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. Events eligible for the upcoming round of funding must take place in Fiscal Year 2024 (between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024)

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

Event Eligibility

Qualifying events:  

  • Events that take place between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. 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 1,000 people.
  • Events that are located in the City of Rochester.
  • Events that are free or feature a free or low cost component. If an Event is ticketed without any free component, 10% of revenue generated from the ticket price or registration fee must be returned to the City.

 Ineligible events:

  • Parades (these are 1st Amendment-protected events that the City already supports with police and equipment).
  • 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. 


  • The fiscal year 2024 application, for events taking place July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024, will be released in November.  Please check back.
  •  SEFA Budget Form (in xls) 


 Applications are due via email to the Office of Special Events on or before February 3 by noon.  


If you have questions or concerns, please email Kara Osipovitch in the Office of Special Events.