The Utah Office of Tourism Forever Mighty® Marketing Co-Op Program is an additional co-op opportunity (above and beyond its traditional program) for Utah destinations and organizations to support responsible travel campaigns and initiatives. The purpose of this program is to leverage state and partner funding to elevate Forever Mighty messages to travelers and encourage thoughtful behaviors that preserve our natural wonders and enrich our communities.
The Forever Mighty Co-Op program is a pilot program for FY 2022, utilizing approximately $200,000 in returned co-op dollars from FY 21 and will match partner dollars 2 to 1 (a $1,000 minimum UOT match, $50,000 maximum UOT match per application) to support these projects. This would be a competitive grant process and will support the projects that best meet the program goals until funds are exhausted.
What is Forever Mighty?
The Utah Office of Tourism developed the Red Emerald Strategic Plan to attract quality visitation and to encourage thoughtful, responsible and safe travel to the state. Forever Mighty is the public facing initiative to accomplish these goals.
The Forever Mighty initiative encourages travelers to explore Utah thoughtfully and safely by being well prepared, aware of our delicate ecosystems, and engaged with the local communities they are visiting.
Forever Mighty also aims to inspire residents, visitors, businesses and stakeholders to take an active role in preserving and enriching Utah through advocacy, ambassadorship and stewardship opportunities.
Why do we need Forever Mighty messaging?
As Utah grows as a destination and visitation to the state rises, it is increasingly important to manage and protect Utah’s tourism assets, communities and cultures. Ensuring that visitors and residents are aware of and educated in proper ways to engage in responsible visitation, respect Utah’s communities and minimize their impact on the state’s natural and cultural resources is an important step in managing the destination. Increasing education and awareness on the proper treatment of Utah’s tourism product will help maintain and sustain Utah’s experience for generations to come — for residents and visitors alike.
We call this effort “Forever Mighty,” and encourage consumer-facing use of this brand, and are building out content at visitutah.com/forever for education and inspiration surrounding this travel ethic.
- Forever Mighty travel ethics (listed in priority order):
– Practicing responsible and prepared travel and Leave No Trace principles.
– Fostering pride in place, as locals and visitors.
– Supporting local businesses and immersing yourself in communities while traveling.
– Welcoming travelers from all backgrounds, races and abilities, and ensuring they feel comfortable, safe and inspired during their visit.
– Visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Who May Apply for Forever Mighty Co-Op?
Similar to the traditional co-op, eligible organizations for the Forever Mighty Co-Op must be one of the following:
- A non-profit organization that has existed for a minimum of one year, in which the primary goal is to attract and retain additional visitors to Utah through tourism promotion.
- A DMO, Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, or a Regional Tourism Organization.
- A Public Sector Organization such as event/festival organizer, association, attraction, recreation, and entertainment venue.
- An organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Service Code.
What guidelines would organizations follow and what projects would FM Co-Op support?
All projects funded by the Forever Mighty Co-Op would need to clearly promote one or more of the Forever Mighty travel ethics. Applicants must demonstrate how the project will promote Forever Mighty travel ethics beyond the applicants’ normal/traditional marketing efforts. Final project deliverables must include UOT’s Forever Mighty logo. Projects may target in-state visitors, out-of-state visitors, or a combination of both.
Examples of Eligible Forever Mighty Marketing Co-Op Programs include:
- Traditional marketing campaigns/initiatives to promote Forever Mighty principles and travel ethics
- Social media campaigns or influencer/ambassador collaborations that promote responsible travel initiatives in your region
- Development of videos, photo assets or website content that promote Forever Mighty travel ethics
- Diversity and Inclusion marketing initiatives that celebrate diversity of communities and visitors, such as social media collaborations
- Promotion of stewardship events or voluntourism opportunities
- Local campaigns to celebrate how tourism supports communities
- Development and/or promotion of maps/itineraries, content and initiatives that encourage visitation to lesser-known destinations in your region
- Traveler safety and preparedness campaigns
- Collateral developed in partnership with public land management agencies intended to educate visitors and influence positive visitor behavior
- Infrastructure projects
- Staffing and administrative costs
- Operational costs
- Hard costs related to service projects
- Projects that do not specifically promote Forever Mighty travel ethics and concepts
- All other ineligible projects as specified in the traditional marketing co-op program
Project Scoring and Committee/Approval Process
UOT staff will initially evaluate all applications to determine if they meet the Forever Mighty Co-Op Guidelines. Co-Op Committee will then evaluate all applications $10,000 or above based on the FM guidelines and make recommendations of funded Forever Mighty co-op projects to UOT staff and ultimately to the full UOT board.
Scoring for the projects will be based on 1) project design, 2) community impact and 3) the incorporation of Forever Mighty travel ethics.
Funding for the 2022 Forever Mighty Marketing Co-Op in its pilot phase would be a 2 to 1 match, with a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $50,000 UOT match ($75,000 total project cost) per application. Half of the UOT match will be provided to the applicant up front, with the remaining half provided upon completion of the project.
To receive the second half of funding, applicants must demonstrate traditional KPIs and metrics of campaigns and initiatives. Secondly, the applicant must show a measurable community impact related to the project, demonstrated by visitor/resident survey results, qualitative feedback from land managers, or reduction in negative impacts such as EMS calls, etc.
Funding for these projects must be to be used by August 31, 2023.
How to Apply
The Forever Mighty Co-Op grants use the same application system as the traditional co-op marketing program and requires applicants to be registered in the system. If you have never applied to the traditional co-op marketing program, please contact Kelly Day email@example.com 801-538-1727.
There is no guarantee that all applicants will be awarded funds. Even though a project may qualify, limited funds may not allow all projects to receive assistance. Any and all decisions regarding awarding of funds are at the discretion of the Co‐Op Committee, Board of Tourism Development, and the Utah Oﬃce of Tourism and are ﬁnal.
The Co‐Op Committee reserves the right to adjust funding parameters in accordance with the number of proposals received and available funds. Greater consideration will be given to projects that demonstrate the highest potential for the community impact of the project.
Projects submitted to the Forever Mighty Co-Op Marketing Program cannot also be submitted under the Traditional Co-Op Marketing Program. Duplications will be assigned to a single program at the discretion of the Co-Op Committee.
Applications open – May 17, 2021
Application deadline – June 30, 2021
Oral Interviews – July 26 and 27, 2021
Awards Announced – August 11, 2021
For additional information about the Forever Mighty Co-Op, please contact Celina Sinclair at firstname.lastname@example.org.