Unifying Our Sector’s Response

It is hard to believe it’s only been about a week since the IS office moved to fully remote. We know for our colleagues in Washington state, this has been a reality for some time, and for others, their lives may appear mostly stable. However, I think we can all agree that whether our social distancing lasts two weeks, two months, or much longer, our organizations, communities, and nation will not be the same after this pandemic.

First, I want to give you an update our collective response on Capitol Hill. As of today at 1 pm ET, we know the following about the most recent stimulus package.

Early this morning, negotiators announced a bipartisan deal in the Senate on a third COVID-19 emergency aid package. While final text had not been officially released as of this writing, Independent Sector has been advocating with our colleagues and allies to improve prior versions by expanding the above-the-line charitable deduction and seeking to strike language that limits nonprofit organizations receiving Medicaid or employing more than 500 people from participating. Press reports this morning indicate that the package will provide $1,200 checks to many Americans, unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs in the crisis, a $500 billion Treasury fund to shore up industries damaged by the virus and more than $300 billion in small business loans.

Independent Sector also believes that voting serves as the cornerstone of a healthy civil society, and that inadequate support for elections at this time could force communities to choose between their health and their civil rights. We are pleased to see $400 million has been allocated toward our elections, but it’s not sufficient.

This relief package is a good start but doesn’t go far enough. We have some wins, but we are going to keep fighting to ensure that the Administration and Congress create additional emergency relief packages that meet the needs of nonprofits and the communities we serve.

To that end, I am joining the White House for a call at 2 pm ET on March 25 to make that point. We will continue to email you the latest developments, but I also encourage you to check our website and follow the IS Twitter account for more regular updates.

Sense Making For the Sector

On Friday, March 20, we held a virtual town hall with more than 500 registrants and have learned a great deal on the areas that are top-of-mind for sector organizations. Leaders told us they need additional resources on organizational development, human resources, public policy, community impact, and communications. We thank our partners at Bridgespan for sharing their wisdom about organizational sustainability during our town hall, which you can view here. We continue this week to bring resources we believe will help your teams navigate our new normal, including:

  • Productivity In Uncertain Times – Wednesday, March 25 at 3:30-4:30 PM – IS and Accenture will share practical tips on how to adapt to changing business needs.
  • Monthly Policy Update – Thursday, March 26 at 2:00-3:00 PM – Independent Sector and Washington Council Ernst & Young will provide the latest in the policy landscape.

I also offer this reminder that in order to provide timely information during this pandemic, we are opening up all of our events and resources to all sector organizations, regardless of membership status with IS.

Thank you for the work you do for your communities and the whole of civil society. We will get through this, but only if we are together.

Types: Blog, Policy Update
Global Topics: Administration, Congress, COVID-19 Response, Public Policy, Voices for Good
Policy Issues: Charitable Deduction, Charitable Giving, Nonprofit Operations, Tax & Fiscal Policy, Volunteer Mileage Reimbursement