The Senate Finance Committee’s top two members — Democrat Max Baucus and Republican Charles E. Grassley — teamed up today to introduce legislation that would provide money to help small and medium-sized charities get training and management assistance.
The legislation, introduced as an amendment to a national-service bill now being debated by the Senate, would provide $25-million over five years to a “Nonprofit Capacity Building Program” within the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The amendment would “strengthen small charities around our country, especially where resources are scarce,” Senator Baucus of Montana, who chairs the finance committee, told his colleagues on the Senate floor. He said it would allow groups to get training, for example, in how to manage their finances, raise money, fill out tax forms, work with new technology, or plan long-term budgets.
He said it is especially hard for charities in rural areas to get such training.
Senator Grassley of Iowa, the committee’s senior Republican, co-sponsored the legislation, which has been promoted by nonprofit associations including Independent Sector and the National Council of Nonprofits.
The program would provide the grants to “intermediary” nonprofit groups that have experience offering training to charities. They would be required to raise or provide matching funds from non-federal sources.
The legislation was offered as an amendment to the Serve America Act, S. 277, a bill to expand the country’s national-service programs. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, who is helping to shepherd the Serve America Act through the Senate, praised the amendment and said she would discuss it with two other key sponsors of the national-service bill — Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.