Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) introduced legislation last week making the CNMI, along with American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico eligible for the Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant Program.
Sablan’s H.R. 5897, cosponsored by the delegates of the four other U.S. territories, has been referred to the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
The Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant Program is part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. It funds development training for small and mid-sized nonprofits on best practices, financial planning, grant writing, and compliance with applicable tax laws.
“A strong nonprofit sector in the NMI is crucial to meeting many of the public service needs of our community. My bill, H.R. 5897, was cosponsored by all territorial delegates, and if enacted, will help build the capabilities of our local nonprofits,” Sablan said.
The bill amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to make the U.S. territories eligible for nonprofit capacity building grants under that Act.
In other news, the governors of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands have sent a letter urging the federal government to allow the territories to participate in the Race to the Top competitive grant program, according to a report in the Virgin Islands Daily News.
Race to the Top was started as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a way to award education funds based on the unique and successful reforms individual districts implement. It was implemented in 2009 with $4.35 billion to disburse, and since then it has gotten a number of additional appropriations to continue the program.