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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 22: Foreign Relations
§205.1 Grants and cooperative agreements.
(a) Religious organizations are eligible, on the same basis as any other organization to participate in any USAID program for which they are otherwise eligible. In the selection of service providers, neither USAID nor entities that make and administer sub-awards of USAID funds shall discriminate for or against an organization on the basis of the organization's religious character or affiliation. As used in this section, the term “program” refers to Federally funded USAID grants and cooperative agreements, including sub-grants and sub-agreements. The term also includes grants awarded under contracts that have been awarded by USAID for the purpose of administering grant programs. As used in this section, the term “grantee” includes a recipient of a grant or a signatory to a cooperative agreement, as well as sub-recipients of USAID assistance under grants, cooperative agreements and contracts.
(b) Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from USAID under any USAID program may not engage in inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, as part of the programs or services directly funded with direct financial assistance from USAID. If an organization conducts such activities, the activities must be offered separately, in time or location, from the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from USAID, and participation must be voluntary for beneficiaries of the programs or services funded with such assistance. These restrictions on inherently religious activities do not apply to programs where USAID funds are provided to chaplains to work with inmates in prisons, detention facilities, or community correction centers, or where USAID funds are provided to religious or other organizations for programs in prisons, detention facilities, or community correction centers, in which such organizations assist chaplains in carrying out their duties.
(c) A religious organization that participates in USAID-funded programs or services will retain its independence and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs, provided that it does not use direct financial assistance from USAID to support any inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization. Among other things, a religious organization that receives financial assistance from USAID may use space in its facilities, without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In addition, a religious organization that receives financial assistance from USAID retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents.
(d) USAID funds may not be used for the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of structures to the extent that those structures are used for inherently religious activities. USAID funds may be used for the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of structures only to the extent that those structures are used for conducting eligible activities under this part. Where a structure is used for both eligible and inherently religious activities, USAID funds may not exceed the cost of those portions of the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation that are attributable to eligible activities in accordance with the cost accounting requirements applicable to USAID funds in this part. Sanctuaries, chapels, or other rooms that a USAID-funded religious congregation uses as its principal place of worship, however, are ineligible for USAID-funded improvements. Disposition of real property after the term of the grant, or any change in use of the property during the term of the grant, is subject to government-wide regulations governing real property disposition. (See 22 CFR part 226).
(e) An organization that participates in programs funded by financial assistance from USAID shall not, in providing services, discriminate against a program beneficiary or potential program beneficiary on the basis of religion or religious belief.
(f) No grant document, contract, agreement, covenant, memorandum of understanding, policy, or regulation that is used by USAID shall require only religious organizations to provide assurances that they will not use monies or property for inherently religious activities. Any such restrictions shall apply equally to religious and secular organizations. All organizations that participate in USAID programs, including religious ones, must carry out eligible activities in accordance with all program requirements and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of USAID-funded activities, including those prohibiting the use of direct financial assistance from USAID to engage in inherently religious activities. No grant document, agreement, covenant, memorandum of understanding, policy, or regulation that is used by USAID shall disqualify religious organizations from participating in USAID's programs because such organizations are motivated or influenced by religious faith to provide social services, or because of their religious character or affiliation.
(g) A religious organization's exemption from the Federal prohibition on employment discrimination on the basis of religion, set forth in Sec. 702(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-1, is not forfeited when the organization receives financial assistance from USAID.
(h) Many USAID grant programs require an organization to be a “nonprofit organization” in order to be eligible for funding. Individual solicitations that require organizations to have nonprofit status will specifically so indicate in the eligibility section of a solicitation. Grantees should consult with the appropriate USAID program office to determine the scope of any applicable requirements. In USAID programs in which an applicant must show that it is a nonprofit organization, other than programs which are limited to registered Private and Voluntary Organizations, the applicant may do so by any of the following means:
(1) Proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
(2) A statement from a state taxing body or the state secretary of state certifying that:
(i) The organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the State; and
(ii) No part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any private shareholder or individual;
(3) A certified copy of the applicant's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant; or
(4) Any item described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section if that item applies to a state or national parent organization, together with a statement by the State or parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit affiliate.
(i) The Secretary of State may waive the requirements of this section in whole or in part, on a case-by-case basis, where the Secretary determines that such waiver is necessary to further the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.
[69 FR 61723, Oct. 20, 2004]