Document Vault FAQ’s

Prequalification
In order to apply for any grant through New York State applicants are required to “prequalify” through the Grants Gateway. There, applicants answer questions about their governance, policies and practices. Here’s more info:

Registration
On the Grants Reform Website download a copy of the Registration Form for Administrator.

  • Mail a signed, notarized original Registration Form for Administrator, substitute W-9 form and organizational chart (see samples here) to the Division of Budget at the address provided in the instructions. If all of your submissions are in order you will be provided with a Username and Password allowing you to access the Grants Gateway within 48-72 hours. The first time that you sign onto the system you will be asked to change your password.

Getting more help

  • Review the list of documents that must be uploaded into the secure document vault. Upload the required documents and answers to the questions. See the information below with specifics for religious corporations.

Answering the Organizational Capacity questions
Consider the Grants Gateway process as an “educational” experience. Grants Gateway asks questions that represent “best practices” for well-run nonprofits with the hope that organizations will adopt policies consistent with good governance.  Some policies are required by law.

  1. Staff Code of Conduct: All organizations should have a personnel manual. Here is an example of a template to help you put one together.
  2. Fiscal/Internal Controls Policy. A primary responsibility of a nonprofit’s board of directors is to ensure that the organization is accountable for its programs and finances to its contributors, members, the public and government regulators. Click here for the NY AG’s guidance and here for the National Council of Nonprofits’ We’re a small nonprofit. What internal controls do we need to have in place?
  3. Conflict of Interest Policy: All NY nonprofit corporations must have a Conflict of Interest Policy. Sample Conflict of Interest Policy   Annual Form
  4. Whistleblower Policy: Nonprofit corporations or charitable trusts with 20 or more employees and an annual revenue in excess of $1,000,000 in the prior fiscal year must have a Whistleblower Policy. Click here for a sample.

Your board of directors should approve the above policies.

Required documents for religious corporations
(e.g., synagogues or religious schools incorporated as religious corporations)

  • Articles of Incorporation: You should already have a Certificate or Articles of Incorporation demonstrating that you are incorporated under the New York Religious Corporations Law.
  • 501(c)(3) Status: Religious corporations should provide their IRS Recognition Letter ( also known as a 501(c )(3) or tax exemption letter) from the IRS if they have one. Those that do not, may satisfy this requirement by uploading a signed letter, on organization letterhead, stating they are exempt from this requirement.
  • Bylaws: For an example of bylaws click on the appropriate link (Members/No Members) and an explanation of New York State synagogue bylaws here.
  • Form 990: Religious corporations are not required to file IRS Form 990. In lieu of this form, applicants may upload a signed letter, on organization letterhead, stating they are exempt from filing a Form 990. When asked for the “Next due date”, state 1/1/2020.
  • Audited Financial Statements/Reviews: Religious corporations that do not have a formal audit may upload your financial report from the previous fiscal year. It can be a review from an accountant or even a QuickBooks “Profit and Loss” and a “Balance Sheet” report showing income and expenses. It should be accompanied by a letter signed by the President, Secretary or Treasurer; stating that the Board of Directors/Trustees reviewed and approved the financial report.
  • CHAR 410 and CHAR 500:
    • Requirement. All nonprofits must register with the Charities Bureau, either with a CHAR 410 or CHAR 500, in order to prequalify.
    • Religious corporations must file the first page of CHAR 410(basically name, address and contact information) of the CHAR410 (Registration Statement for Charitable Organizations: form, instructions), along with the Schedule E (Request for Registration Exemption for Charitable Organizations).
      • On the Schedule E, fill out your name and EIN (you will not have your NY State registration number until this form is approved).
      • Then, check off the box at the top of the page next to “Both EPTL and Article 7-A”; the box in Part I, number 5; and the box in Part II, number 5.
      • Mail the completed first page of the CHAR 410, the Schedule E, a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation and the required fee ($25 payable to “NYS Department of Law.”)  to: New York State Department of Law (Office of the Attorney General), Charities Bureau – Registration Section, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005.
      • Copy the first page of your CHAR410 and your Schedule E and upload them to the system. You will have to update this item when your submission is approved by the NY Attorney General. Nonprofits that are not religious corporations must file a CHAR500. 
    • Registered organizations. If the Charities Bureau determined that you are “Exempt” they will send you an exemption letter. If you cannot find your letter, simple search the NY Charities Registry for your organization here and take a screenshot of the information and upload it to the Document Vault. Organizations required to file annual reports can find the forms here, including a link for online filing.