Interfaith

The Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services

The Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services

Overview

The New York State Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services stands as a beacon of support and resource for faith-based and non-profit organizations across the state. With a mission deeply rooted in Governor Kathy Hochul’s commitment to support and expand these communities, the Office is dedicated to fostering growth, equity, and connectivity.  

At its core, the Office aims to empower Faith and Non-Profit organizations. By providing essential information, facilitating access to state grants, and enhancing organizational capacities, it seeks to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all New Yorkers.  

Key initiatives include:

  • Coalition Building: Through one-on-one engagements, regional stakeholder meetings, and faith-based gatherings, the Office promotes collaboration and unity among diverse groups.
  • Capacity Building: Spearheaded by influential leaders like Reverend Dr. AR Bernard, this initiative focuses on interfaith dialogue and interagency collaboration to offer comprehensive support services, including mental health directories and more.  
  • Grants and Funding: With a strategic allocation of funds, including the Governor Hochul’s Initiative Grant, the Office ensures equitable distribution of resources across various community groups to support their missions and projects.
  • Housing Initiative: This effort seeks to leverage faith-based properties to increase housing opportunities, reflecting Governor Hochul’s commitment to growth and sustainability, while addressing New York’s housing crisis.  
  • Community Outreach and Guide Development: Aiming for local, regional, and statewide impact, the Office develops guides on mental health, grant application processes, housing initiatives, and creating sensory-friendly spaces, tailored specifically for the faith community.


The Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services is more than just a resource – it is a partner in progress, dedicated to building stronger communities through faith, collaboration, and innovation.

Read Press Release

Interfaith Council

The mission of the Interfaith Council is to empower houses of worship to fulfill their potential as pivotal centers for moral guidance and social support, enhancing their ability to serve the most vulnerable.

Executive Committee members are:

Internal Chair: NYS Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez

Robert J. Rodriguez Headshot
Robert J. Rodriguez is currently serving as the Secretary of State. He was nominated by Governor Kathy Hochul to serve as New York’s 68th Secretary of State. Mr. Rodriguez is a uniquely accomplished leader and former legislator, with civic and legislative successes that have been focused strategically on investing in and developing public-good infrastructure projects, creating good-paying jobs and addressing financial disparities for historically underrepresented minorities and low-income communities.
 

President: Reverend A.R. Bernard 

Rev. A.R. Bernard

A.R. Bernard is one of the most influential religious leaders, and transformative visionaries in the United States. He is the Founding Senior Pastor of Christian Cultural Center (CCC) in Brooklyn, NY, with a membership of more than 37,000, and campuses in Long Island, and Orlando, Florida as well as a virtual campus that reaches thousands across the country and around the world. Bernard enjoyed a successful 10-year career in Finance before he and his wife, Karen, planted a small storefront church in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, in 1978. Next year Bernard will begin construction on a $1.2B development in East New York Brooklyn of which he is a 50% partner, bringing much needed low and middle-income affordable housing, retail, commercial, medical and mental health services, 24-hour Childcare and a Trade School for electrical, hvac, plumbing and carpentry certification.  A lifelong social reformist, Bernard often collaborates with national and global faith leaders building solid partnerships that advocate for religious freedom and social justice. Bernard previously served as the president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York and is currently the president of the New York State Interfaith Council.

Members (listed alphabetically):

Jennifer Jones Austin

Rabbi Deborah Bravo

Reverend Kia Brooks

Reverend Dr. Malcolm J. Byrd

Reverend John Carter

Reverend Dr. Johnnie Green

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum

Maury Litwack

Pastor Darius Pridgen

Reverend Dr. Franklyn Richardson

Bishop Raymond Rivera

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Imam Mansoor Rafiq Umar

Pastor Carl Washington, Jr.

Bishop Frank White

Staff Members

Caura N. Washington - Director of the Office of Faith and Nonprofit Development Services

Caura Washington

Caura N. Washington is currently serving as the Director of the Office of Faith and Nonprofit Development Services. She was appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul to serve as the director for the reinvigorated office. Pastor Caura Washington has devoted her ministerial and professional careers to ensuring that every opportunity is an opportunity to make a lasting and equitable difference in the lives of all she encounters.  She is dedicated to working with faith leaders and nonprofit organizations across the state to give voice to the ever-evolving needs of every community. 

Newsletters

A monthly E-Newsletter will be available here.

Guidebooks for Faith Leaders and Communities

Grant Application Assistance

New York Statewide Financial System

You can easily find, apply for, and manage New York State grants, view payments and update profile information using the SFS Vendor Portal. After logging into the system, click the SFS Coach icon on the Vendor Portal homepage to learn how to:

  • Submit electronic invoices (eInvoices).
  • Receive electronic payments.
  • Review payments, purchase orders, and invoices.
  • Maintain vendor information.
  • Apply for or renew your prequalification status.
  • Search for and respond to grant opportunities.
  • Approve grant contracts.
  • Submit progress reports.
  • Submit claims.

If you have any questions when using SFS, you may contact the SFS Help Desk for assistance:

[email protected] | 518-457-7717 | 855-233-8363 toll-free

Resources

NYS Office for New Americans

Regional Economic Development Councils

Regional Economic Development Councils - regionalcouncils.ny.gov - The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.
 

New York State Government:

New York State Department of State (Secretary of State's Office) - www.dos.ny.gov - Organizations that want to incorporate must submit a Certificate of Incorporation to the Department of State.

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance - www.tax.ny.gov - Organizations seeking sales tax exemption need to contact the Department of Taxation and Finance.

New York State Office of Attorney General - www.charitiesnys.com/home.html - Organizations seeking to register need to contact the Office of Attorney General Charities Bureau.

New York State Racing and Wagering Boardwww.gaming.ny.gov - Charities conducting raffles must apply for authority to do so.

Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Programswww.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/hate-crimes.cfm
 

New York State is committed to ensuring the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers and as such has continued support of the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program. This program is designed to boost safety and security at New York's nonprofit organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or mission. In support of this effort, $45 million in grant funding is being made available on a statewide basis and will be administered by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) for the $25 million SFY2019/2020 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program (SCAHC Program) for nonpublic nonprofit schools, nonprofit day care centers, nonprofit community centers, nonprofit cultural museums and nonprofit residential camps and $20 million for the SFY2019/2020 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program for Nonpublic Schools and Day Camps (SCAHC for Nonpublic Schools and Day Camps) for nonpublic nonprofit schools and nonprofit day camps.

NYS Grants Management’s Instructions on Streamlined Prequalification for the Security Grant - https://grantsmanagement.ny.gov/get-prequalified
 

Federal Government:

Internal Revenue Service - www.irs.gov - Provides forms and instructions assisting not-for-profits in completing annual financial filings with the IRS.

Phone: (877) 829-5500 - for questions about tax-exemption and tax-exempt organizations.
 

Legal Assistance:

Lawyers Alliance of New York (LANY) -www.lany.org - is a not-for-profit corporation whose staff attorneys and volunteer lawyers provide legal services to nonprofit organizations. It provides guidance in drafting by-laws, applying for tax-exempt status, and other aspects of nonprofit governance.

Legal Aid Society Community Development Project Legal Aid Society Community Development Project www.legalaidnyc.org/programs-projects-units/community-development-project - provides support to low-income not-for-profit organizations.


Watchdog Organizations:

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - www.bbb.org
The BBB publishes standards for not-for-profit organizations that are used in its evaluations of charities. The standards include governance, financial accounting, program efficiency and public disclosure. It also provides guidelines for standards implementation.

Charity Navigator - www.charitynavigator.org - rates organizations that solicit the public and provides information to potential donors.

Economic Research Institute (ERI) - www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com - posts Internal Revenue Service reports of charitable organizations.

GuideStar - www.guidestar.org - is a database that posts financial reports and other information on over 850,000 tax-exempt U.S. nonprofit organizations.
 

Other Sources:

Alliance for Nonprofit Management - www.allianceonline.org - is a professional association, and its mission is to improve the management and governance of nonprofits.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) - www.aicpa.org - has information on accounting standards and procedures.

BoardStrong - www.boardstrong.org – helps strengthen the governing and management of nonprofit boards by bringing qualified leadership into boards. Its website is a resource designed to help potential board members, and nonprofit boards needing leadership find each other.

CharitySTRONG - www.charitystrong.org - assists nonprofit organizations in achieving standards of board leadership, governance and oversight. charitySTRONG encourages nonprofit board service, and educates nonprofit boards on their responsibilities.

Council on Foundations -www.cof.org - is a membership organization of more than 2,000 grant making foundations worldwide. It provides leadership expertise, legal services and networking opportunities.

Foundation Center - www.foundationcenter.org - helps strengthen the nonprofit sector by disseminating philanthropy knowledge. It also conducts and facilitates research, provides education and training on grant seeking.

Independent Sector (IS) - www.independentsector.org - is a national coalition of nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 corporations with commitments to community involvement.

National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) - www.nasconet.org - Members are employees of state agencies that help regulate not-for-profit organizations and their fund raisers. Their site provides information about the registration and reporting requirements.

New York Council of NonProfits (NYCON) - www.nycon.org - is a statewide association of over 3,100 charities. Its services include group purchasing and insurance options, governance, and management training and technical assistance.

Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC) - www.npccny.org - is a nonprofit membership corporation, and its goal is to protect the city's nonprofit sector by offering management services. It monitors the City, the State and Federal government actions and promotes the needs of nonprofits. It holds workshops and roundtables on managerial and organizational issues.

The Urban Institute - www.urban.org - is a nonprofit nonpartisan policy research established to examine the social, economic, and governance problems. It maintains extensive databases of information on the not-for-profit sector.

Unified Registration Statement - www.multistatefiling.org - contains information concerning the registration and reporting requirements of states.