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Special Events Partnership Grant

Grants to Hillsborough County, Florida Nonprofits for Events
That Strengthen Communities and Promote Place-Making

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Cultural Assets Commission (CAC) of Hillsborough County

Deadline Date:

08/02/19 5:00 PM Local Time


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Grants to Hillsborough County, Florida nonprofit organizations for unique festivals and events that strengthen communities and promote place-making. Funding is intended for new and expanded events that convey the story of the county, use public spaces, have a positive impact on the lives of residents, leverage private-sector support, and align with the Fund's economic development objectives of achieving greater patron spending and maximizing visitation to the area. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are judged on the project’s ability to strengthen and promote cultural assets; economic impact and community benefit; cultural/artistic merit of project; and financial and administrative oversight.

There are two categories under this program:
- Pilot Effort Special Event Partnership (“Pilot Effort”): This category is intended for new and emerging events. This is defined as an event first held no earlier than three calendar years from the year of the application date, or sooner.
- Next Level Special Event Partnership (“Next Level”): This category is intended for established Events (those not eligible under the “Pilot Effort” category) that are seeking to grow and enhance their offerings above and beyond their current level to significantly increase attendance, community-wide impact and appeal. It is the intent that these partnerships are investments in noticeable growth in the Event’s impact to bring greater returns to the community. Neither category is intended to support status quo event offerings, as this Program is not for maintaining an Event as it currently exists. This program is intended for new, emerging events and significantly expanding the impact of existing events.

Examples of Eligible Events:
- Arts Festivals
- Local Food Festivals
- River Celebration Events
- Film Festivals
- Celebration of Local Authors
- Music Festivals
- Local Community Historic Events

Allowable expenditures for reimbursement include such items as:
- Artistic, administrative, technical salary support and/or consultant fees related to the proposed program, project or event
- Honoraria
- Event production costs (includes direct in-market expenses associated with the Event entertainers such as their hotel expenses, etc.)
- Equipment rental
- Expendable supplies/materials
- Marketing
- Printing
- Publications
- Space rental

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186314

Estimated Size of Grant:

- The maximum amount available for the Pilot Effort category is $50,000.
- The maximum amount available for the Next Level category is $100,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period for the first cycle is October 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

Applications for the second grant cycle will be made available in January and apply to Events taking place between April 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be an eligible applicant, an applicant must:
- Be legally incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation, with a designated tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code
- Be able to obtain all permits

To be an eligible project, a Special Event must:
- Be a one-day event, a multi-day event occurring on consecutive days, or a related series of events over an extended period of time
- Be inclusive (no limits on who may purchase tickets or attend)
- Take place in Hillsborough County
- Be held in a publicly visible location
- Primarily be held in an outdoor setting as this program is not intended as a programming source for major indoor event venues
- Not already receive County funding through certain County programs. See the “Leveraging County Funding” section of these guidelines for more details.

Note: Events may be ticketed or unticked

Examples of ineligible events:
- Trade shows, conventions, conferences, workshops, classes etc.
- Annual lunches, galas, conferences, holiday parties, etc.
- Class or family reunions
- Sporting events
- Block parties
- Beauty pageants
- Events organized around political or religious purposes
- Festivals or events based solely on alcohol, drugs, sexually oriented content, etc.

Non-allowable expenditures for reimbursement include such items as:
- Application preparation
- Repayment of prior debt or deficit reduction, debts, contingencies, fines and penalties, interest and other financial costs
- Building, renovating or remodeling of facilities or capital items
- Travel or transportation costs to cover expenses for event staff travel
-Presenting programs/activities outside of Hillsborough County
- Alcohol
- Hospitality (food and drink) and parties/social events for event staff, volunteers, etc.
- Charitable contributions or donations

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline for the first cycle is August 2, 2019. Applications for the second grant cycle will be made available in January.

Important Dates (for Cycle 1):
- June 24, 1019: Application Opens
- July 29 – 31, 2019: Optional Review Period
- August 2, 2019: Application Deadline (all applications due by 5 pm local time)
- September 18, 2019: Award Notification
- October 1, 2019: Grant Period Begins
- March 31, 2020: Grant Period Ends

The Optional Review Period is an opportunity for applicants to submit a draft application to program Staff within a sufficient amount of time to allow Staff to offer suggestions and ask questions prior to the application being officially submitted. Please email draft applications to Aislinn Stone between July 29 and July 31 if you'd like an optional review for completeness.

These are reimbursement grants. Under both categories, applicants must demonstrate a leveraging of the County’s investment such that the ratio of other cash support (not including other County funding) for actually incurred event expenses to County investment is at a minimum of 3:1 for Pilot Efforts and 4:1 for Next Level. For example, if an event falls under the Pilot Efforts category (3:1 ratio) and this event has total cash expenses of $100,000, then the maximum grant amount is $25,000. If an event falls under the Next Level category (4:1 ratio) and this event has total cash expenses of $100,000, then the maximum grant amount is $20,000. Special consideration will be given to proposals that match grant request with new private/non-profit sources of support for the event.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit applications online:

Aislinn Stone, Program Administrator

Cultural Assets Commission
County Center
601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 20th Fl.
Tampa, Florida 33602

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Florida: Hillsborough County