Finding Our Way to Relief

Like many of you in the last week, Independent Sector had to gather our documents and contact our own banking institution to apply for relief funds provided through the CARES Act. We found it to be a cumbersome and unclear process. We heard from many of you with similar tales of unanswered phone calls and unclear websites. In our bank’s application, we were forced to put down an “owner” of our organization, depicting how nonprofits are seen as extensions of the business community, rather than distinct and vital resources that need preferential treatment during this time.

All this led us to write an open letter to the financial industry about prioritizing nonprofits, particularly small organizations and those that serve communities of color and tribal communities. Several institutions have been open to the engagement and are finding collaborative solutions. As we learn more, we will share this progress with you. Your organization can also sign on and support this effort to prioritize nonprofits.

We also want to extend deep gratitude to all of you and the entire sector who showed up in full force last week for our webinar on the CARES Act. (The recording, slides and additional materials are on our website.) We had thousands of people on with us and record-breaking numbers on our website to download our materials. In our effort to be responsive to the community, we have since created an additional FAQ on the CARES Act based on the nearly 700 questions we received during our webinar. You can find that FAQ here. Again, thank you for sharing our materials, using them yourselves, and helping us continue to refine and circle back to you with additional insights and analysis.

We are having another policy webinar this Thursday, April 9 at 2 pm ET to continue to report what is next for our collective COVID-19 relief effort. There is movement toward another relief package on Capitol Hill and Administration officials have also signaled some effort to focus on an infrastructure package.

Additionally, we are pleased to see that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling quick action, as early as this week, to add perhaps another $250 billion into the Small Business Administration Loan Program, which will get more assistance out the door. While it’s another step in the right direction, it is not sufficient, and we look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress to make that point.

And lastly, I want to personally thank many of you who have reached out to offer your expertise during this time and help guide the charitable community through this pandemic. We continue to want to engage with you on content, resources, and anything you think would be valuable to how we serve our communities, especially those most vulnerable and often hit the hardest. Please don’t hesitate to email me with suggestions.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Administration, Civil Society, Congress, COVID-19 Response, IS Staff, Public Policy
Policy Issues: Charitable Giving, Nonprofit Operations, Tax & Fiscal Policy