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. 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. 

Submission of a SEFA application is not a guarantee of City funding or support.


The deadline for events in fiscal year 2025 (July 1, 2024- June 30, 2025) has passed and SEFA funding has been finalized. 

Applications for fiscal year 2026 (July 1, 2025- June 30, 2026) will open in November/December 2024. Please check back.

Event Eligibility

Though it is within the City's sole discretion to determine eligibility, the following parameters are usually applied:

Eligible Events (must meet each criteria below):   

  • Events that take place between July 1, 2025 and June 30, 2026. Events held outside of the funding year cannot apply. No exceptions.
  • Events that are open to and of interest to the general public, and serve at least 2,000 people
  • Events that are free or feature a free or low cost component ($20 or less).
  • Events that are located in the City of Rochester on City-owned property like parks, streets, and sidewalks. 
  • Events organized by an entity with legal standing. No fiduciaries can be used. Entities MUST be able to provide general liability insurance, proof of worker’s compensation & disability insurance (or a NYS waiver).  

Ineligible Events:  

  • Parades
  • Moving athletic events (walks, runs, bike rides) that charge an entry fee
  • Block parties
  • Trade shows, conventions, conferences, workshops, etc.
  • Indoor ticketed concerts, shows, theatres, theatrical performances, exhibits etc.
  • Annual luncheons, conferences, holiday parties, etc.
  • Class or family reunions
  • Sports tournaments, school or athletic leagues, etc.
  • First-year events (unless they are occurring for a unique one-time purpose i.e. a celebration for a historic reason) 
  • Events on private property 


Email #1 & 2 to Kara Osipovitch, and complete #3 online.

  1. SEFA FY25 Application (check back for a FY26 version)
  2. SEFA Budget Form (in xls)
  3. Online summary form


If you have questions, please contact contact Kara Osipovitch in the Office of Special Events.     

Final Report Form    

To receive final payments on SEFA funding, download the final report form and don't forget to attach cleared checks that total the City's investment.