Document Vault FAQ’s

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:


  1. Download and complete the Registration Form for Administrators.
    • The form must include the original signature of the head of the organization.
    • The form must be notarized. The notary must complete each box in the “Acknowledgement to be completed by a Notary Public” section, and then sign and stamp the form.
  2. If your organization does not already have a New York State SFS Vendor ID, the Grants Management staff will obtain one for you. To do so, you must download, complete, and attach the Substitute W-9 Form.
    • If your organization already has an SFS Vendor ID, do not submit a Substitute W-9 form.
    • Please note, the process for obtaining an SFS Vendor ID can take 3-5 business days.
  3. Attach an organizational chart showing the head of your organization that identifies current leadership and staff members by position, name, and title. A Sample Organization Chart is available for you to view and an Organization Chart Template is available for you to complete.  If you are registering as an individual instead of on behalf of an organization, please submit your resume or CV in place of the organization chart.
  4. Return all materials by email to

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 1/1/2024.
  • 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.
  • NY Attorney General Charities Bureau Registration. You must be registered, have recently applied for registration, or be exempt from registering with the NYS Attorney General’s Office Charities Bureau. Register online here. Religious corporations (e.g., houses of worship or most religious schools) may submit a letter on official letterhead explaining that as a religious corporation (e.g., house of worship) they are exempt from registration. Alternatively, they may register online. Click to the Online Charities Registration User Guide for more information. Instructions for exempt organizations can be found on p. 14f.