Updated: April 15, 2020
As I celebrated Passover and Easter in my own home over the weekend, I thought of how life altering this year has already been. In April, three major faiths in the United States observe their most holy holidays, and whether it has been leaning on those faiths or on our sense of familiar or community bonds, we will need solidarity with one another to heal and build resilience in this time. And at the heart of that resilience will be institutions and leaders in this sector, pulling us all together in that journey.
It is with this framing in mind that Independent Sector continues to do our work to serve all of you. As I’ve continued to have video conferences and phone calls with colleagues from across the sector, I am learning more about the difficult decisions we all have to make each day. In many ways, there is a paradox within our sector – many institutions have had to make difficult decisions like furloughing staff, while also stepping up in heroic and innovative ways to serve.
One example of an organization quickly pivoting in this time is GivingTuesday, which through their vast global network is trying to support organizations and individuals in giving back their treasure, talent, and voices during GivingTuesdayNow on May 5. We were grateful for share strategies and tactics from GivingTuesday’s leaders on a webinar this week. You can review the webinar here. Another thing we’re observing is that many nonprofit organizations that do not typically provide emergency hardship assistance to those in need are looking for ways to assist individuals and families during the pandemic. Our partner, Perlman & Perlman, a New York-based law firm, is providing an overview on how to do just that in a webinar on Wednesday, April 15 at 2 pm ET.
While we are keeping an eye out for trends and bringing people together to make sense of our new reality, we also are pursuing a growing number of ways to engage both government and business in our advocacy work. Most immediately, we have our Public Policy Committee meeting today, bringing together policy and government relations professionals from nonprofits and foundations across the country to advise our organization and sector on next steps. On Capitol Hill, the latest is that efforts to add $250 billion to the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs have stalled, while we continue to work with congressional leaders and staff to ensure the passage of sound policy solutions to COVID-19.
In addition to IS joining coalition efforts, we are leading the charitable community in direct engagement, such as the case laid out in our letter to the banking industry that garnered more than 440 signatures from other organizations. This week, we are asking nonprofits and foundations to stand with us in our call to the SBA to release their data on the 7(a) loans. In under 24 hours, we already have nearly 250 organizations signed on and we invite you to join them. Information is constantly evolving, so please be sure to register for our policy town hall Thursday, April 16 at 2 pm ET for the latest updates on what is happening in Washington and next steps in our collective advocacy. We are especially excited that we will be joined by Renee Bender, Senate Small Business Committee Senior Professional Staff. (Thursday’s webinar will be off-the-record for press purposes.)
As always, thank you for your partnership with us. Please continue to reach out to me directly if there is anything Independent Sector can do for you or the sector in our collective response and recovery.