to download the application questions before you begin the application so you can have everything ready to go. Enlisting a proof-reader to review your answers before you complete the application is also highly recommended. View the application questions here.
NOTE: You must submit a letter of intent form by 5 p.m. on Aug. 18 and that form must be approved by Travel Oregon in order to access the online application.
Q: Can we act as a fiscal sponsor for a for-profit business we have been partnering with?
A: Yes, you can. As the eligible applying entity you may only submit one application. If you have identified a need through this partnership that aligns with the Grant Guidelines, you may apply.
Q: I have a project idea that is not on the list of eligible projects on page three of the grant guidelines. Should I still apply for funding?
A: Yes, you can. Travel Oregon provided a list of projects on page 3 of the Grant Guidelines that are preferred for funding. These projects were selected for preference based on a number of factors, including: survey feedback, stakeholder requests for funding and alignment with Travel Oregon’s priority strategies. Keep in mind Section V. Review of Applications; Decision to Award in the Grant Guidelines. Based on the project, a number of preference points are provided to entities as part of the review process.
Q: The title of the grant program is 2023-2025 Competitive Grants Program. Is this the only grant program that will be happening from 2023-2025?
A: No. Travel Oregon will open at least one more Competitive Grants program before its biennium ends on June 30, 2025. The current program has 2023-2025 in its title based on the timeframe in which the funds are intended to be spent and the projects completed. The earliest timeframe in which Travel Oregon will open another Competitive Grants cycle would be in 2024.
Additional Q&A specifically from July 18, 2023 Lunch Hour Session:
Q: Can grant dollars awarded be used to hire and/or expand staff to build capacity?
A: No, dollars from this cycle of grant funding cannot be used to pay for staff salaries/expand staff capacity
Q: Can you describe what constitutes proof of spending with the final report?
A: Proof of spending refers to all invoice and receipt documentation generated by a project expense to be covered by grant dollars.
Q: Our project will require us to do an RFP. Would the project start be considered when the RFP is released, or would the project start be considered once the proposal is signed?
A: Project activities may begin prior to when you are notified of the status of your application. However, awarded grant dollars cannot be used to cover costs incurred prior to the application status notification date, November 15, 2023, and they may not cover costs past the project completion deadline of April 14, 2025.
Q: How will projects be selected for funding? Is there a review committee, and if so, is that membership public? Is there a scoring criteria? Is there a geographic distribution requirement (rural/urban, etc.)?
A: The selection of a project for funding is contingent on several factors, please see section V. REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS; DECISION TO AWARD (Page 4) of the grant Guidelines for a comprehensive list of factors to be weighed prior to awarding funds. Applications will be reviewed by an internal cross-departmental committee of experts at Travel Oregon. These internal evaluators will utilize a scoring rubric informed by criteria identified in the grant Guidelines. It is important for Travel Oregon to consider the geographic makeup of the State, consideration for Oregon’s seven tourism regions and the redistribution of resources is part of our review committee’s discussion as they consider awarding funding from this cycle.
Q: Where the proposed grant project involves infrastructure/building improvements for ADA access, is it allowed to be for a privately owned building? For example, a Main Street Organization using funds for a building renovation that is owned by a private entity.
A: Yes, this would be considered an eligible project.
Q: Under Priority #4, Are rural communities considered as part of the “underserved and under-resourced”? Or is the focus/emphasis on people with disabilities, BIPOC, Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes and LBGTQIA+ communities?
A: Yes, rural communities are considered as part of underserved and under-resourced.
Q: We are hearing interpretations of “accessible/inclusion” projects as preferred, not mandatory. But from what I read and hear, Travel Oregon, in this grant cycle, only wants to see projects address inclusivity and accessibility.
A: Yes, Travel Oregon only wants to see project proposals that address inclusivity and accessibility. Your project proposal does not have to be one of the eligible project types listed in the Guidelines, these are examples. However, your project proposal must align with the programmatic priorities identified in the grant guidelines.
Q: The Grant Guidelines state that “Grant recipient shall allow at least two weeks for Travel Oregon to review the project design and provide feedback (timing will depend on the complexity of the project).” But it also prioritizes projects which have received permits already. Permits typically require 100% design. Can you clarify?
A: This requirement in the Grant Guidelines is related specifically to marketing/advertising projects and any advertising design that includes usage of the Travel Oregon logo. Infrastructure-based projects do not need to have design approved by Travel Oregon. That said, the awardee must be in compliance with all federal, state and local laws, rules, regulations and ordinances (ex.: ADA compliance).
Q: Can an organization submit one sole application and still be a partner on a larger collective application?
A: Yes, an organization may submit their own application and be a collaborator on a partner’s project, we encourage collaboration to maximize impact in your respective communities.
Q: What is a DMO?
A: A DMO is a Destination Marketing/Management Organization, for more information on DMO’s please click here: https://industry.traveloregon.com/resources/tourism-in-oregon/destination-management-organizations/
Q: Will funds be split evenly between the 2 tracks – infrastructure or tourism promotion?
A: The $3.5 million available for this cycle of funding will not be split between the two project categories. $500,000 has been set aside for accessible/inclusive tourism promotion, however, we may/can award more funding for these project types.
Q: We were awarded a grant in 2019-2020, are we eligible for this cycle?
A: Yes, you would be eligible to apply for this cycle of funding if your entity still qualifies under the eligible entity type. If your older grant is not part of an open cycle, you will have to close the old grant prior to the receipt of any funds if your project is selected for an award during the 2023 Competitive Grants Cycle.
Q: Can the budget include contractor or consultant fees?
A: Yes, it can. Please be as specific as possible in the budget to support your proposals narrative, clearly identifying the budgetary line items that will be covered by the Travel Oregon grant award is encouraged.
Q: How many times can I submit an LOI?
A: There are three possible outcomes during the LOI stage; your LOI is successful, and you are invited to submit a full application, your LOI is unsuccessful, or your initial LOI is partially successful, and feedback is provided to you with a note to resubmit. An entity may only submit an LOI a total number of two times. Full application submissions are final.
Additional Q&A specifically from July 26, 2023 Lunch Hour Session:
Q: What category of funding would adaptation of a website to become more accessible fall under?
A: Accessible/inclusive tourism promotion.
Q: Are bridges on trails eligible for funding?
A: Access improvements of the entrance to a trailhead are eligible for funding. If the bridge helps to create access to the trailhead or is connected to an access point to the trail, then it would be eligible.
Q: Are letters of support encouraged as part of the LOI process?
A: There is not an option to include letters of support during the LOI stage. If you are invited to submit the full application, support letters can be uploaded in the Supplemental Documents section. Letters of support are not required but are encouraged as a component to developing a strong application.
Q: Does Travel Oregon have a clear definition of what accessibility or inclusion means in the Grant Guidelines?
A: The project ideas that are listed on page 3 of the Grant Guidelines are preferred for funding and give a sense as to what things Travel Oregon sees as being accessible or inclusive. That said, the preferred project ideas are a starting point. Travel Oregon is interested to see how eligible applicants are interpreting the terms accessibility and inclusion.