COVID-19 and Help for Nonprofits

Hey Nonprofit Warriors, I know you’re battle-weary, but help is on the way. You are likely among the many who have been advocating to ensure that our sector was included in the CARES Act, which was unanimously approved by the Senate on March 25 and awaits a House vote as of this writing. Our voices…

Hey Nonprofit Warriors,

I know you’re battle-weary, but help is on the way. You are likely among the many who have been advocating to ensure that our sector was included in the CARES Act, which was unanimously approved by the Senate on March 25 and awaits a House vote as of this writing. Our voices were heard, and I’m grateful that our legislators recognized the crucial role nonprofits play in maintaining our culture, boosting our economy, and providing a safety net for the most vulnerable.

A broad but reassuring overview is that the bill’s key emergency assistance provisions for small business, such as forgivable loans and unemployment benefits expansion, also apply to 501c3 nonprofits. Additionally, there are measures to encourage charitable giving, which can certainly aid in our industry’s recovery. Should you have pandemic anxiety-induced insomnia, you’ll want to read the entire bill, or do what I did and Ctrl+F your way through on the keyword “nonprofit.”

We’ve pulled together some resources to help you understand this legislation’s impact for nonprofits, how the pandemic is affecting the sector, and what you as fundraisers can do about it.

Here’s a good summary of the forgivable loans program that was included in a helpful article the Wall Street Journal posted in the wee small hours of March 26.

The deal would allow businesses and nonprofits with up to 500 workers in a single location to apply through qualifying banks for loans backed by the Small Business Administration. The loans would convert into grants that don’t have to be repaid for amounts spent on items such as payroll, rent or utilities, with the grants reduced when workers are laid off. The loans would be capped at $10 million and cover wages up to $100,000 a year.

SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) has curated this excellent overview of resources that will be available to small businesses and nonprofits through government and large companies and organizations. Wonderful to see some big corporations stepping up to do more!

Finally, here are ideas and resources for “fundraising in the time of coronavirus” from the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). A proud shout-out goes to my brilliant fellow board members Donnie Lipscomb, of Lincoln Memorial University, and Katie Little, of Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, who worked hard to compile and distribute the list.

It’s dark and scary right now, I know. Personally and professionally, we all have a lot to deal with. But consider how much training you already have in:

  • Crisis management (often daily)
  • Stretching resources (Elasti-Girl got nothin’ on you)
  • Keeping hope alive (it’s what you do)

You got this, Nonprofit Warrior.

Stay healthy, stay strong. The world is going to need you more than ever.

Leave Comment