SCBA Advocacy Grant Program
National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA) is committed to helping state creditors bar associations (SCBA) address proposed state legislative or legal issues related to such areas as creditors rights law, scope of practice and debt collection issues.
NCBA will use the following criteria and procedures to approve or deny a grant request from a SCBA seeking funding in support of state legislative or legal issues that may have an impact on the profession. The amount of each grant will not exceed $5,000 per request.
The NCBA Board shall approve an annual allocation for state advocacy grants for the upcoming fiscal year. The allocations will be listed to the grant line item “SCBA Legislative Support Fund.”
The state legislative or legal issue must have an anticipated significant impact on the practice of creditors rights law and the clients served by creditors rights attorneys. To make this determination, the NCBA will assess the request in the context of the association's purpose and priorities as stated in:
- NCBA by-laws;
- NCBA Board of Directors positions, standards, guidelines, policies, procedures and priorities;
- Current NCBA Strategic Plan;
- Association goals and objectives; and
- Association Government and Regulatory Affairs priorities.
Legislative and legal issues with nationwide impact will be given priority; however, consideration will be given to single-state issues that could, in time, have a broader effect, even if the immediate result might involve only a limited number of NCBA members.
The requesting SCBA must consult and cooperate with NCBA staff, legal counsel and appropriate government affairs committees on the legislative or legal issue for which funds are requested.
Acceptable Uses of Grant Funds
An SCBA shall use grant funds only for efforts related to state legislative or legal issues. Acceptable uses of grant funds may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lobbyist expenses (increased fees over typical annual expenditures or addition of lobbyist(s));
- Attorney expenses, related to representation of the SCBA;
- Consultant expenses (contracted specifically for the issue or legislation);
- Expenses related to a major event or activity; or
- Conduct surveys and research.
The following are prohibited uses of grant funds:
- To offset shortfalls in or otherwise increase an SCBA’s general operating budget;
- Political donations to legislators or other elected officials;
- To supplement the SCBA’s political action committee;
- Donations to any political action committee;
- The use of funds for any other purpose not specifically authorized by NCBA.
Deadline for Submission
SCBAs shall submit requests for grant funding to the NCBA Government Affairs Officer. Grant funds shall be issued from the available funds in the fiscal year budget approved by the NCBA Board of Directors.
Process of Approval
- The president of the SCBA, with proof of authorization for the request by the SCBA’s board of directors or, in the absence of such authorization, with proof of the authorization of one of its Executive Committee members, must forward to the NCBA Government Affairs Officer a written request for grant assistance using the Advocacy Grant Application. The Advocacy Grant Application is available here. The request must include a complete, detailed explanation of the state legislative or legal issue involved, including its anticipated national and/or statewide impact.
- The request must propose a plan and timeframe for addressing the issue.
- The request must explain the SCBA’s current financial status, an operational year-end projection, identification of the SCBA's share of the project costs, and revenues solicited and/or received from other sources.
- Upon receipt by the NCBA Government Affairs Officer of a completed application, the request will be submitted to the NCBA Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee for review.
- The NCBA Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee will make a recommendation to NCBA’s Executive Committee.
- The NCBA Executive Committee shall review each grant recommendation, including the specific dollar amount requested, and approve or deny the request.
- If the application for funds is denied by the NCBA Executive Committee, the SCBA may petition the NCBA Board of Directors for approval. The petition must be made to the NCBA President within 5 business days of the denial from the Executive Committee. The decision by the NCBA Board of Directors is final.
Process of Administration
- The NCBA Government Affairs Office shall notify the president of the requesting SCBA of the approval or denial of its application for grant funding.
- Once a grant request is approved, notice of the approval shall be provided to the NCBA Board of Directors, Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee, Government Affairs Officer, and the president of the requesting SCBA. NCBA Government Affairs staff are responsible for submitting the required paperwork for the transfer of approved funds to the requesting SCBA, and for providing notice to the required parties outlined above.
- The SCBA will ensure that state legal counsel and chapter lobbyists consult with association counsel and staff regarding the management, strategies, and plan of action for the legislative or legal issue.
Process of Reporting
- The SCBA agrees to provide a report to the NCBA Government Affairs Officer, in writing, using the “State Advocacy Grant Reporting Form,” accounting for the expenditures of the grant and the outcome of the state legislative or legal issue. The SCBA must provide the report no later than 120 days after receiving the requested funds.
- The chapter agrees to return any unused grant funds to NCBA at the conclusion of the legislative or legal effort.
- NCBA’s Government Affairs Officer shall submit an annual report to the NCBA Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee that summarizes all requests for funding, amounts funded, rationale for denials, and outcome of activities funded during the previous year.
- A process for review and measurement of effectiveness will be an ongoing part of NCBA’s Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee role in evaluating NCBA’s State Advocacy Grants to SCBA’s program.