Special Event Funding Application - SEFA

About the Special Events Funding Application (SEFA)

To create a more efficient and transparent process, the Bureau of Communications & Special Events launched the Special Events Funding Application (SEFA) process. The SEFA will be utilized by eligible events that wish to apply for special event funding.

The City's fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30. The current round of funding will be for events that take place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. We will provide you with annual instructions on subsequent years’ deadlines. 

COVID-19 implications

The City is still uncertain how COVID-19 will impact special events in the coming months. As has been the case since March 2020, the City will continue to strictly follow all guidance on mass gatherings issued by New York State. Depending upon the number of people allowed by NYS in mass gatherings, the City will determine if it will issue special event permits, and if so, what parameters it will require organizers to follow. As always, the City will work closely with all of the event organizers to make any adjustments needed if that is in fact required. 

Notwithstanding the uncertainty created by COVID-19, we believe that going through with the SEFA process and accepting applications will enable us to act dynamically as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We are asking all event organizers to be patient as we navigate these uncertain times both in regards to the permitting of mass gatherings and the support that we are able to provide this year.

Submission of a SEFA application does not guarantee City funding or in-kind support. 


Applications are due via email to the Office of Special Events on or before February 8 by noon. 

Additional details are outlined in the downloadable document below. 


Security Deposit Policy

Learn more here.


If you have questions or concerns, please email kara.osipovitch@cityofrochester.gov in the Office of Special Events.