Statement on Expanding the Main Street Lending Program to Nonprofits

(WASHINGTON, June 16, 2020) – In response to the Federal Reserve Board’s announcement of a proposed framework to extend the Main Street Lending Program to nonprofit organizations, Independent Sector and the National Council of Nonprofits released the following joint statement:

“We were pleased to see that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s recent statement recognizing that ‘nonprofits are providing vital services across the country.’ Nonprofits are on the frontlines of helping people in communities throughout the country survive this pandemic. Nonprofits are the lifeblood behind our ability to rebuild the economy.

While it is a welcome development to see the Federal Reserve making its Main Street lending program available to some nonprofits, this assistance still falls short of what is most needed by nonprofit organizations – a provision that makes these loans forgivable.

Charitable nonprofits of all sizes and focus areas are struggling to maintain mission-critical operations despite enormous economic challenges. Data released by Independent Sector June 15 shows that nonprofits with between 500 to 5,000 employees, key to scaling relief efforts across the nation, have been severely impacted by this health and economic crisis. Smaller nonprofits throughout the country are taking an even harder hit. Further, data from Johns Hopkins University estimate that 1.6 million nonprofit jobs have been lost in the last three months, which translates to 13 percent of jobs in the nation’s third largest industry. It is clear that without appropriate federal assistance, many organizations on which Americans rely are not likely to survive.

The nonprofit community has made clear since passage of the CARES Act that a broad package of relief is necessary; loan forgiveness has been and remains central to the sustainability of many of our frontline, community-based organizations that have no capacity for loan and interest repayment. America cannot afford to leave out such a vital part of the nonprofit community. The fact is that Congress must recognize the vital services nonprofits provide to communities and the economy and include a solution to this problem when it takes up the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.”


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

 The National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits) is the nation’s leading resource and advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. Through our powerful network of state associations and 25,000-plus members—the nation’s largest network of nonprofits—we serve as a central coordinator and mobilizer to help nonprofits achieve greater collective impact in local communities across the country. We identify emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve. Learn more at

Contact: Independent Sector: Kristina Gawrgy Campbell,; 202-467-6144; National Council of Nonprofits: Rick Cohen,, (202) 962-0322 x118

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: Administration, Civil Society, Congress, COVID-19 Public Policy, COVID-19 Response, Public Policy
Policy Issues: Charitable Deduction, Charitable Giving, Federal Budget & Fiscal Policy, Nonprofit Operations, Tax & Fiscal Policy