Currently, Congress is deliberating what provisions will be included in the next, long-awaited COVID-19 emergency relief package. Independent Sector (IS) already is advocating for the next bill to include provisions that directly support nonprofit needs. Now, IS and the Nonprofit Infrastructure Investment Advocacy Group (NIIAG) call on legislators to also provide emergency support for community and civic infrastructure that nonprofits rely upon to fulfill our missions. The next package must include:
- The child care system is on the verge of collapse due to COVID-19. Congress must appropriate $50 billion to support child care to allow providers to safely reopen and operate. Without this emergency stabilization funding, many nonprofit employees will not be able to return to work full-time even once infection rates begin to decline.
- Distance learning, telemedicine, and spiritual services require accessible and reliable internet services. While many nonprofits are able to convert to virtual operations, the persistent digital divide prevents them from fully serving their communities. Congress must invest $15 billion to support broadband internet access: $12 billion to close the homework, $3 billion for emergency home connectivity, $200 million for telemedicine grants, and $24 million for broadband mapping.
- As the season of giving launches, nonprofits need a fully-functioning postal service to support the sector’s direct mail campaigns. Congress must appropriate $15 billion in emergency funding to stabilize the postal service to prevent increased rates for mailers and consumers and to ensure that nonprofits can secure funding to meet exponentially greater need in 2020.
- The pandemic delayed many aspects of implementing the 2020 Census. As a result, Congress must extend key deadlines for the 2020 Census to ensure a fair and complete count. Such extensions include the statutory deadlines to report apportionment and redistricting data to allow the U.S. Census Bureau the additional time necessary for data processing and quality checks.
A healthy nation requires a healthy civil society and policies that allow nonprofits to serve their communities’ needs. Please use your voice as a nonprofit employee by telling your legislators why these issues are important to your nonprofit, your community, and the economy. Mobilize your networks in support of these critical infrastructures using our NIIAG advocacy toolkit.