The 2013-14 grant cycle for non-profits groups interested in applying for Franklin County Tourist Development Council (TDC) marketing assistance opened on June 13.



Interested applicants are encouraged to fill out an application online at www.saltyflorida.com/grants prior to the grant cycle deadline of June 30.



This year’s marketing program differs from the past. Beginning this fall, non-profit groups looking to the TDC for help in promoting their events and activities will be able to tap into a marketing pool of more than $300,000 to help promote local nonprofit events.



The plan, developed by the TDC and approved by the county commission earlier this spring, would combine event promotion funds with funds used to promote the Franklin County brand and would enable local organizations to benefit from the full marketing resources of the TDC instead of the previous grant program that parceled out small allocations to individual groups for marketing.



Eligible non-profit groups would also be eligible to receive a package of marketing services that could include print design, video and web-based marketing specifically designed for their event. According to TDC Administrator Curt Blair, the proposed plan is scheduled to go into effect this fall and is intended to provide an equal playing field for all eligible event promotion requests as it will allow the TDC to pool its marketing resources to purchase advertising in bulk from media in proven geo-demographic markets as well as specifically targeted outlets.



“We expect this plan will allow us to make bigger ad buys and reach more people than would be possible from individual grant promoters working with small advertising budgets,” he said.



Non-profits groups interested in applying for Franklin County TDC marketing assistance may fill out an application online at www.saltyflorida.com/grants. Eligible applicants would be entered into the pool of events promoted as part of the TDC’s countywide event advertising program. The deadline to participate in the 2013-14 grant program is June 30.



Notification of award will be sent to successful applicants by July 19 pending approval by the TDC grant committee at its July 17 meeting.



If non-profits choose to forgo the marketing pool package, groups may continue to apply for small $500 stipends, said Blair.



Since its inception in 2005, Franklin County’s tourist tax has generated more than $9 million in revenue used for promotion of events and activities.