skip to content
Link to United States Department of Justice Home Page
United States Department of Justice Seal of the United States Department of Justice displayed against a background image of the U.S. flag
Faith-based & Community Initiatives

Topics of Interest

Federal Funding Dos & Doníts

It is critical that faith-based organizations receiving federal funds, and those partnering with the faith community for a federal program, understand the constitutional prohibition on use of federal funds for religious activities, as well as the constitutional protection for the religious identity of faith-based organizations. This PowerPoint presentation focuses on those constitutional issues and identifies some of the basic principles which must be followed.

A few of the questions addressed in the PowerPoint:

  • What steps should grant recipients take to keep their federally funded activities separate from privately funded religious activities?
  • Are faith-based organizations allowed to use Federal funds to pay staff salaries?
  • Can Federal funds be used to buy religious materials?

If your organization is a faith-based organization that makes hiring decisions on the basis of religious belief, it may be entitled, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42†U.S.C.†§†2000bb, to receive federal funds and yet maintain that hiring practice, even if the law creating the funding program contains a general ban on religious discrimination in employment. For the circumstances under which this may occur, and the certifications that may be required by the Department of Justice, please see the “Effect of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Faith-Based Applicants for Grants.” For a fuller discussion of the issue, please see the Memorandum Opinion for the General Counsel, Office of Justice Programs, dated June 29, 2007 .

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Contact Us   |   Accessibility   |   Archive   |   Privacy Policy  |   Legal Policies and Disclaimers
FOIA   |   For DOJ Employees   |   Office of the Inspector General   |   |   No FEAR Act