Grant Funding for Special Events

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Special Event Grant Applications

FY 2025 Special Event Support Program Information

The City of Newport Beach (City) recognizes the social and economic benefits associated with special events. The opportunity to apply will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at 5 p.m. This application period is for events that take place July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025.

The Special Event Grants provide financial support to two categories of Newport Beach-based events:

  1. Community and Charitable - Serve or benefit locally based organizations and causes and/or provide recreational, cultural, social benefits to Newport Beach residents. Newport Beach-based nonprofit organizations and events that serve the Newport Beach community specifically. These events pay or incur City of Newport Beach fees through the Special Event Permit process.
  2. Signature Events - Large-scale events, based in Newport Beach, that promote Newport Beach regionally, attract visitors, and provide measurable, economic benefits to the City. Signature events must demonstrate the following:
  • The event does or can attract visitors from throughout Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino) and ideally, the Southwestern United States.
  • It must have at least 3,000 participants.
  • The event organizers have a strategic, measurable marketing plan and can immediately produce the plan and metrics from past years (if applicable) upon the City’s request.
  • Event organizers must clearly demonstrate how the event will provide substantive and measurable economic benefits to the City by supporting tourism, generating hotel room nights, supporting local business, and providing measurable exposure.

Applying for a Grant

  • Applications are available online beginning Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 8 a.m.
  • This call for applications is for special events that will be held in Newport Beach between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025.
  • The deadline for applications (and all required attachments) is Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at 5 p.m.
Community and Charitable Event
Support Application
      Signature Event Support       

Types of Special Event Support

A. Community and Charitable – Grants will be awarded and set at levels that correlate to the amount of City fees the applicant is expected to pay. Successful applicants will be awarded grants in the form of credits toward their City fees. The City does not provide cash to these grant awardees. Grants awarded may, but should not be expected to cover all of an event organizer’s costs/fees associated with City oversight. If an awardee incurs fees higher than the grant award, they will owe the City the difference. If the awardee’s costs are lower than was projected during the grant award process, the City will retain the difference.

The application review process will consider the size and scope of the event and how well it meets the program’s evaluation criteria. The City may require an agreement with grant awardees in this category. All agreements will include right to audit language and that the organizer submit an event conclusion report, which includes the event’s balance sheet and income statement.

B. Signature Events –  Grants will be available at set, not-to-exceed levels based upon an evaluation of the event budget, the estimate of City fees, and the estimated economic benefits to the City. Funding support may be assigned to an event at a level between $10,000 and $150,000. The City’s financial support should represent no more than 25 percent of the overall event expenditure budget. All agreements will include right to audit language. All signature events will be required to submit objectives and performance measures from the previous year’s event with the application. This will assist in evaluating the event’s marketing and economic impact.   

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to receive City support, applicants must demonstrate that:

  • The entire Community and Charitable event takes place within Newport Beach. All, or a majority of, the Signature event takes place within Newport Beach.
  • The event is scheduled to take place between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025, and the exact date(s), time(s) and location (within Newport Beach) have been determined.
  • The event is not financially dependent on receiving City support.
  • The event is sponsored, hosted and organized by a Newport Beach or Orange County-based non-profit organization or a Newport Beach community or neighborhood organization.
  • The applicant has no outstanding debt due to the City of Newport Beach.
  • The event does not need to be free of charge but should be accessible to the entire community/public.


The City will not provide financial support to:

  • Events that benefit for-profit enterprises.
  • Events that serve a political purpose or are sponsored by political organizations.
  • Event organizers and organizations that have not fulfilled previous City sponsorship or special event obligations or have an outstanding debt to the City of Newport Beach.
  • Individuals.
  • Invitation-only events; those not open to the general public.

Qualification Criteria

To qualify to be considered to receive City special event support, all applications must comply with the following:

  • Are submitted online, on time, and are 100 percent complete. Applicants who do not fully comply with the instructions will not be considered.
  • ALL events must include a copy of the complete event budget, which clearly states the anticipated revenues and expenditures. Potential City support should not be listed as a revenue line item.
  • Must demonstrate strong financial management over the event, including cost effectiveness.
  • Only one event per application; however, there is no limit to the number of applications an organization can submit.
  • Signature Event applications must provide a post-event report on measurable objectives and performance numbers at the conclusion of their event.

Evaluation Criteria

A. Community & Charitable Events 

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The event serves, involves, and / or promotes Newport Beach, its residents, schools and/or businesses.
  • The event directly or indirectly benefits the Newport Beach community by supporting its schools, cause-related or non-profit organizations; offering educational, cultural or arts experiences; or providing recreational or social activities.
  • The event benefits a Newport Beach or Orange County-based non-profit organization or Newport Beach community or neighborhood organization.
  • The event pays City fees.

B. Signature Events 

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The event delivers substantive and measurable economic benefits to the City.
  • The event organizers utilize strategic and measurable marketing practices in planning and implementing the event. These measurables will be included on the application and a post-event performance report will be required at the conclusion of your event.
  • The event enhances the quality of life within Newport Beach with cultural, social or educational activities of interest to the community.
  • The event attracts visitors to Newport Beach from the regional market (Southern California and ideally, the Southwestern United States).
  • The event promotes Newport Beach as a highly desirable place to live, visit, work and recreate.
  • The event directly or indirectly benefits or promotes Newport Beach businesses.
  • The submitted post-event measurable objectives and performance measures must demonstrate how the event will provide substantive and measurable economic benefits to the City.

Other Requirements:

Successful applicants—under both Community and Charitable and Signature events—will be expected to follow the City’s separate, Special Event Permit Process and submit all necessary forms, insurance and fees as required. Applications that do not meet the requirements and are not submitted within the specified deadlines risk forfeiting their City Special Event support.

Signature Event Recipients Only:

Signature event grant recipients must agree to provide the event’s financial statements and allow the City to conduct its own review of them, if requested.

Additional Information

There is no guarantee that the City will be able to provide financial support to the applicant.

Recommendations will be forward to the City Council for final review and approval. The City Council can approve, amend, or deny any recommendation.

City co-sponsored events that do not have associated City permit or related fees, or events hosted by City support groups (such as the Friends of the Library or the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation) of which the City Council or City Manager has approved waiving City permit or related fees, do not have to apply for a Special Event Support grant.

City Community Programs Grants

The City provides qualifying organizations with financial grants to enhance services or programs. Under direction of City Council Policy A-12, the City Manager's Office reviews all request for the Community Programs Grant. To review information or to apply for this grant click the button below.  

City Community Program Grants