#Relief4Charities Week of Action

Independent Sector

A coalition of more than 30 national nonprofit organizations are coming together for a week of action July 13-17, 2020 to urge Congress to support policy proposals in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.

As a coalition of nonprofit organizations, we appreciate bipartisan efforts thus far that have recognized both that the American people rely extensively on nonprofits for important services and supports and that nonprofits play a significant role in our nation’s economy as the third largest employer. These programs have been a lifeline for many nonprofits during this difficult time and it is clear that every dollar granted, donated, or earned has been leveraged immediately to address clear and present challenges. However, nonprofits – like the people we serve throughout the country – still face significant challenges. As we continue to provide relief and begin the process of reopening, these challenges will only grow.

During #Relief4Charities Week of Action, we are asking policy makers to address four specific issues to ensure we can continue to provide front-line services to those in need and are able to help our communities recover. The following key areas have garnered widespread bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and will be the focus of four Congressional briefings organized during the Week of Action.

In addition to getting more information about each of our 4 main issues below, nonprofits leaders can take action in three ways:

  1. Share this letter signed by nearly 4,000 nonprofits in support of this effort
  2. Encourage policymakers to support the asks below through your own advocacy and policy efforts
  3. Increase awareness throughout your networks using #Relief4Charities on social media

Week of Action Activities

Monday, July 13 – Government Funding for Mid-Size and Large Nonprofits

Issue: Provide low-cost loans to mid-size and larger nonprofits which have not been able to access government funding. Nonprofits with 500 or more employees are currently completely shut out of the two most important sources of COVID-19 financial support: the PPP and the Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program (“MSLP”). The recently proposed “nonprofit” MSLP contains numerous financial restrictions and lacks the forgivable feature of PPP that make it unattractive to most organizations that are targeted for the support.

Advocacy Asks:

  1. Authorize and require the Federal Reserve to quickly finalize a nonprofit lending facility under MSLP that is tailored to accommodate mid-size nonprofits including language similar to H.R. 6800 that offers a loan forgiveness option.
  2. Extend eligibility of PPP to all nonprofits of all sizes similar to H.R. 6800 and lift the loan cap to appropriately reflect the operational needs of these nonprofits.

Congressional Briefing: Monday, July 13 at 2:00-2:45 pm ET | Mission Critical – Relief Required to Ensure Large and Mid-Size Nonprofits Support Communities | Organized by Independent Sector and American Heart Association:
Contact: Ana Montanez, anam@independentsector.org
Speakers:

  • Daniel J. Cardinali, President and CEO, Independent Sector (moderator)
  • Bertram L. Scott, Chairman of the Board, American Heart Association
  • Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities 
  • Adam Putnam, CEO, Ducks Unlimited

Take Action on Government Funding for Mid-Size and Large Nonprofits


Tuesday, July 14 – Charitable Giving Incentives

Issue: Strengthen charitable giving incentives to encourage all Americans to help their communities during these challenging times through charitable donations. Donations are especially needed today as nonprofits respond to the current health and economic crisis and will be critical in the future as nonprofits will play an essential role in recovery efforts when the pandemic ends.

Advocacy Asks:

  1. Expand the above-the-line or universal charitable deduction in the CARES Act by enacting the provisions in S. 4032/H.R. 7324 increasing the amount to 1/3 of the standard deduction.
  2. Extend this and the giving incentives enacted in the CARES Act through 2021.

Congressional Briefing: Tuesday, July 14 at 2:00-2:45 pm ET | The Charitable Giving Crisis: How Tax Policy Can Rescue Private Giving to Respond to COVID | Organized by United Way Worldwide
Contact: Steve Taylor, Steve.Taylor@uww.unitedway.org
Speakers:

  • Brian Flahaven, Chair, Charitable Giving Coalition (moderator)
  • Dr. Una Osili, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
  • Leon Negen, President/CEO, Hope Ministries in Des Moines

Take Action on Expanding Charitable Giving Incentives


Wednesday, July 15 – Self-Insured Nonprofits and Unemployment Insurance 

Issue: Provide full unemployment benefit reimbursement to nonprofits that self-insure these benefits. Federal and state laws give nonprofits the option of operating as self-insured (“reimbursing”) employers that make payments to their state unemployment insurance systems for benefits attributable to them in lieu of advance contributions. Shut-down orders by government officials and program cancellations have forced nonprofits to furlough or layoff staff triggering immediate, catastrophic unemployment payment bills that are due this month in most states. Compounding the problem is a Labor Department ruling that requires nonprofits to pay 100% of unemployment costs upfront. These challenges are exacerbating cash flow difficulties at a time when other employers will likely experience little or no additional costs resulting from COVID-19-related layoffs and are diverting value funds from mission services.

Advocacy Asks:

  1. Increase the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-insured (reimbursing) nonprofits to 100% of costs.
  2. Reverse the Labor Department interpretation requiring upfront payment of the full amount of unemployment benefits to states by enacting S. 4209, which the Senate passed unanimously.

Congressional Briefing: Wednesday, July 15 at 2:00-2:45 pm ET | Unemployment and Self-Insured Nonprofits: Ending the Pressure to Lay Off More Employees
Contact: David Thompson, dthompson@councilofnonprofits.org
Speakers:

  • Michael Weekes, CEO, Providers’ Council (Massachusetts), Moderator
  • Chuck Collins, CEO, YMCA of Metro San Francisco
  • Jonathan Sturgis, CFO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
  • Emily Turner, Executive Director, Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries

Take Action on Unemployment Insurance


Thursday, July 16 – Economic Support & Emergency Funding for Nonprofits

Issue: Continue emergency funding programs that provide nonprofits with financial support enabling them to continue and expand services protecting vulnerable families and frontline responders. Charitable organizations must have additional resources to provide vital services essential to individual and community wellbeing, both during the pandemic and to support recovery and rebuilding efforts. 

Advocacy Asks:

  1. Extend and expand the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) by enabling a second round of funding for all 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
  2. Expand the Employee Retention Tax Credit and enact programs such as the proposed WORK NOW Act  to help nonprofits retain employees, scale service delivery, and create new jobs.
  3. Appropriate additional emergency funding through federal grant programs that enable nonprofits to support vulnerable families, communities, and frontline responders.

Congressional Briefing: Thursday, July 16 at 2:00-3:00 pm ET | Economic Support for Nonprofits: Strengthening the Lifeline for COVID Response & Recovery | Organized by YWCA USA
Contact: Catherine Beane, advocacy@ywca.org.
Speakers:

  • Laura Walling, Goodwill International (moderator)
  • Blair Schleicher Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Morris Habitat for Humanity (New Jersey)
  • Dr. LaRhonda Magras, CEO, YWCA Central Alabama
  • Freddy Williams, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast (Florida)

Take Action on Economic Support & Emergency Funding for Nonprofits


#Relief4Charities Week of Action is a joint effort of the following nonprofit organizations and coalitions: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, American Alliance of Museums, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Americans for the Arts, Association of Art Museum Directors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Catholic Charities USA, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Ducks Unlimited, Faith & Giving Coalition, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Goodwill Industries International, Inc., Habitat for Humanity International, Independent Sector, Jewish Federations of North America, Leadership 18, League of American Orchestras, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lutheran Services in America, March of Dimes, Mental Health America, National Council of Nonprofits, The Arc of the United States, The Nonprofit Alliance, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union), United Philanthropy Forum, United Way Worldwide, Welcoming America, YMCA of the USA, and YWCA USA.

Collectively, the nation’s 1.3 million nonprofits employ 12.3 million workers, which is over 10 percent of the private workforce. Nonprofits are the third-largest industry, employing more people than the manufacturing or construction industries.

Global Topics: Congress, COVID-19 Public Policy, COVID-19 Response, IS Member, IS Staff, Public Policy
Resource Types: Fact Sheet, Toolkit