Festival goers in downtown Raleigh at Brewgaloo beer festival

Beer lovers flood downtown Raleigh for a taste of ales,lagers, stouts and more at Brewgaloo. 

Special Events Funding through the American Rescue Plan

Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA)

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Deadline and Timeline Background Program Requirements Funding Requirements Period of Performance Submission Procedure & Format Project Ranking Factors

City of Raleigh Office of Emergency Management and Special Events - Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)  - Special Events 

The City has received federal American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) to respond to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and its negative economic impacts.

Notice is hereby given that special event funds ($160,000) are available for special events permitted by the City of Raleigh’s Office of Emergency Management and Special Events to assist Raleigh-based events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, these federal funds will be used to foster high-quality, equitable events and will enhance Raleigh’s overall cultural environment and strengthen the City’s economy. 

To be considered for funding, the event must take place within City of Raleigh limits between Aug. 1, 2021 and June 20, 2022.

Deadline and Timeline

Deadline for Submissions

The City of Raleigh’s Office of Emergency Management and Special Events is accepting proposals for funding to help event organizers offset the cost of hosting special events that utilize City streets, public plazas, and/or Dorothea Dix Park. Round one of proposals must be submitted to the City of Raleigh by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 24, 2021 according to the instructions below. All proposals received by this deadline will be reviewed. 

At this time, the special event funding application period has closed. Additional rounds of funding may be offered on future dates until funding is no longer available. Funding consideration is for events that take place between Aug. 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.


The anticipated grant cycle will follow the below sequence: 

Date Description
September 3, 2021 NOFA Issued 
September 24, 2021 Proposals due by 5 p.m. 
September 27 - October 11, 2021 Proposals reviewed and scored 
October 2021 Agencies notified of recommended funding amount 


Signed into law on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocates $1.9 trillion to COVID-19 relief and economic recovery. ARPA provides $350 billion to help states, counties, cities and tribal governments cover increased expenditures, replenish lost revenue and mitigate economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 6, 2021, the Raleigh City Council authorized $160,000 of ARPA funding for the Office of Emergency Management and Special Events in order to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Agencies will be selected and recommended for funding by a review panel established by the City. The criteria used to select proposals for funding include: 

  • Administrative Ability (20%) o Quality of event plan 
    • Completeness and clarity of application 
    • History of organization 
    • Purpose and objective of event 
    • Feasibility of event 
  • Fiscal Management (20%) o Quality of Financial Plan 
    • Explanation of how funds will be spent 
    • The degree to which the request is reasonable 
    • Accuracy and prudence of all budgets 
  • Community Benefits (20%) o Ability to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion 
    • Community’s experience with the event 
    • Community needs the event addresses 
  • Economic Impact (20%) o Economic impact of event to local businesses and residents 
    • Economic impact of event to City 
    • Ability to clearly describe measurable outcomes 
  • Other (10%) o Overall quality of Proposal 
    • City’s experience with the event, production organization, or event organizer 
    • Have met deadlines and due dates in previous experiences 
  • Required Information (10%)
    • Submission of all required documents 
  • Agencies selected must submit a final report within 90 days of completion of the event. Final report should include:
    • A typed summary of the event no more than 8 pages long 
    • Attendance figures, number of vendors, and volunteers 
    • Budget for the event, including how the financial assistance from the City of Raleigh was spent 
    • Economic Impact Statement 
    • Will need to receive the following information in chart format or an excel spreadsheet
      • Budget for event 
      • How financial assistance was spent 

*For those agencies that have been awarded funding for an event that has already occurred and is beyond the 90 days of completion, please submit a final report within 30 days of the approval for funding. 

Program Requirements

All applicants are expected to conform with the Uniform Grant Guidance as outlined in 2 CFR Part 200, except where the U.S. Department of the Treasury has granted specific waivers as outlined in the sam.gov ARPA assistance listing. All events seeking funding must take place between August 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. 

Eligible Events: The following examples are criteria for events that are eligible for special event funding: 

  • Must occur primarily in the boundaries of the City of Raleigh 
  • Must be conducted on public property within the City of Raleigh 
  • Agency cannot be a City of Raleigh division/department 
  • Event budget must demonstrate financial support from sources other than the City of Raleigh 

Ineligible Events: The following examples are criteria for events that are ineligible for special event funding: 

  • Events that occur primarily outside the boundaries of the City of Raleigh 
  • Trade shows, conventions, conferences, workshops, classes, etc. 
  • Annual lunches, galas, holiday parties, etc. 
  • Reunions (Ex. class reunion, family reunion, etc.) 
  • Sporting events 
  • Beauty pageants 
  • Events organized around political or religious purposes 
  • Activities restricted to private property 

Eligible Uses of Funds: The following are examples of eligible uses of funding for reimbursement 

  • City services for special event (ex. event application, special event invoice, special event venue rental, special event permit, special event fire permit, etc.) 
  • Equipment purchases or rentals 
  • Portable restrooms and handwashing stations 
  • Publication costs for electronic and print media including distribution, and promotion 
  • Traffic control measures 
  • Event security 
  • Venue rental 
  • Event production cost 

Ineligible Uses of Funds: The following are examples of ineligible uses of funding 

  • Marketing, advertising, and public relations 
  • Alcohol 
  • Bad debts 
  • Personal services 
  • Staff salaries and benefits 
  • Hospitality costs (food, beverage, decorations, etc.) 
  • Fringe benefits 
  • Charitable contributions or donations 
  • Fundraising 
  • Travel or transportation 
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply directly for funding for any reason 
  • Capital improvements
  • Cash awards, prizes, or plaques 
  • Memberships/subscriptions 
  • Conference attendance 
  • Proposal preparation 
  • Scholarships 
  • Interest payments

Funding Requirements

Funding Requirements

To be eligible, funded agencies must: 

  • Meet all stated deadlines and achieve outcomes at a consistent rate so funds are reimbursed at a rate commensurate with the grant year (i.e., one-quarter of budget expended, and outcomes achieved by the completion of the first quarter of grant period, two-quarters of budget expended, and outcomes achieved by completion of second quarter, etc.). 

Request Limits

  • Agencies must be specific about the requested amount and include detailed information on what funds will pay for. An applicant may request an amount no less than $5,000 and no greater than $10,000 per event. The Office of Emergency Management, Special Events, and Hospitality will award funds to agencies on a case-by-case basis as funding allows.
  • Agencies are eligible to submit a maximum of 2 proposals for funding 

Period of Performance

  • Agencies will have exactly 12 months (1 year) to complete all activities to expend approved funds. This period is effective beginning on the date of contract execution. 
  • If funds allocated to the agency are not expended by the end of the period of performance, the unused portion of funds shall be returned to The Office of Emergency Management and Special Events.

Duplication of Benefits 

The duplication of benefits from multiple federal grants is prohibited. Subrecipients attest that they are not and will not use CSLFRF provided to them from the City in duplication with other available federal resources. Signed statements to the above will be created by the City and included in Progress Status Reports. 

Submission Procedure & Format

Submission Procedure 

The City is looking to provide funding for special events as soon as possible. Agencies currently funded by the City and seeking additional funds are also encouraged to respond. The City is seeking to have financial assistance contracts in place by October 2021. The City will accept questions and proposals at specialevents@raleighnc.gov with SPECIAL EVENTS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE in the subject line. 

Agencies interested in applying for Special Event funding must submit a letter of interest and a proposal. All submissions should be emailed to specialevents@raleighnc.gov and must be received by 5 p.m., on September 24, 2021

Proposed Format

Provide a typed proposal to the following items. You must be very explicit about your event and how you believe it addresses the items listed below. 

  • Event Description
    • Share the organization’s history, mission, and goals 
    • Purpose and objectives of event 
    • The unique offerings the event provides to the community 
    • Why the event is important to the community 
  • Community Impact
    • Identify the event’s audience and demographic. 
    • How will you effectively reach the target audience? 
    • How does your event create a sense of community pride? 
    • How is your event unique to the City of Raleigh? 
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility
    • How will promote equity and inclusivity for this event? 
    • Can you share strategies that you have considered that will allow all individuals of the community to have equitable access to the event? 
    • Will there be ADA accessible activities for the event? 
  • Economic Impact
    • How will you track attendance and measure economic impact? 
    • How will you self-evaluate the event? 
    • Explain the anticipated benefits to the organization and City of Raleigh if funded. 
    • How the event contributes to the economy of Raleigh?
    • What results do you expect to achieve from the event? 
  • Special Event Budget 
    • Will need to receive the special event budget in a PDF or Excel spreadsheet. 
    • Identify direct and indirect costs. 
    • Allocation of staff salaries, benefits, and taxes. 
    • How the special event funding will be utilized. 
    • Identify event specific categories (if applicable). 

Required Information 
Funded agencies must maintain complete program records demonstrating compliance and use of funds and will be required to allow the City access to all records. Progress reports will be required. All funded special events will be monitored for federal, state and local regulatory compliance as well as accomplishments. 

Proposals must be authorized by the top executive or Board of Directors of the submitting organization. Although not required to be submitted with the proposal, the agency should retain the minutes of the board meeting (if applicable) authorizing the submission of the application. Your signature on the letter indicates you are a representative with authority to submit the proposal. In addition, agencies should include the following required documents/information listed below. All contracted agencies will also need to be registered in sam.gov

  • List of Board Members 
  • DUNS and EIN Numbers 
  • Most recent financial review 
  • Organization by-laws 
  • Articles of incorporation 
  • Organization policies including personnel, formal non-discrimination, procurement, accounting 

Project Ranking Factors

Organizations submitting proposals will be evaluated using considerations listed below:

Rating Factors Basis of Rating Points
Required Information  Inclusion of all required documents listed above. 10
Administrative Ability  Completeness and clarity of proposal. 20
Fiscal Management  Clear description of all funding sources and how all costs are calculated. Explanation of how special event financial assistance funds will be spent.  20
Community Benefit  Clear description of the importance of the event to the community and how your event promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion.  20
Economic Impact  Clear description of measurable outcomes, and economic impact of event to the City. 20
Other Quality of proposal and the City’s previous experience with the event, the production organization, or event organizer.  10
  Total 100




Emergency Management and Special Events

Lead Department:
Emergency Management and Special Events
Service Categories:
Special Events Office