Effective January 16, 2024
Nonprofit organizations must Prequalify to do business with New York State agencies before they can compete for State grants. The process allows nonprofits to address questions and concerns prior to entering a competitive bid process. Nonprofits are strongly encouraged to begin the Prequalification process as soon as possible.
To become prequalified, a nonprofit must first register with Statewide Financial System (SFS). Once registered, nonprofits complete an online Prequalification application. This includes answering basic questions regarding the organization and uploading key organizational documents.
Disclaimer: New York State reserves 5-10 business days from the receipt of complete Prequalification applications to conduct its review. If supplementary information or updates are required, review times will be longer. Due to the length of time this process could take to complete, it is advised that nonprofits Prequalify as soon as possible. Failure to successfully complete the Prequalification process early enough may result in a grant application being disqualified.
Nonprofits must receive approved prequalification status prior to grant application and execution of contracts. Grant proposals from nonprofits that are not Prequalified in SFS at the application due date and time will not be evaluated. Such proposals will be disqualified from further consideration.
Required Questions and Documents
Required questions are used to assess the nonprofit's organizational capacity, organizational compliance, and organizational integrity.
Documents that must be uploaded include:
- Certificate of Incorporation or equivalent document
- DBA Certificate (if applicable)
- IRS 501(c) determination letter
- IRS 990
- Audit/Reviews and Findings
- CHAR500 or CHAR410
- Board of Directors Profile
- Senior Leadership Resumes
- Corporate Bylaws
- Organization Chart
A variety of resources are available to assist with Prequalification. A complete overview of the policy, questions, and required documents can be found in the Grantee Prequalification Manual located below. Further useful documentation can also be accessed below.
A live, virtual training session on how to use the Statewide Financial System (SFS) to perform prequalification was held in December 2023. This training session was recorded, and is available in SFS Coach for viewing on demand. SFS Coach can be accessed by logging into SFS. If you are not able to log in, please utilize the instructions listed in the "How to Prepare" section to gain access.
Once Prequalified, it is the responsibility of nonprofits to maintain Prequalification.
As indicated in the Grantee Prequalification Manual, three of a nonprofit’s essential financial documents - the IRS990, Financial Statement and Charities Bureau filing - expire on an annual basis. A nonprofit must upload current versions of these documents and submit an updated prequalification application for review and approval each year to maintain prequalification. Nonprofits are provided a full 10.5 months from the end of their fiscal year to provide a current IRS990 or Financial Statement without the interim requirement of uploading extension requests.
There are no prequalification exemptions under the January 16, 2024 prequalification policy. However, if you are a volunteer fire department applying for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Volunteer Fire Infrastructure & Response Equipment Grant Program opportunity, the previous volunteer fire department exemption process will be honored. Please email our Help Desk and include the name of the grant opportunity you are applying for, the due date, organization name, organization SFS ID (if applicable), and contact name and phone number.