(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – Sitting down to help Junior fill out that scholarship application? Not so fast! Unless you’ve registered, paid a fee and posted a $100,000 bond to the State of Nevada, you may be committing a Class B felony. If a bill proposed by Senator Joe Hardy becomes law, that is.
The bill, SB99, would require virtually everyone in Nevada who helps anyone else obtain money from any government or private source to register as a “grant writing service.” In addition to filing the paperwork, the registration procedure requires a $25 fee and the deposit of a $100,000 security with the state.
This bill will unnecessarily raise costs to people and organizations who can little afford it. A bond of this size can cost several thousand dollars a year. The alternative methods of obtaining an approved security require the grant writer to, in effect, set aside $100,000 that may not be used for any other purpose. This is going to raise the price of applying for grants for non-profit, charitable organizations and may force some grant writers out of the business altogether.
The American Cancer Society, Aid for AIDS of Southern Nevada, Ronald McDonald House, the Arthritis Foundation and many other non-profit charitable organizations in Nevada rely on grants from government and private entities for a major source of their funding. If this bill passes it is going to cost these groups more to obtain this funding, which will divert money away from their charitable work.
In addition, there are many people who operate as grant writers on a part-time basis, assisting charitable and community organizations for little compensation. This bill will essentially put them out of business. Anyone who accepts anything of value for even helping someone with the grant-writing process will be forced to comply with the requirements in this bill, including the fees and bonding and the document retention and contract obligations it contains. Only those who perform this service as a full-time vocation, with fees to match, will be able to afford to comply with the terms of this bill.
Chances are you won’t be arrested for helping Junior complete his scholarship application, as long as you don’t accept anything of value, like mowing the lawn or washing your car, in return. Nevertheless, SB99 is a bad idea that will do little more than create more government and require more bureaucrats and unnecessarily raise costs for charitable organizations, leaving them with even less money to perform their good works.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)