Maryland Heritage Areas Grant Program
Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) Marketing Grants support the marketing of Heritage Area-wide products and activities.
For more information email or call Richard Hughes, MHAA Administrator, or (410) 514-7685.
If you are a current grantee looking for information about reporting requirements, payment requests, contract questions, or other issues related to grant administration, please click here.
Content for all activities will only include marketable product within the Certified Heritage Area. The following types of marketing activities are eligible for funding:
- Advertising Placement – defined as the actual time, space, and/or other format of media necessary to reach a selected audience. Allowable expenditures are limited to the purchase of print space, television time, radio time, and internet time/space.
- Participation in Consumer and Travel Trade Shows – defined as the selling of heritage area travel product at consumer and travel trade shows in identified target markets, such as the Group Tour market. Both in-state and out-of-state shows are allowed. Allowable expenditures include booth space costs and delegate registration fees. Consideration of Trade/Consumer shows listed in the is encouraged.
- Printed Material/Collateral – defined as the preparation of communication documents, i.e. brochures, guides, maps, consumer/travel trade show exhibits, video tapes/films, and other similar forms of messaging. Such material must be for the specific purpose of supporting all other marketing activities by design and content. Allowable expenditures include creative, design, production (including layout, etc.), photography, and printing costs.
- Website Development – defined as the necessary actions/expenses required to establish a heritage area on the World Wide Web. Allowable expenses include web site creation and other expenses related to creating and/or enhancing a web presence for the Certified Heritage Area.
Interpretation (defined as: The development and presentation of interpretive exhibits, interpretive signage, materials, or other appropriate products to further the educational and recreational objectives of the CHA) is not considered a marketing activity; therefore, it is not eligible for funding under a marketing grant application. See the MHAA “Project Grant Application” form).
The following types of activities are not eligible for funding with a MHAA Marketing Grant, but may be eligible as for use as matching funds:
- Advertising design/production
- Travel, at state per diem rates
- Expenses directly related to the fulfillment of advertising inquiries, such as postage, call center fees, etc.
- Website/database routine maintenance (significant enhancement of a Certified Heritage Area website may be eligible, please contact MHAA staff).
- Marketing of individual sites or activities is not eligible.
Only Certified Heritage Area management entities, or their designated marketing partner, in partnership with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO)recognized by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, are eligible to apply for MHAA marketing grants.
Applications must be submitted jointly by the Certified Heritage Area management entity and DMO(s), and both organizations must be in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, be qualified to do business in Maryland, and have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program.
The maximum MHAA Marketing Grant award is $50,000.
All grants must be matched in an amount at least equal to the amount of the grant award (dollar-for-dollar match).
- The match must consist of a cash match equal to at least 75% of the grant award (e.g. if $100,000 of MHAA grant funds is awarded, a minimum of $75,000 of the grantee’s total match must be cash). The balance of project match may consist of in-kind contributions.
- State of Maryland funds may not be used as match.
Application Process and Timeline
Marketing Grant applications are submitted directly to MHAA, usually in early April. MHAA staff first review applications for completeness and accuracy and will contact applicants if additional information is required.
Complete applications are forwarded to the MHAA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for review. TAC recommendations are then forwarded to the MHAA for review and final action at the Authority’s July meeting.
- Certified Heritage Areas must have completed a Heritage Area Marketing Plan in coordination with their affiliated DMOs in order to be eligible to apply for funding of marketing activities.
- Certified Heritage Areas may not apply for additional marketing grant funds for a period of 18 months following the award of a marketing grant, except when the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority determines that an additional grant is required to complete the specific marketing activities funded by the initial grant (i.e. the maximum per-grant award of $50,000 is not sufficient to complete the approved marketing activity). If it is anticipated that the proposed marketing project will require more than one grant to complete, this should be clearly stated in the Project Narrative and on the Application Cover Sheet. Additional funding beyond the initially approved grant is not guaranteed and is subject to the normal grant application and review process, as well as availability of funds.
- MHAA requires all grant applicants to complete a Cultural Data Profile through the Maryland Cultural Data Project Website (www.mdculturaldata.org ). This statewide data collection effort for cultural and arts organizations is designed to provide an easier grant application process through the use of a standardized form for reporting applicant financial and organizational data. Further, applicants applying to more than one of the participating grant-giving programs will only need to complete this form once each year.
For more information email or call Richard Hughes, MHAA Administrator, or (410) 514-7685
This page updated: March 2, 2011
Forms & Documents
African American Heritage Preservation
Heritage Areas Grants
Museum Assistance Grants
Non-Capital Grants (Non-Heritage Area)
Application Tips & Resources