Grants Program

Grants Program

Grants Process

Submission Period was December 2nd-January 19th.

Thank you for your interest in Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s 2020 Grant Application. 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 2019 Grant Recipients were diverse in both scope and geographic representation. Please find a brief recap of our 2019 Grant Application process below:

The Grants Advisory Committee evaluated each of the applications, awarding 4 grants to an array of projects, individuals, and organizations. Grant awards averaged $25,000 and totaled $100,000. Grantee projects included mental health initiatives, disaster relief emergency funding, diversity, and career development programs.

In 2020, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will continue the Grant Application Process. TOTCF and the Grants Committee do not set fixed allocation amounts for the giving period. The Foundation will be reviewing the applications and will award individual grants of up to $30,000 USD.

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Great Bar Grant

The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is thrilled to announce the first-ever partner of the TOTCF Grants Process. In 2020, the Foundation is partnering with Grey Goose to dedicate a portion of our funding specifically to representation and inclusivity. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Great Bar Grant will ensure support to an individual or project working to address these tough issues in our industry. The Great Bar Race, a relay-style bartender challenge that brings trade-skill and teamwork to the test, was launched to not only highlight the often unrecognized acts of service, but also the people who execute them. In this spirit, The Great Bar Grant will give individuals and organizations the opportunity to apply for financial support to champion an inclusive initiative in their local communities.

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 beginning December 2nd, 2019 and no later than January 19th, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Standard Time. 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. Phone interviews will be scheduled from February 10th through February 14th, 2019.

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 Three Applicants will be informed of the status of their application at the end of May. We encourage all applicants to attend Tales of the Cocktail in July!

Timeline and Deadlines

Dec 2nd, 2019 - Jan 19th, 2020

Feb 7th, 2020

Feb 10th-14th, 2020

Mar 4th, 2020

Mar 4th-25th, 2020

May 13th-31st, 2020

July 2020

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

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.


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