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What You Need to Know about Equal Treatment Regulations

Published: April 17, 2012
Applicant Resources
Informational Sheet
faith-based organizations, federal funds, Federal Requirements, religious activities

ANA grantees are subject to the regulations in 45 CFR 92 (state, local, and tribal governments) and 45 CFR 74 (non-governmental), which lay out the uniform administrative requirements for grant awards to governments and non-governmental entities, respectively.  45 CFR 87.1, Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, states that direct federal grants, sub-award funds, or contracts shall not be used to support inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from HHS.  If an organization conducts such activities, the activities must be offered separately, in time or location, from the federally-funded programs or services, and participation must be voluntary for beneficiaries of these programs or services.
Religious organizations are eligible, on the same basis as any other organization, to participate in any HHS program for which they are otherwise eligible.  A faith-based organization receiving HHS funds retains its independence from federal, state, and local governments, and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs.  For example, a faith-based organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular programs or services funded with federal funds without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols.  In addition, a faith-based organization that receives federal funds 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 in accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of HHS-funded activities.