Marketing Assistance Program

The Marketing Assistance Program was created as an incubator to local tourism-related projects and/or events. Offered twice each year (spring and fall), this program supports eligible Partners with financial assistance for Marketing and Sales programs via a matching funds model. Up to $7,500 may be provided for approved Marketing and Sales-related projects. 

Marketing Assistance Eligibility

Marketing Assistance funds are made possible through the increased generation of Dauphin County tourism funding. Applicants must demonstrate that the event or project supported by this program promotes tourism awareness and economic growth in Dauphin County. 

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • All applicants participating in the project must be investing Partners of Visit Hershey & Harrisburg (VHH).
  • A new or start-up event that drives visitation to the destination from outside the region. 
  • A marketing project consisting of two or more investing VHH Partners.  At least 50% of requesting organizations must be in Dauphin County. 
  • All projects/events must drive visitation to Dauphin County ensuring continued economic growth for our destination.
  • Events and organizations that receive tourism grant funding from any other tourism, economic development, or governmental agency are not eligible. 

Application Process

  1. Schedule a meeting to go over the guidelines with the President/CEO or VP of Operations.
  2. Complete an application, including proposed bids, marketing plan, tools of measurement (including estimates), rough copy, and mock-ups/comps.
  3. Submit completed application at least six weeks before project or event will occur. 
  4. Applicants will present their marketing plan to a review panel. Decisions are made by majority vote.
  5. Within 30 days applicants will be notified informing if, and to what degree, funding has been approved for your project/event.
  6. Any changes or amendments to the approved application must be approved by VHH prior to execution.
  7. Creative MUST be approved by VHH PRIOR to execution, including approved messaging/creative.
  8. Payment requests must be received within one year of fund approval date. Proof of paid invoices are required for reimbursement. 
  9. Upon completion of the approved project or event, a final report must be submitted within 60 days. If the report is not submitted within 90 days of project completion, the VHH agreement with you and/or your organization is considered null and void.

Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement may result in penalties, including fund repayment.

Eligible Marketing Advertising Efforts

  • Radio (including digital - i.e. Pandora)
  • Registration or booth expenses for out-of-market consumer shows
  • Digital
  • Print (newspapers and magazines)
  • Direct marketing (emails, direct mail)
  • Outdoor
  • Social Media

Ineligible Expenses (Funding Will Not Be Provided)

  • Expenses related to event production
  • Advertising in Visit Hershey & Harrisburg marketing materials
  • T-shirts
  • Medals
  • Postage/Shipping
  • Signage
  • Entertainment
  • Traveling Expenses (mileage, meals, accommodations)
  • Television
  • Expenses not listed in your grant application
  • Website

Additional Information

  • Previously awarded applicants may reapply for the same project or event for up to three years at decreasing award levels. Funding will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must follow all steps of the application process for each submission.
  • It should not be presumed that funds will be awarded on an annual basis, nor should the availability of these grant awards be considered an annual part of any applicant’s budget.
  • Payment will be issued against paid invoices. All payments are made payable to the applicant submitting the Marketing Assistance application.
  • Visit Hershey & Harrisburg reserves the right to decide on a per-application basis on which and to what degree they assist in a project.
  • All funded projects must feature Visit Hershey & Harrisburg creative, visible and relevant to size/ratio of marketing tool (i.e. billboard vs postcard)
    Sample Text:  “This project (or event) is supported by Visit Hershey & Harrisburg.” All ads and promotional material must include the Visit Hershey & Harrisburg logo and website URL where applicable. Visit Hershey & Harrisburg must review/approve all promotional material prior to execution.

Potential matching funds for approved projects can be up to:

  • 1st year……………………………..$7,500
  • 2nd year…………………………….$5,000
  • 3rd year………………………….… $3,000


Approval Checklist

  • Completed Application including scope of work/marketing plan
  • Expected Tools of Measurement
  • Anticipated Total Project Costs/Planned Sources of Funding (50% match)
  • Media Schedule or Expected Reach
  • Plan of Distribution
  • Current VHH paid Partnership
  • Nonprofit Tax Status Form (if applicable)


Marketing Assistance Photo