Request for Proposal for Large Scale Event

Request for Proposal
Large Scale Event


The mission of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) is to support individuals, groups, and communities in San Diego engaged in projects aligned with the 10 Principles of Burning Man. Our only substantive annual event is YOUtopia, which in turn fuels our ability to support CoLab and other civic/community projects and events like Figment, Maker Faire, PRIDE, etc.
It is the desire of SDCAP to diversify its offerings to the community. As such, we are actively seeking proposals from groups with the desire and talent to produce another large-scale event, making it possible for SDCAP to create more community, fund more projects, award more grants, and better support you!

Guidelines for Proposals

The winning proposal will be selected based on a broad variety of criteria that go beyond the sum of its parts. We hope our community will come to us with new and exciting creative vision. Having said that, it is worthwhile to note the following guidelines are highly desirable:

  • In alignment with the 10 Principles, or at least most of them. Events that are not in strict alignment with the 10 Principles will still be considered, but may present a variety of challenges to approve, so be sure to include your rationale for something like commodification or leaving a trace.
  • 100% volunteer run. This one’s actually required, not simply desirable.
  • Unique offering to the San Diego community (i.e. we probably won’t be terribly excited about a proposal for a weekend-long rave in the desert).
  • Inclusive of the existing San Diego Burning Man community, with plans to engage current community participants at the margins (“inreach”), bring in new people who don’t yet know us (“outreach”).
  • A civic engagement component and/or a project that is both mutually beneficial to SDCAP/San Diego Burning Man community as well as the greater San Diego community.
  • Large-scale, so as to be substantively different from  the smaller scale fundraisers and parties that already take place year-round.
  • Sustainable and scalable, in the way that YOUtopia has become an annual event with the capacity to grow and evolve alongside our community.
  • Indication you have familiarized your group with the size and scope of SDCAP by reviewing financial information posted on our website, and submitting a proposal that reflects our current capacity.
  • Held in the Spring, or thereabouts, so as to complement, not conflict with YOUtopia on the calendar.
  • Realistic timeline. Spring 2018 is extremely ambitious. Spring 2019 is more likely.

Proposal Contents

To be considered for selection, your proposal must, at minimum, include all the following contents. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Letter of Intent

Describe your creative vision for this event and how it aligns with SDCAP’s mission as well as the applicable guidelines in section II above.

Project Description

  1. Brief (1-2 sentence) summary of your event vision or purpose.
  2. Target population
  3. Deliverables & activities included as part of event
  4. Project Timeline (Planning / Preparation, Event Set-Up, Event, Event Tear-Down)
  5. Visuals in the form of photographs, mock-ups, sketches, models, etc.

Leadership Team

  1. Project leader bio, including contact information (No more than 1-2 people, maximum)
  2. Additional team member bios / portfolios
  3. Summary of plan for volunteer recruitment / management

Project Budget

  1. Expenses
  2. Income
  3. In-Kind Donations
  4. Fundraising Plan (As SDCAP is not in the position to fund the entirety of a large-scale event, your budget should include details about how you will raise the amount needed above and beyond what you request of SDCAP in the next section.)
  5. Scope of Requests from SDCAP (Funding – Include the amount of funding/sponsorship being requested of SDCAP.  Space requirements – include a detailed description of your space requirements.  Equipment – If you are requesting SDCAP lend equipment for the event, include a detailed list of the equipment you need to borrow and whether training for said equipment will be needed.)

Plan for Measuring Results

  1. Tell us how you will know whether the event was a success


If you are part of an organization with an established record of hosting large events (or some other background that demonstrates you can pull this off) , consider including the following supplemental materials:

  1. Afterburn (or similar) reports from other events
  2. Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws
  3. Verification of tax-exempt status (IRS determination letter)
  4. List of officers and Board of Directors
  5. Organization Operating Budget / Financial Statements / Annual Reports
  6. List of other current funding sources and uses
  7. Support letters or endorsements from community collaborators


While SDCAP has never put out an RFP of this nature, we can show you examples of well-written grant proposals we have funded.

  • CNC Router
  • S.U.G.A.R.
  • La Santisima Muerte
  • The Journey
  • Mini-Man

Additionally, while we are excited to see your original ideas for an event, here are some examples of types of events we would consider:

  • CHIditarod
  • Catharsis on the Mall or any sort of Urban Burn
  • Theater Bizarre
  • Film Festival
  • Big, weird scavenger hunt
  • Campout with an arts focus, different types of music, experiential activities, etc. without EDM stages.
  • Leadership retreats for alternative community development
  • Summer camp for adults
  • Digital Detox

Proposal Review Process

Please submit your proposal containing all of the items specified above, including all requested attachments, and send it to BOD@SDCAP.ORG
We will contact you if we have questions or require additional information.
We will acknowledge your application within two weeks of its receipt.
If we are interested in funding your proposal, we will contact you to discuss your application within two months.