Community Event Grants

The City of Saratoga recognizes the value of community events and their role in bringing residents together, building community, and establishing an identity for the City. The City established the Community Event Grant Program which gives local event organizers the opportunity to seek funding for their community events. 

Application Process

The application process for events held July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024 is now closed. On April 17, 2023, the Library and Community Engagement Commission will review qualified applications and prepare a funding recommendation that will then be considered by the City Council. Following the application deadline, staff will provide additional information to applications about these meetings. 

Eligibility Criteria

The be eligible for consideration, events must meet the following criteria:

  • Event must be organized and managed by volunteers. 
  • Event must be held in Saratoga.
  • Event must be free to attend and open to the public.
  • Event should showcase Saratoga’s character, diversity or history.
  • Event should not be intended to celebrate or recognize a small group, such as reunions.
  • Event must be an independent, standalone event.  For example, it may not be an activity hosted as part of an event that has received separate funding under the Program. 
  • Event organizer must obtain a minimum of $1 million liability insurance coverage for the event.  Events organized by individuals or an informal group of individuals, that are not a part of or related to any non-profit corporation or other legal business entity, may request City Council approval for event insurance to be provided by the City’s insurance program.  City Council may authorize event insurance through the City’s insurance funding for Secured Funding Program recipients when providing direction on funding allocations.

Annual Process

The annual process is outlined below and may be adjusted as needed:  

  • January – Existing and prospective Secured Funding Program recipients submit Secured Funding Interest Form & Agreement for events to be held in the next fiscal year.
  • February - Council reviews the program schedule, policy, prior year allocations, receives Secured Funding Interest Form & Agreement from existing and prospective Secured Funding Program recipients, and provides direction on Secured Funding recipients and their allocation amounts, and the total funding allocation for the Competitive Program for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • March - Competitive Program application cycle is opened and announced to the community.
  • April – Library & Community Engagement Commission reviews Competitive Program applications and prepares a funding recommendation for City Council consideration. 
  • May – City Council receives Library & Community Engagement Commission recommended allocations for Competitive Program applications and provides direction on allocations for upcoming fiscal year.

Secured and Competitive Grants

Secured Grants

The City Council may provide Community Event and Street Closure Grant Program Secured Funding to a specific event or to an event organizer. Secured Funding Program recipients are exempt from the competitive application process. Secured Funding Program recipients and allocation amounts are decided at the discretion of the City Council. 

Competitive Grants

Competitive Community Event Grant allocations are limited to a maximum of $2,000 per event.

Street Closure Grant

The Saratoga City Council also sets aside funding to help a local organization pay for the cost of closing down Big Basin Way for a community event. 

Eligible Expenses and Grant Payment

  • Grants are issued on a reimbursement basis. 
  • Grant funding may be used for permit fees, facility or park rentals, street closure as described below, event materials, supplies, vendors, and contract services. 
  • Grant funding may not be used by the grant recipient to pay staff or volunteers for time spent on event organization or coordination. 
  • Grant payments are issued on a reimbursement basis following the event. 
  • A Grant Reimbursement Request Form must be submitted to receive grant payment. The Reimbursement Request Form must include an itemized list and proof of payment for event expenses to be funded by the grant, total event costs, and estimated event attendance. Optionally, event photos may be submitted. 
  • Only one Grant Reimbursement Request Form may be submitted for grants issued for a single event. For grants issued to event organizers to be used for a variety of events that meet Eligibility Criteria, a Grant Reimbursement Request Form may be submitted after each event. 
  • In addition to the above list of Eligible Expenses & Grant Payment requirements, grant funding designated for street closures may only be used for Big Basin way road closure costs and must be used for permit fees, signage and barricades, notifications, City staff, and law enforcement officer costs associated with a road closure before it may used for other road closure expenses. 
  • A Grant Reimbursement Request Form must be submitted within the same fiscal year as the event to be eligible for reimbursement. For events held in June, a Grant Reimbursement Request may be submitted up to 7 days after the end of the fiscal year. 

Grant Reimbursement Requests

Grant funds are issued on a reimbursement basis. Grant recipients should submit a reimbursement request along with copies of invoices/receipts after the event. Reimbursement requests should be consolidated into 1 request.

Insurance Coverage

All event organizers who receive funding through the Community Event Grant Program and Street Closure Grant Program must obtain event liability insurance coverage in the amount of at least $1 million. The insurance coverage will name the City of Saratoga, its officers, officials, employees, agents and volunteers as additional insured. Event organizers must provide a "Certificate of Insurance" with "Additional Insured Endorsement" to the City prior to holding the event.