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Policy Guidance and Regulations for the Center

On January 29, 2001, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13199, formally establishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. President Bush later issued Executive Order 13280, which created the USDA Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives on December 12, 2002.

On February 5, 2009, President Obama amended Executive Order 13199. This amendment changed the name of the White House office to the "White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships."

Below, you can find these and other relevant executive orders, amendments, and USDA rules.

Guidance on Nondiscrimination in Matters Pertaining to Faith-Based Organizations (PDF, 819 KB)
(August 2, 2016) Information and Materials for Federal Employees, Intermediary Entities, and Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations Receiving USDA Financial Assistance

Notice of Beneficiary Rights (Sample) (PDF, 133 KB)
(August 2, 2016) Because this program is supported in whole or in part by direct financial assistance from the Federal Government, we are required to let you know that-

  • We may not discriminate against you on the basis of religion or religious believe, your refusal to hold a religious believe, or your refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice;
  • We many not require you to attend or participate in any explicitly religious activities that are offered by us, and any participation by you in these activities must be purely voluntary;
  • We must separate in time or location any privately funded explicitly religious activities form activities supported with direct Federal financial assistance under this program;
  • If you object to the religious character of our organization, we must make reasonable efforts to identify and refer you to an alternative provider to which you have no objection; however, we cannot guarantee that in every instance, an alternative provider will be available; and
  • You may report violations of these protections including any denials of services or benefits, by contacting or filing a written complaint.

Final Rule: Implementation of Executive Order 13279, as amended by Executive Order 13559
(April 4, 2016) Federal Agency Final Regulations Implementing Executive Order 13559: Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships With Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations

News Release No. 0081.16
(March 31, 2016) USDA Issues Final Rule Extending New Religious Liberty Protections to Beneficiaries of Federally-Funded Programs

Executive Order 13559
(November 17, 2010) Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations

Executive Order 13498
(February 5, 2009) Amendments to Executive Order 13199 and Establishment of the President’s Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Federal Register Vol. 69, No. 131, Rules and Regulations, 7 CFR Part 16 (PDF, 174KB)
(July 9, 2004) Equal Opportunity for Religious Organizations – This final rule implements executive branch policy that, within the framework of constitutional church-state guidelines, religiously affiliated (or “faith-based”) organizations should be able to compete on an equal footing with other organizations for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance. The final rule revises USDA regulations to remove barriers to the participation of faith-based organizations in USDA programs and to ensure that these programs are implemented in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Constitution, including the religion clauses of the first amendment.

Executive Order 13280
(December 12, 2002) Responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development with Respect to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Executive Order 13279
(December 12, 2002) Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-Based and Community Organizations

Executive Order 13199
(January 29, 2001) Established the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives