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.  Please note:  NYS now allows Electronic Notarization.  Notaries must be physically located in NYS for this service to be valid.  For more information on electronic notarization, visit the NYS Department of State Website.
  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

Getting More Help

  • Find webinars, tutorials and other help at Helping Grant Applicants use the Grants Gateway.
  • Prequalification Documents and Questions contains all questions included in the prequalification process and explanations of documents that must be included in a prequalification application.
  • Requirement for Not-for-Profit Corporations. All applicants must be registered with the NY Attorney General’s Charities Bureau in order to pre-qualify to be eligible for any security grant. Register online here.
  • See 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)

  • 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.
  • Already Charities Bureau 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.
  • Register your charity online. The Attorney General’s Charities Bureau now offers online registration for charitable organizations. Please refer to the Online registration userguide and Online registration FAQ’s for help using the new online system.
    • If you are not already registered.
      1. Click to the Charities Bureau Online Registration Page.
      2. Follow the directions to create an account and click on “Register a new account”.
      3. Complete the “Contact Info” section.
      4. Answer the “Statutory” questions.
      5. Click on the “Register as an Exempt Organization.”
      6. Among the organizations exempt from registration are religious organizations (houses of worship) and other charitable organizations run by religious organizations; membership organizations that do not solicit from the public; Parent Teacher Associations, educational institutions that file annual reports with the New York State Department of Education; and governmental agencies.
        • If applicable, answer yes to, “Was the organization formed for religious purposes?” If so, the system should inform you that your organization is exempt from registration and send you the appropriate documentation for your Document Vault submission.