An NCA Policy Brief

Diverse funding is essential to the long-term sustainability of the CAC movement, including state funding support. States should have an interest in adequately funding CACs. Here’s how CACs can build their knowledge of state funding and make the case to legislators.

CAC Funding by Category

The 3 Types of State Funding

  1. General Revenue: Typically collected in the form of taxes on things such as consumer sales, personal income, property and business. It is subject to appropriation by the legislature and can be used for any lawful purpose.  It is the portion of state revenue over which appropriators have the most discretion and can be added, or eliminated with the stroke of a pen.
  2. Special Revenue: Consists of funds generated from agency collections for goods and services provided to the public or other agencies. It may include fines, or fees for permits and licenses. It is typically dedicated in law for a specific purpose, usually related in some way to the activity for which it was collected. It requires the adoption of legislation to establish the fund, and detail the distribution. Special Revenue funds tend to be fairly stable, though growth is usually slow.
  3. Federal Funds with State Discretion: There are a number of federal grants made to states that have the potential to flow to CACs. Though technically federal dollars, states may have wide latitude and complete discretion over their distribution.  Examples include funds from the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
State 33.8% Federal 19.5% Local 14.4% Individual Donations 6.9% Corporations 2.1% Foundations 7.5% Fees for Service 1.7% Produce Sales 0.2% Billing Insurance 2.8% Special Events 7.0% Other 4%

State support accounts for a third of all CAC funding.


Which states’ CACs are supported through state general or special revenue?
Map of CACs supported by State General or Special Revenue vs. unsupported states

A Strategic Approach to Secure State Funding Support

Chapter organizations are the critical link for supporting CACs in securing state funding support. By effectively organizing the advocacy efforts of their members to develop relationships with and educate policymakers, state Chapters are well positioned to pursue financial support from state government. Here are three recommendations to get your started on your state advocacy work.


#1 It is recommended that Chapters and CACs first focus on securing federal funds over which the state has discretion. The funds are already in place and are for purposes consistent with our efforts. Also, because they rarely require legislative involvement, they can be pursued outside of the legislative session. Our research shows that the number one indicator of success in this area is a good relationship between CACs and the agency administering the funds. Chapters should work to establish and foster these relationships.
#2 To secure General Revenue funding, Chapters should focus their efforts on key members of the legislature responsible for the appropriation of funds. Chapters should draw upon their membership who provide services in these members’ districts to educate members about CACs and to develop relationships that build support for our cause.


#3 Securing a source of Special Revenue is a more involved process because it requires the adoption of legislation. Special Revenue is the best option when budgetary constraints make securing General Revenue difficult. An NCA survey of Chapters found that at least 12 states have a Special Revenue stream in place.


Special Revenue Examples

Colorado, Oregon and Washington impose a fine or surcharge on perpetrators of crimes against children which generates anywhere from $300,000 in CO to $5 million in OR for CACs/MDTs annually.

Arkansas imposes an additional $0.01 tax on alcohol sales, a portion of which, over $1.5 million annually, is dedicated for CACs.

Pennsylvania recently adopted legislation imposing an additional $10 fee for duplicate birth certificates. It is expected to generate $2 million annually for CACs.

Tips & Tricks

  • Get to know your legislators and make sure they know you.  Invite them to tour a CAC in their district.
  • Learn the appropriations process in your state.  And, learn who the appropriators are.
  • Take every opportunity to educate policy makers about CACs.  Never assume that they know who we are or what we do (even if they are a champion of CACs).
  • Develop relationships with legislative staff.

Next Steps

Once established, state government funds tend to be secure and stable with opportunity for growth. Strong state support helps leverage additional dollars from other sources. States have an obligation to investigate crimes against children and studies show the CAC/MDT model to be the most efficient and cost effective way to do so. States should have an interest in ensuring that every child victim and family has access to a CAC.

To develop a customized strategic plan for the pursuit of state funding support, State Chapter can contact the NCA Government Affairs Department. Email Will Laird at to start your plan now.

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