South Dakota Department of Tourism - sitemap


The Matching Dollar Challenge Grant Program
The Matching Dollar Challenge (MDC) Grant Program is a cooperative marketing partnership for new and/or enhanced marketing initiatives. Grant applicants may apply for up to $20,000 annually, and recipients are expected to match, at minimum, the funds provided by the Department of Tourism.

The program is designed to:

  • Enable South Dakota visitor industry businesses/organizations to expand their marketing reach.
  • Increase visitation to South Dakota and increase visitor spending.
  • Accommodate projects with innovative potential.
Businesses and organizations applying for MDC funds must provide a minimum of 50 percent of the total project marketing costs. Once approved, the Department of Tourism then matches up to 50 percent of those costs. Both grant funds and partner's matching funds must be used for hard marketing (i.e. print, radio, TV, or digital efforts).


There is one deadline for the 2014 MDC Grant Program:  November 15, 2013.


Program Application Criteria
Applications are reviewed by the Department of Tourism and the Governor's Tourism Advisory Board, with consideration given to:

  1. Complete description of the project.

  2. How the project will increase visitation, visitor spending and overnight stays in South Dakota..

  3. Project goals and objectives.

  4. Complete marketing plan, including target markets, specific advertisement placements and respective costs.

  5. A budget showing cash support from other public and private sources.

  6. Ability to deliver a compelling message to potential visitors while using advertising creative that meets the Department of Tourism's standards.

  7. Organizational and fiscal management (indication of the applicant's ability to manage and complete the proposed activity).

Bonus points may be given to applications that reveal:

  1. At least 85% of MDC funds are dedicated to media buys, rather than production, web development,etc.

  2. Especially innovative or creative projects.

  3. Ability to grow number of visitors.

  4. Longevity potential.


Preparing & Submitting Program Application
Required steps for successfully completing an application include:

  1. Use an official application form.

  2. Visit with your regional tourism association for advice and guidance regarding your project and application. Applications that have not been reviewed by a regional tourism association will not be accepted by the Department of Tourism.

  3. Designate one primary point of contact to regularly communicate with the Department of Tourism staff and a member of the Governor's Tourism Advisory Board throughout the marketing campaign.

  4. Provide a description of the project for which you are requesting funds and an explanation of how the proposed project will increase tourism in your community/region and in South Dakota.

  5. Explain your overall strategy and tactics, and include a budget breakdown of the funds that will be used for marketing/advertising.

  6. List and describe how you will use tracking mechanisms to evaluate the success of your project/event.

  7. List all other participating partners and their primary contact information. Also, if you received MDC grant money in the past, list the award amount(s) with the year(s) received.

  8. Review complete program details and instructions included in the application form prior to completing and submitting an application.



For more information, contact Brad Lemmel, Matching Dollar Challenge Grant Facilitator,, or call 605-773-3301.