Grant applications
Posted January 15, 2021 | 3:44 PM

Special Events Grant Program Accepting Funding Applications through Feb. 5

Nonprofit organizers of fine arts, historic, natural/recreational, culinary, lifestyle, or creative industries events have until Feb. 5 to apply for up to $100,000 in matching Special Events Partnership Grants (SEPG) from Hillsborough County.

The Cultural Assets Commission is accepting applications to grow and support special events that encourage placemaking and community-building outcomes aligned with the County's economic and community prosperity goals. Events supported by this program should communicate the authentic County story, activate public spaces, and enrich the lives of residents.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be legally incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation, with a designated tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or 501(c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code
  • Be able to obtain all permits

Eligible projects 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
  • Not already receiving Hillsborough County funding through certain County programs.

Examples of eligible events include art, film, music, and local food festivals; river celebration events; celebration of local authors; and local community historic events. Examples of ineligible events include trade shows, conventions, conferences, workshops, and classes; annual lunches, galas, conferences, and holiday parties; class or family reunions; sporting events; beauty pageants; events organized around political or religious purposes; and festivals or events based solely on alcohol, drugs, or sexually-oriented content.

Many nonprofit organizations are struggling financially due to the impacts of the pandemic, with potentially qualifying events postponed from 2020. To assist with pre-event expenses, during this round of funding awardees may request up to 25 percent of their grant award prior to the event in the form of a pre-event sponsorship. Smaller organizations also benefit from a change in grant categories, which only require a 2:1 match for total event budgets under $100,000. Since only in-person events are eligible, applicants must comply with all state of emergency and required safety protocols for COVID-19. Expenses will not be reimbursed if the event is cancelled for any reason.

The application period for this funding cycle ends Feb. 5, 2021. Eligible events must occur before Sept. 30, 2021.

Full information on the grant program, guidelines, and applications are available at


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