Jonathan Duecker, Pennsylvania director of homeland security, said his office had not yet worked out the details on how groups can apply for grants.
"We haven't created a scheme yet," Duecker said. "It's something new for us, too."
In addition to religious schools and places of worship, grants can go to any tax-exempt group under section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code. That could include museums, cultural centers, social service agencies and relief groups like the Red Cross.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, grants will be made based on:
- Whether threats have been made against a group.
- A pattern of attacks, within or outside the United States, against a group.
- The symbolic value of a cultural or historical institution that would make it a possible terrorist target.
- The role of a nonprofit organization in responding to terrorism.
- Previously conducted threat assessments.
"We really moved to a new thought process, a new way of operating, and a new level of security after 9/11," said Harold S. Goldman, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. As a result of the new grants for nonprofits, "we will be able to make further capital improvements that will help to make our offices and our community even more secure."