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 Register Your Organization 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:
    Grants Management
    99 Washington Avenue Room 1550
    Albany, NY 12210-2814
    Details on how to fill out the form are available here.
    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

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)

  • Certificates of Incorporation: You should already have a Certificate 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 their 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 410Religious Corporations must file form CHAR 410 on-line in order pre-qualify to be eligible for any security grants. There is a Schedule E (Request for Registration Exemption for Charitable Organizations) which you should fill out as part of the on-line process. In general, religious corporations are not required to file annual reports with the Charities Bureau (know as CHAR500). You get an affirmative exemption from this requirement by filling out Schedule E in CHAR410. It will take about 5 business days for your filing to be accepted and put up on the Charities Bureau’s website. There is no fee to be paid to the Charities Bureau for Schedule E filers.
    • 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.
    • You will need to follow the on-line instructions to upload a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation, By-laws and IRS letter (if applicable).
    • Already Registered Religious Organizations. If the Charities Bureau has in the past determined that you are exempt from annual filings, they would have sent you an exemption letter. If you cannot find your letter, simply search the NY Charities Registry for your organization here and take a screenshot of the information and upload it to the Document Vault.
    • Newly Registered Religious Organizations. You can do the same search and screenshot after the 5 or so business days have elapsed from your filing of CHAR 410 & Schedule E or after you have been notified by the Charities Bureau that you are approved and exempt from annual filings. This screenshot will also show your Charities Registration number which is needed for the NYS Document Vault.