Grants Program

Grants Program

?php echo $image['alt']; ?>

Mardi Gras Gives Grant

(one-time $250 direct-payment to bartenders and barbacks)

Mardi Gras is a time of reflection and celebration for New Orleans, but bar closures this year due to the pandemic greatly impacted the local bar community. At the beginning of 2021, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation paired up with Gambino’s King Cake Rum Cream, Gambino’s Bakery, Tequila Tromba USA, Republic National Distributing Company, Don Q Rum, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Rémy Cointreau, Edrington, and 375 Park Ave Spirits to provide direct payments to local bartenders affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Mardi Gras Gives grant initiative concluded at the beginning of April 2021 and provided $62,500 in immediate relief funds to New Orleans’ furloughed and laid-off bartenders and barbacks affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with a one-time first-come, first-served $250 grant.

**Please read below for more details and the parameters for this grant**

Grants Process

Thank you for your interest in Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s 2021 Grant Application which is slated to open mid-April, 2021. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s mission is to Educate, Advance, and Support the Global Hospitality Industry and create lasting impact in our host communities. Through our grant-making program, we wish to support emerging and existing programs that demonstrate a vision, determination, and ability to make meaningful change in the Global Hospitality Industry across a spectrum of diverse topics.

The information on this and related pages is designed to help you make an initial determination about whether you represent a project or organization that aligns with the Foundation’s mission. Those who are eligible to submit a Letter of Intent to Request Support (LOI) to the Foundation will find information about the requirements and next steps starting on the Process section. We look forward to your submission.

The Foundation’s 2020 Grant Recipients were initiatives that work to advance equity, inclusion, and representation in the hospitality industry. The first-ever Great Bar Race Inclusion and Representation Grants were awarded, in collaboration with Grey Goose, to Made in New Orleans Foundation and Turing Tables. A donation from Angel’s Envy increased the TOTCF grant awards, awarding Andrea Meriweather for her initiative “FARM DISTILLED”.

Learn more about the TOTCF 2020 Grant Recipients:

Who Should Apply

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation encourages proposed projects that dream big, address pressing needs, and innovate to create change. All projects must align with the Foundation’s Mission and one of the Pillars stated below and should focus on systemic solutions or innovative responses to the industry’s needs that will create significant and lasting change. We encourage the international hospitality community to apply to this Open Call for Applications for Support.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation aims to support nascent or existing programs, non-profit organizations, and individuals developing a scope of work or expanding on a specific project that will impact the global hospitality community and have the possibility of continuing to carry on and make an impact beyond the Foundation’s grant award. Grant submissions should not be solely for direct support of an individual’s personal needs such as travel, medical or seminar fees. Examples of applicants include:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Organizations who are seeking nonprofit status
  • Organizations who will seek funding via a fiscal agent*
  • Individual projects

If you have any questions during the process, please do not hesitate to reach out by sending an email to

*Fiscal Agent is an organization which has a 501c3 or nonprofit status which will act as an intermediary for another organization’s grant award


Phase I: Letter of Intent to Request Support

Please address your letter to the Grants Advisory Committee and submit your Letter of Intent via the application process. Hard copies are not required.

Letters of Intent to Request Support should provide an overview of the proposed project including:

  • objectives
  • timeline
  • personnel involved
  • plans for execution
  • overall budget
  • financial support from other sources

If you wish to apply for a Grant, submitting a Letter of Intent is required so that the Committee can gauge industry interest and provide feedback to applicants to ensure a more successful and impactful process. We require that all LOI’s address how the request for support aligns with the Foundation’s mission to Educate, Advance, and Support the hospitality industry and clearly states a plan of action to create change.

What is a grant?

A grant is a set sum of money given by a Foundation or Government Agency to an organization or individual to fulfill a specific activity or set of activities that will occur over a defined period of time with no intention of repayment.

What is a Letter of Intent (LOI)?

A Letter of Intent is a declaration of intentions — or a quick summary of what you propose to accomplish if awarded a grant from the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. LOIs are short, one to three page, introductions to the core ideas of your project or objective. Please keep in mind that this is the first impression of you or your organization, and it is your opportunity to communicate why TOTCF should help fund your project. Be sure to include all of the requirements in your Letter of Intent. Failure to include all of the requirements will result in immediate disqualification.


  • LOIs must be submitted in PDF format
  • Include a specific financial ask that clearly states or estimates how much money you need to succeed
  • Overview including:
    • Background on the need for funding. What problems/issues are you looking to tackle?
    • Proposed Project (this should be the majority of your letter)
      • Objectives
      • Timeline
      • Brief Breakdown of Budget
      • How it aligns with TOTCF’s Mission Statement and Pillars
    • Other Sources of Financial Support or Future Financial Support

Please take a look at our Letter of Intent example.

Phase II: Phone Interview

Applicants whose Letter of Intent to Request Support have aligned with the Foundation’s mission and general overview requirements will be invited to a phone interview in mid-February with the Grants Committee. This interview will be an opportunity for the Committee and Foundation to get to know your project and ask direct questions about your objectives.

Phase III: Invitation to Submit Full Grant Application

Phase III is by-invitation-only. Individuals and organizations will be invited to proceed to this next phase based on Grant Committee and TOTCF feedback from LOI’s and phone Interviews. You will be invited to complete an additional application that will provide a more detailed look at your organization, the proposed project, budget, timeline, and projections of growth. The Phase Three Application will be a combination of short answer and essay questions, which will also require attachments regarding organizational structure, budgets, financial statements, and nonprofit declaration documentation.

Grant Announcements

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will contact all applications throughout the process to inform them of the status of their application and whether or not they will move on to the next phase. Phase III: Applicants will be informed of the status of their application at the end of October and official announcements will be made in November.

Timeline and Deadlines

May 31st - June 30th, 2021

August 7th, 2021

August 9th-13th, 2021

September 1st, 2021

September 1st-19th, 2021

October 26th, 2021

November 2021

Mission Statement and Pillars


Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a non-profit organization that Educates, Advances, and Supports the global hospitality industry and creates lasting impact in our host communities.


Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to tackle issues facing the industry. The pillars of the Foundation are to Educate, Advance, and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the community and to make a lasting impact in communities that host our events.


We believe in the power of education to advance the hospitality industry. Programs connect the community to the knowledge of industry leaders and innovators via seminars about spirits history and new craft techniques, business training, an online knowledgebase, access to emerging and industry-leading products, and direct mentorship that can change career trajectory and lives.


We are a platform for thought leadership and development of standards around key issues facing our industry. Woven throughout our programs are professional networking and community building opportunities to better connect our diverse, global community. We accelerate the growth of the spirits industry through forward-thinking partnerships and mentorship programs, such as the Cocktail Apprentice Program, to develop the next generation of industry leaders.


We create lasting impact in the communities we serve through financial and promotional support programs geared to individuals, organizations and communities that define the history and future of the industry and in those cities that host our events. We provide direct resources in areas such as education, healthcare, addiction, sustainability and advancement of diversity. Through our support programs, the Foundation will support those who are the catalyst at the forefront of defining industry standards and of the advancement of our craft.


  • * By subscribing to this list, you certify that you are of legal age to consume alcohol as defined by the laws in your country of residence.
  • By clicking submit below, you consent to allow TOTCF to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.