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Discover Ames

Community Grant Program

What is the Discover Ames Community Grant Program?

The Discover Ames Community Grant Program was established to support a wide range of events and activities that are open to the general public. Grants are awarded annually on the basis of merit as determined by the Discover Ames Grant Committee and administered by Discover Ames. 

Statement of purpose

Funds are available to develop events and activities that improve the quality of life for Ames residents and have the potential to attract visitors to the Ames area or enhance a visitor’s experience. Potential grants can be cultural, educational, recreational or artistic. 

Who may apply?

Applications are accepted from public and private organizations who demonstrate the ability to complete the proposed event or activity. The grant program is designed to encourage wide participation and innovative proposals. 


Potential grant recipients are required to complete a grant application form. The Discover Ames Community Grant Committee will meet during the fourth quarter of each year to review applications for the upcoming year. The committee will review the submitted application forms and make their recommendation to the Discover Ames Board of Directors for final approval. Applicants may be asked to provide additional information during the screening process.

Below you’ll find additional information about the Discover Ames Community Grant Program.  Applications for 2024 grants will be available in the spring of 2023. 

Additional information

To be considered for funding, events/activities must meet the minimum grant requirements. The review committee will rate applications based on the following criteria:

  • Ability to create a positive perception of Ames and improve the quality of life for community members
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment for the success of the event or activity
  • Ability to attract visitors or enhance their stay
  • Diversity and uniqueness of the event or activity
  • Appeal of the event or activity to a broad-based audience 
  • Event/activity must be open to the public.
  • Potential Grant recipients are required to complete a Grant Application and submit by application deadline.
  • All marketing materials promoting the event or activity must include the Discover Ames logo, telephone number, website and the verbiage “Supported by the Discover Ames Community Grant Program” as appropriate.
  • First-time grant recipients will receive complimentary Discover Ames membership, becoming a supporter-level Discover Ames member for the year grant is awarded ($150 value). Repeating grant recipients must retain Discover Ames membership, paying for the yearly membership fee. Supporter-level membership benefits include business listing on and in the Ames and Iowa State University Visitors Guide. An upgrade to partner-level membership adds print and online featured listings, social media promotion, promotional item distribution, and more.
  • Applicants may request up to 50 percent of the total award in advance of the event/activity.
  • 2022 Final-Report Form must be completed within 60 days after the completion of the event/activity to receive distribution of funds.
  • Copies of original receipts are required with the final report.
  • Failure to comply with the obligations will prohibit the organization from receiving a grant in the future. 

Event: Something that occurs in a certain place during a particular time and holds significance to the Ames area.
Activity: An organized, supervised, extracurricular and recreational occasion that is beneficial to the Ames area and its residents

  • Ongoing operating expenditures
  • Permanent infrastructure
  • Capital building projects
  • Professional services including legal, medical, engineering, accounting or auditing
  • General fundraising or donations
  • Salaries, wages or administrative fees
  • Debt retirement or associated fees
  • Anything contrary to federal, state or local law or ordinance
  • Private events (not open to the public) 
  • “The Bells of Iowa State” Gala Anniversary Concert (2019)
  • A Bevy: Studio Curiosities Exhibit (2019)
  • Ames Fireworks
  • Iowa Able Run
  • Lincoln Highway Days


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