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Private Nonprofits May Apply for FEMA Public Assistance Grants

Sunday August 29, 2021 09:48 pm

Private Nonprofits, Including Houses of Worship, May Apply for FEMA Public Assistance Grants

Adapted From

Release Date

Release Number

October 27, 2020

NR 025

Private nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship and other faith-based organizations, may be eligible to apply for federal assistance to help recover from damage suffered from a presidentially declared disaster such as a hurricane.

Public Assistance is a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) program that can provide funding to states, local governments, tribes, and nonprofits to reimburse expenses preparing for an event, or rebuilding and cleaning up afterwards.  The support provided is different for every storm based on the amount of damage and the needs of those involved.  If your organization provides services of a non-critical, essential governmental FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program, you may be able to recoup some of your expenses and the cost of repairs.  Keep good track of all expenditures with receipts, the purpose of the purchase, and where the goods or services were provided to meet a need.  Both preparation and rebuilding may be eligible.

Organizations that may be eligible are:

Those that provide critical services, such as hospitals and other medical treatment facilities; utilities, including water, sewer and electrical systems; private schools that provide elementary or secondary education or institutions of higher education.

  • Those that provide non-critical, essential services, such as senior citizen and community centers, food programs, educational enrichment activities, custodial and day care services, disability residential services, assisted living and low-income housing, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services, performing and community arts centers.
  • Houses of worship owned or operated by a private nonprofit organization. These organizations must have sustained damage from the hurricane and must provide a non-critical, but essential service open to the public. They must provide state or U.S. Internal Revenue Service documentation of tax-exempt status, pre-disaster charter and other documentation.

Houses of worship can learn more about applying for PA from their local or county emergency management agency.  Organizations that provide services of a non-critical, essential governmental nature must apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in order to be considered for PA grants. Grants for some repair or replacement costs may be available to those organizations that SBA loans do not cover. Houses of worship may apply to FEMA’s PA program while they are awaiting response from SBA.

For more information about PA for houses of worship, visit Public Assistance Fact Sheet: Private Nonprofit Houses of Worship .  Program Details:


A FEMA fact sheet is attached for more information.

Related Information

FEMA fact sheet public assistance