Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale, Far Rockaway) hosted his monthly Community Clergy Breakfast on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the Bayswater Jewish Center in Far Rockaway. The topic was federal grants for clergy, money that can help faith-based community organizations deliver vital community services and develop projects that would be beneficial to their congregations and beyond.
Our special guest speaker was Manuel Rosa of the Governor’s Office of Faith Based Development Services. He explained the basics of grant writing, providing information on applications, deadlines and other requirements.
The Governor's Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services is the first of its kind in New York State and was designed to be a resource for faith-based non-profit organizations who help sustain vulnerable communities by providing a wide range of social services.
The Governor's Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services provides assistance with capacity building, coalition building and community outreach, as well as acting as a liaison between faith-based groups and government agencies to help facilitate grants.
For example, if a church runs a non-profit 501(c)(3) that is separate from the house of worship and has no religious affiliation, it can apply for a grant with the help of the Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services. It introduces them to the Grant Gateway, which offers technical assistance when registering, identifying and applying for state resources. The office also connects faith-based organizations with information on the State’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) program.
However, Rosa noted that the office acts primarily as an information broker and does not give financial or legal advice. Rosa added that creating a successful organization with a mission and a purpose is far more difficult than applying for a grant.
The first step to getting certified as a non-profit is to make sure to file an article of incorporation with the Department of State, describing the organization and naming the chairperson, treasurer and secretary for the board. After that, the organization can register with the Charities Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office, and then they will be eligible to apply for grants.
For more information on the Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services, call (212) 480-4934 or visit their website at www.ny.gov/GoFaithBasedServices