Independent Sector Statement on Passage of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill addresses many nonprofit concerns, but more work is needed to support communities nationwide

(WASHINGTON, March 10, 2021) – Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector, issues this statement following final approval in Congress of the American Rescue Plan and its impact on nonprofit organizations:

“The American Rescue Plan contains important and hard-fought victories for the nonprofit sector and the people we serve during COVID-19 and these challenging economic times, but it still leaves behind too many organizations and communities in need. By expanding access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), increasing the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement rate for some nonprofits, and delivering funding to state, tribal, and local governments, this legislation provides critical relief for charities in a time of dire need.

Independent Sector applauds the American Rescue Plan’s significant investments in civic and community infrastructure, including broadband internet, child care, arts and cultural programs, national service, energy assistance, and transit systems. These funds will contribute to strengthening civic bonds across the country, putting people back to work, rebuilding our communities, and providing the critical resources nonprofits need. Independent Sector was proud to join 25 other organizations from the Nonprofit Infrastructure Investment Advocacy Group (NIIAG) in supporting these priorities, and we are gratified to see them move to the president’s desk for his approval with the rest of this legislation.

However, it is alarming to see so many key needs for the health of the nonprofit sector left out of this legislation. Without dedicated nonprofit PPP funding or an extension of the March 31 PPP expiration deadline, this bill could amount to nothing more than a cruel joke for organizations finally gaining access. It also fails to fully meet nonprofits’ calls for improved unemployment insurance reimbursement and does nothing to bolster charitable giving, which were a critical lifeline in 2020 for so many charities and their communities.

We appreciate the successes contained in this legislation, as well as the tremendous amount of work that went into it from supportive legislators and dedicated staff alike. We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to address these shortcomings in future legislation, so that the nonprofit sector can continue our vital work of helping all people thrive.”


Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers at nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs working to ensure all people in the United States thrive.

Media Contact:

Bradley Wong

Types: Press Release
TAGS: American Rescue Plan, COVID-19, Daniel J. Cardinali, Independent Sector, nonprofit
Global Topics: Congress, COVID-19 Public Policy, COVID-19 Response, Infrastructure, NIIAG, Public Policy
Policy Issues: Charitable Deduction, Charitable Giving, Civil Society Infrastructure