As the Regional Destination Management Organization (RDMO), Visit Central Oregon (VCO) understands the importance of protecting and enhancing the region for future generations. Visit Central Oregon will reopen the annual grant program known as the Central Oregon Future Fund on Monday, January 8, 2024. In fiscal year 2023-24, VCO will award $450,000 generated from TRT (Transient Room Tax) collected by both Deschutes County and Travel Oregon.
2023 Central Oregon Future Fund Projects
Bend Parks and Recreation District: River Access Improvements Phase 3
This project will improve river access along a busy stretch of the Deschutes River, making river access more accessible to all, while also restoring habitat and ensuring sustainable water enjoyment for decades to come.
High Desert Museum, Changing Exhibits Initiative
The Changing Exhibit Initiative continually brings new and exciting experiences to the Museum that drive attendance throughout the year, bolster our region’s tourism and support a thriving art and culture community.
Oregon Adaptive Sports, Moving Mountains
Moving Mountains will create enhanced opportunities for residents and visitors with disabilities and their families to access and enjoy the exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities that abound in Central Oregon.
Sisters Trails Alliance, Whychus Overlook Accessibility Enhancement Project
Create a fully inclusive overlook at the prized and recognized Whychus Creek Overlook by modifying the existing masonry wall with two 10’ viewing section openings and refitting with a cable-rail assembly.
Tower Theatre, Sound Mitigation Project
This project will fully complete comprehensive sound mitigation to improve, enhance, and clarify audio amplification in the venue for patrons, performers, and visitors.
Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District, Got Stars Central Oregon
International Dark-sky Assoc. (Oregon Chapter), Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District and their eight Central Oregon partners are collaborating on a community-wide initiative to showcase the importance and solutions related to dark skies and astrotourism through outreach, education, and signage and lighting improvements.
Central Oregon Trail Alliance: Welcome to Central Oregon’s Trails
This project will welcome locals and visitors to the many Central Oregon trails beyond the popular trails near Bend by improving signage and trip planning information.
Discover Your Forest, Skull Hollow Trail Head
This project will provide facility improvements to enhance a diverse-mixed use trail area and prevent further resource damage to the most visited trailhead in the Crooked River National Grassland (CRNG), the only National Grassland in the Pacific Northwest.
Maupin Area Chamber Endowment, Deschutes River Athletic Complex (DRAC)
The Deschutes River Athletic Complex is becoming a world class track & football field, stage & related spectator facility located on South Wasco Co. School District property, overlooking the Wild & Scenic Deschutes River in Maupin, OR.
Oregon Equestrian Trails, Sheep Springs Horse Camp Steel Corral Upgrade
Oregon Equestrian Trails will install steel corrals at Sheep Springs Horse Camp, providing safe and durable corrals critical for equine safety and visitor satisfaction.
Sunriver Owners Association, Sunriver Pathway Wayfinding Signs
This project will provide 25 new signs throughout the community of Sunriver providing enhanced wayfinding for residents and visitors.
Warm Springs Community Action Team, Warm Springs Commissary
This collaborative project will create a sustainable visitor destination and business incubator supporting 40 aspiring or current small business owners in the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
About the Future Fund
The Central Oregon Future Fund is a newly established annual grant program managed by Visit Central Oregon. The purpose of this program is to reinvest TRT (Transient Room Tax) dollars generated from overnight visitors back into the region to create positive revitalization for visitors and residents alike.
- Invest in projects that create, protect, or preserve a tourism asset
- Create positive and long-term impact for both residents and visitors
- Support projects that have broad community support
Projects that fall under the three main pillars will be taken under consideration and are encouraged to apply.
Projects that mitigate or improve the impacts of tourism.
Projects that enhance the region’s economy through cultural tourism with a focus on non-peak seasons and bolstering regional rural communities.
Projects that enhance or improve accessibility and inclusion for visitors and the community.
|Project Development Webinar with Rural Prosperity Partners
Watch webinar here.
|November 29, 2023 - 11:30 am
|Future Fund Informational webinar Watch webinar here.
Webinar FAQs (English/Spanish)
|December 5, 2023 - 12 pm
|Online application open
|January 8, 2024
|Future Fund Informational webinar Watch webinar here.
|January 10, 2024 - 2 pm
|Online application period closes
|February 16, 2024
|Grant application status notification
|April 8, 2024
|Grant award contract sent to grantees
|April 22, 2024
|Grant award contract due back to VCO
|April 26, 2024
|Initial funds released
|May 1, 2024
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM ELIGIBLE OR IF MY ORGANIZATION IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE FUTURE FUND GRANT?
For competitive grants, you can check the “Eligibility” section of the Request for Applications (RFA). Eligible entities include non-profit entities, private businesses, federally recognized tribal entities, and cities and municipalities.
HOW DO I CREATE AN ACCOUNT WITH THE ONLINE GRANT SYSTEM?
Navigate to the login page at [URL available by January 8, 2024], and click “Create New Account” to register and create an applicant profile. Once you have registered, be sure to keep your login information in a secure place for your records.
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR ORGANIZATIONS
In the first registration section, labeled Applicant Information, provide your organization’s information (name, address, phone, etc.), not your personal information. In the next registration section, labeled User Information, provide your work contact information (business address, email, etc.), not your home or personal information.
WHAT IS MY USERNAME?
Your email address becomes your username, so each user account must have a unique email address.
CAN I LOOK AT THE APPLICATION BEFORE I START?
Starting January 8, 2024, the grant portal will be open. First, you need to create an account. Then you will be able to preview the application before you start.
- Visit the “Apply” page (it will open in a new browser tab or window) to see available application.
- When you’ve found the grant opportunity, click the “Preview” button. While you are previewing the application, you can also click the “Question List” button in the upper right to generate a blank application in PDF format. If you have difficulty previewing an application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE MY APPLICATION ALL AT ONCE?
No. At the bottom of the online application, there is a “Save as Draft” button. We recommend you save your application often and before logging out. You can log in at a later time to continue working on your application. We recommend that you cut and paste your application answers after each question into a Word document to save as a backup.
ARE THERE CHARACTER LIMITS TO THE APPLICATION QUESTIONS?
There are limits on the amount of text you can submit. You will see a character counter displayed below the entry field. This will actively tell you how many characters you have entered and will let you know when you are approaching the limit. You will not be able to save a draft of your application if you exceed the character limit. A page is a little over 3,000 characters. You are not required to reach the character limit!
HOW DO I CONTINUE AN APPLICATION THAT I’VE ALREADY STARTED?
If you have already begun the application process, you will find your draft application on your Applicant Dashboard (the first page after you log on, or click the “Home” icon at the top left of the screen).
- Find your in-progress application, and click the “Edit Application” link to the right.
- DO NOT click “Apply;” that will start a new application, instead of taking you to your application in progress.
WHAT TIME DO I NEED TO SUBMIT MY APPLICATION BY?
All applications and required supporting documents must be submitted by 5:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) on February 16, 2024. You will not be able to submit your application after that.
WHAT FILE FORMATS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR ATTACHMENTS?
We prefer that you attach files in a PDF format (.pdf). We will also accept files in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx). Unacceptable formats include files with “exe,” “com,” “vbs,” and “bat”extensions.
I DO NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED ATTACHMENTS IN ELECTRONIC FORM? CAN I MAKE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS TO DELIVER THEM TO YOU?
No. The online system will not allow you to submit your application unless you attach the required materials. If you do not have the documents filed electronically, you can scan the information into a PDF file. If you do not have a scanner at your organization, you can scan your documents at a copy shop or a public library.
Download your converted documents to your computer and save them. Upload the documents to the appropriate questions on the online form.
WHAT PROOF OF FEDERAL TAX ID DO I NEED TO UPLOAD IF I AM A PRIVATE BUSINESS?
For-profit entities must show proof of EIN. The document needed to show Proof of Federal Tax ID in the grant application is the EIN Confirmation Letter from the IRS. If this number is lost or misplaced, you can contact the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933.
ARE MATCHING FUNDS REQUIRED?
No, there is no cost-share or match requirement for this grant. However, priority points will be awarded for cash-match funding of at least 10% of the total request. In order to receive these points, the applicant must submit a letter of support documenting the match. This letter should include the source of the match, the amount, and dates of availability.
WHAT ARE PRIORITY POINTS?
Applications that include projects taking place in non-peak season (the timeframe between October 1 until the Friday prior to Memorial Day weekend, excluding the week between Christmas and New Year holidays), projects that demonstrate impact in more than one jurisdiction, or projects that include cash-match funding of at least 10% of the total request will receive priority points.
WHAT IS THE SIZE OF THE GRANT?
We encourage applicants to submit projects between approximately $20,000 to $50,000. Projects below these amounts will be considered through another funding mechanism and may be submitted online at this link: https://visitcentraloregon.com/partnerships-and-sponsorships/ .
WHEN DOES THE PROJECT PERIOD BEGIN?
The grant period is 12 months. The project period begins on May 1, 2024.