Delavan, Wisc.-based nonprofits didn't have to jump through many hoops to get a share of the city's room tax revenue in past years. Organizations would simply request it during a council budgeting meeting and hope for the best.
Things will be significantly different this year. Walworth County Today has reported that nonprofits in Delavan must now prove their events have the potential to fill hotel rooms. The city collected $252,000 in room taxes last year, and statutes state that 17.5 percent of that money must be used for the promotion of tourism activities that will bring money to restaurants and hotels. Therefore, $44,110 will be available for nonprofits this year.
The change in rules for grant eligibility will make the competition for dollars stiffer than ever. It also has the potential to disqualify nonprofits that were eligible for the money in the past. Here's how the new process will work: Organizations must fill out an application and go before a committee that consists of one council member, two hotel industry representatives, local restaurant owners, and others who will have a stake in getting people to the city. The nonprofit will be grilled on many details, including how it will track the success of the event.
This will definitely be a more time-consuming process for nonprofits than in the past, but it will also force them to think more carefully about the events they plan. You can read the full article in Walworth County Today.