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Page updated Jul 8, 2014 12:50 PM
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Alexandria Marketing Fund Application & Guidelines

     

Alexandria Marketing Fund imageThe Alexandria Marketing Fund is a grant program providing seed money in the form of matching funds for new and innovative marketing programs. The Fund also provides funding for the expansion of ongoing or pre-existing programs. The Fund is designed to increase revenues within the City by fostering public/private partnerships that promote Alexandria as a destination for visiting, shopping, dining and doing business. The Fund seeks to support marketing programs that demonstrate how they will become financially self-sustaining over time.

The Fund is administered by the Alexandria Marketing Fund Committee. City Council appropriates monies for the fund on an annual basis and the Alexandria Marketing Fund Committee reviews and approves applications for funding.

The Marketing Fund Coordinating Council provides advisory support to the Marketing Fund Committee, providing preliminary application review and feedback to applicants as well as to the Marketing Fund Committee.
 


What's New

  • Marketing in Alexandria 101 Workshop Presentation

    In September 2012, the Alexandria business community, nonprofit organizations, and community organizations gathered at a "Marketing in Alexandria 101," a workshop presented by experts in the advertising, branding, promotion, and technology fields who serve on the Marketing Fund Committee.  Marketing in Alexandria 101 Presentation.
     




Goals of the Alexandria Marketing Fund include:

  • Foster new and innovative marketing projects that enhance the long-range marketing priorities of the City and that will become self-sustaining projects independent of Marketing Fund support
     
  • Encourage collaboration on marketing initiatives among Alexandria civic, non-profit and business organizations.
     
  • Increase awareness of Alexandria's diverse retail, dining, hospitality, cultural attractions and other businesses among audiences including residents and visitors.
     
  • Generate additional business sales and tax revenues in Alexandria.

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How to Apply

The Alexandria Marketing Committee reviews applications three times per year. Application deadlines and review dates are provided below.

To submit an application, potential grantees must submit their proposals using the Alexandria Marketing Fund Online Application Form.

NOTE: To save time and minimize errors, applicants are urged to review this preview application and budget form before completing the online submission form.  Applicants may consider composing their applications using a word processing program and cutting and pasting their answers into the online application form. 

The full process is as follows. Applicant steps are shown in bold: 

  • Organizations interested in applying for funds are required to contact Mrketing Fund staff before submitting a proposal. Contact Andrea Blackford at 703.746.3959 or email andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov.
     
  • Applicant submits application. The City Office of Communications receives the applications and sends them to both the Marketing Fund Committee (MFC) and the Marketing Coordinating Council (MCC) for preliminary review.
     
  • The Marketing Coordinating Council holds its initial review meeting, discusses feedback from the MFC/MCC and, as soon as possible, shares the feedback with the applicants.
     
  • Upon receiving preliminary feedback on their application, Applicants are then encouraged to submit an addendum to their application, if necessary, before the Committee Review Meeting Date; a specific date will be provided to applicants for each cycle to allow the MFC ample time to review any submitted addendums.
     
  •  Applicants must attend the Committee  Review meeting, make a five-minute presentation to the Committee at the meeting, and be available to answer questions about the application to ensure that the Committee has adequate information for a funding determination. Following applicant presentations, the Committee will review applications and evaluate them based on the criteria included within this document. The Committee then makes a funding decision by majority vote of those in attendance. The Committee reserves the right to fund a project fully, partially or not at all.
     
  • Following grant approval, Applicant must submit letter of request for funding, details for which will be provided upon grant award.
     
  •  Applicants must submit interim and final performance report(s) as required. 

 

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Application Deadlines and Review Dates

Grant Round  Application Deadline  Preliminary Feedback
Provided to Applicants
 

Committee Meeting Date 

Meeting Location/Time 
FY 2015,
Round 1
Thursday, June 26, 2014 Thursday, July 17, 2014 Tuesday, July 29, 2014 City Hall, Sister Cities
Rm. 1101, 8:30 a.m.
FY 2015,
Round 2
TBA  

 

 
FY 2015,
Round 3
TBA      

 

 

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Eligible Applicants and Projects

Applications may be submitted by non-profit organizations or groups of businesses interested in promoting visiting, shopping, dining or doing business in Alexandria. Only Alexandria-based organizations or groups may apply.

City agencies (defined as any agency under the direct control of an elected official; or which reports directly to the City Manager; or any board or commission where all its members are appointed by the Alexandria City Council) may not apply directly to the Marketing Fund; they may play a supportive role in a project proposed by an organization or group.

Eligible projects must meet the goals of the fund, defined above. Applications must demonstrate measurable ways in which funding will promote the economic vitality of the City and/or improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors.

Grants will only be given for project costs approved in advance by the Alexandria Marketing Fund Committee, not for project expenses previously incurred.

Projects must be completed within 12 months of the award date.

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Expenses Eligible for Fund Support

Only direct marketing or advertising expenses, which must be clearly delineated in the applicant's proposed budget, are eligible for Marketing Fund support. General operational costs must also be included in the budget, but will not be counted towards the total eligible for Fund support. In general, the costs of creating an event are not allowable; however, the costs associated with marketing an event are generally allowable.
 

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Applicant Funding Responsibilities

Applicants must have secured funding at a ratio of least 1:1 for every dollar requested from the Marketing Fund. Applicants must show evidence of available funding for their project, detailing the various sources of their funding in the provided budget pro forma and providing written commitments from project partners. Secured funding may come from financial participation by additional project participants, sponsorships, other organizational dollars, etc. If the applicant is already receiving City funding, those funds are not eligible to be considered as a source of organizational funds and therefore not eligible for matching.

An example of the 1:1 matching of funds follows:

Total Project Budget: $15,000
Total Project Marketing Budget $15,000
Applicant's funds raised from project participants or other funding sources $7,500
Maximum funds available for City match $7,500

If demonstrated commitments for the Applicant's required funds are not finalized by the date of application, applicants must note on the application cover sheet and in the written application a listing of a least 50% of the financial commitments for an application to be considered. Applicants will be given an additional 30 days (or date established by the Committee) to obtain remaining financial commitments or forfeit their grant award. Commitments must be presented to the Alexandria Marketing Fund staff. In-kind funding will be considered, though priority may be given to applications that demonstrate funding in cash form.
 

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Repeat Funding Consideration

The Alexandria Marketing Committee gives preference to new, innovative marketing efforts and projects. However, increased or expanded marketing efforts that demonstrate innovation on previously funded projects – and their ability to become financially self-sustaining over time – may be considered. If and when considered, Marketing Fund grants may be made available in support of previously funded efforts; however, a grant award does not guarantee that similar requests will be awarded and no assumptions should be made about repeat awards.

If awarded at all, repeat funding will be provided in no more than a 1:1, 2:1, and then 3:1 ratio over a period of 3 funding requests, whereby the applicant must raise or contribute $1 of matched funds for every $1 requested from the Marketing Fund, and then with any second request for Fund support, $2 of matched funds for every $1 requested from the Marketing Fund, and with any third request for Fund support, $3 in matched funds for every $1 requested from the Marketing Fund.

Examples are as follows:

Year 1 Total Project Marketing Budget:  $15,000  
  Matching Funds raised from project participants or other funding sources $7,500 1:1 matching funds required
  Request for Fund Support $7,500  

 

Year 2 Total Project Marketing Budget:  $15,000  
  Matching Funds raised from project participants or other funding sources $10,000 2:1 matching funds required
  Request for Fund Support $5,000  

 

Year 3 Total Project Marketing Budget:  $15,000  
  Matching Funds raised from project participants or other funding sources $11,250 3:1 matching funds required
  Request for Fund Support $3,750  

 

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Reporting Requirements

Applicants receiving grants from the Marketing Fund must provide interim reports, and a final report is due within 30 days of the completion of the project. Final reports should describe the project and identify how well it met the goals and objectives of the Marketing Fund's contributions, including what measurements and evaluation process were used. Reporting guidelines and sample reports will be provided upon grant award.
 

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Evaluation Criteria

The Alexandria Marketing Fund Committee evaluates applications on the following criteria:

  • Completeness of the application
  • Relevance to Marketing Fund goals and objectives
  • Level of innovation and/or expansion of past efforts
  • Quality/depth of plan to become a self-sustaining program or project without Fund support
  • Level of collaboration among different participating groups
  • Realistic and clearly articulated budget
  • Quality of the overall marketing plan including identification and appropriateness of the target audience
  • Quantifiable measures of success

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Application and Budget Form Preview - Word 

NOTE: To save time and minimize errors, applicants are urged to review this preview application and budget form before completing the online submission form.  Applicants may consider composing their applications using a word processing program and cutting and pasting their answers into the Alexandria Marketing Fund Online Application Form.  

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Marketing Fund Committee

  • Patricia Gaston, Booz Allen Hamilton, Chair
  • Rebecca Mullen, Vice Chair
  • Nancy Belmont, Belmont, Inc.
  • Ab Emam, Web Development Group
  • Laura Machanic, New Target, Inc.
  • James Dillon
  • Scott Shaw, Fishbowl, Inc.

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Marketing Fund Coordinating Council

  • Paul Smedberg, Alexandria City Council
  • Stephanie Landrum, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Chair
  • Lance Mallamo, Office of Historic Alexandria
  • Patricia Miller, Alexandria Commission for the Arts
  • Patricia Washington, Alexandria Visitor and Convention Association
  • Andrea Blackford, City Manager's Office (staff)
 

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Fiscal Year 2013 Grant List

  • S&B Events Management -- Alexandria Food and Wine Festival, $10,000: To support efforts for the promotion of the Carlyle area as a place that will attract more businesses and tourists through the second annual Alexandria Food and Wine Festival.
  • Carpenter's Shelter Cook-Off,  $7,000: To support promotion of the Carpenter's Cook Off, which raises funds to support the shelter.
  • Christmas Attic & Union Street Businesses -- Christmas in July $1,500: To support promotion of the third annual Christmas in July Celebration to help boost sales to area stores during the tourist season and showcase businesses along Union Street.
  • First Night Alexandria Web Campaign,  $10,683: For promoting the 2012 First Night Alexandria event through an expanded social media campaign.
  • Handcrafted Alexandria -- Marketing Campaign Expansion,  $6,000: To support marketing activities to promote the Handcrafted Alexandria brand.
  • Old Town Boutique District -- Santa Station, $20,000: For marketing activities associated with an expanded holiday promotion bringing Santa Claus to Old Town.
  • Old Town Boutique District -- Shop Local Summer Sidewalk Sale, $9,042: For marketing activities promoting Old Town as a unified shopping destination for a summer shopping event.
  • Social Shop Media, LLC -- Alexandria Stylebook $8,000: For promotion of Alexandria Stylebook, a weekly website feature that showcases the fashions in local businesses. 
  • Torpedo Factory Art Center Board-- Advertising Campaign, $12,716: For design and purchase of four full size ads promoting the Art Center in the Washington/Alexandria metropolitan area's most popular visitor publications: Where Guestbook (Washington D.C.), Where Magazine (Washington, D.C.), The Official Map of Old Town Alexandria and Official Alexandria Visitors Guide.
  • Endurance Enterprises, LLC --  Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, $13,550: To support marketing of the 2013 Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon events in Alexandria.
    Wright to Read/Hooray for Books -- Alexandria Story Festival, $700: For support of the  2012 Alexandria Story Festival, a daylong celebration of books, authors and reading for children that promotes early childhood literacy in Alexandria and the surrounding area.

 Fiscal Year 2012 Grant List

Round 1 

Alexandria Story Festival: $1,000
For support of the 2011 Alexandria Story Festival, a daylong celebration of books, authors and reading for children that promotes early childhood literacy in Alexandria and the surrounding area.

Del Ray Business Association: $21,750
For reformatting the DRBA Web site to highlight area businesses and activities for residents and visitors, and for a holiday television advertising campaign.

Old Town Boutique District: $15,500 For marketing activities associated with an expanded holiday promotion bringing Santa Claus to Old Town.

Torpedo Factory Artists Association (TFAA): $19,075
For support of TFAA's efforts attract more visitors to the Torpedo Factory and increase visitor spending in Alexandria through the purchase advertisements in four key publications targeted to visitors.

West End Event Productions: $19,469
For support of marketing activities associated with the West End Wine and Arts Festival 2011.

Round 2 

Access through the Arts/Alexandria Arts Forum: $35,000
To support marketing strategies of the Kaleidoscope project, a series of signature visual and performing arts events throughout Alexandria.

Carpenter's Shelter: $15,000
For support of a marketing campaign for the Carpenter's Cook-Off, the organization's benefit event featuring local restaurants.

First Night Alexandria: $12,000
In support of social media strategies and an online advertising campaign activities to increase the awareness of and attendance at the 2011 First Night Alexandria.

Round 3 

Alexandria Food and Wine Festival c/o S&B Events: $11,225
For marketing activities associated with the Alexandria Food and Wine Festival, and promotion of the Carlyle neighborhood.

Arlandria-Chririlagua Business Association: $15,000
For marketing activities associated with the promotion of the Arlandria community as a shopping and dining destination for tourists and residents throughout Alexandria.

2012 Christmas in July Celebration, c/o The Christmas Attic: $3,111
To support promotion of the third annual Christmas in July Celebration to help boost sales to area stores during the tourist season.