Nonprofits Seek Dedicated COVID Funding Stream
Leaders at the nation’s most influential nonprofits are pushing members of Congress to expand aid to the tax-exempt sector in any and all legislation that expands and builds on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A key element is a dedicated funding stream.
“The CARES Act provided some much-needed relief for America’s nonprofits — but it did not go far enough to meet the country’s increasing reliance on nonprofits helping people in local communities,” said Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits.
“While most nonprofits are small businesses, the CARES Act lumped them into loan programs and processes designed for small for-profit businesses, resulting in nonprofits being disadvantaged by old forms and attitudes that too often exclude nonprofits.”
Delaney said that while the CARES Act moved in the right direction by making the charitable giving incentive available to all taxpayers, “the paltry amount of the added incentive (just $300) and the delayed time period (for taxes due in 2021) don’t meet the urgent need to incentivize significant giving now,” he said via a statement.
You can see the letter and the signers here.
The letter urges Congress to:
- Expand nonprofit access to credit by designating funding exclusively for nonprofits within the two principal loan programs established in the CARES Act, and make the following additional improvements: Paycheck Protection Program: Provide incentives to private lenders to prioritize processing of applications of small nonprofits and expand the eligibility for nonprofits to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program Loans under CARES Act Sections 1102 and 1106 by modifying the current 500-employee cap or by other means; and, Mid-Size Business Loan Program: Adjust CARES Act Section 4003(c)(3)(D) to implement a program to support nonprofit employers with between 500 and 10,000 employees, including loan forgiveness and other provisions. The legislation should direct the U.S. Department of the Treasury to have this program operational no later than 15 days after enactment.
- Strengthen charitable giving incentives to encourage all Americans to help their communities through charitable donations during these challenging times. The following modifications would generate immediate results: Applicable to 2019 Tax Filings: Encourage immediate donations by enabling taxpayers to make donations on and after March 13 (date of national emergency declaration) and before July 16 to claim the deductions on their 2019 tax filings (applicable to itemized and above-the-line deductions); and, Above-the-Line Deduction in CARES Act Section 2204:
- Increase the $300/person cap.
- Extend the effective date of the incentive.
- Treat self-funded nonprofits fairly by increasing the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits to 100 percent of costs in CARES Act Section 2103.
- Increase emergency funding by appropriating funds for targeted state formula grants and programs that can provide a rapid infusion of cash to nonprofit organizations that are partnering with state and local governments to protect vulnerable families and frontline responders.
Several of these provisions are incorporated in the bipartisan SOS Act, H.R. 6408.
“We are pleased that Congress included specific areas for stimulus and relief for community-based human services organizations in the CARES Act,” said Susan N. Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. “However, it is clear from what we are hearing from our members that it just doesn’t go far enough. Many of our members who are larger than the 500 employees will see little to no funding due to the SBA loan employee cap.”
“As essential employees working on the frontlines to provide food, shelter and social services to vulnerable families, we recognize that there must be a separate track supporting nonprofits and community-based human services organizations in order to ensure that these organizations continue to do the vital work that keeps families safe, healthy and strong,” according to Dreyfus.
Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, said that in any disaster, it “is those with the least who are impacted the most. These are the families that nonprofit organizations like Habitat serve. Now, more than ever, we need to make sure the nonprofit sector is ready and able to answer the call. By acting on these priorities, Congress will be making a down payment on the long-term economic recovery of the communities they serve.”
This article originally appeared in The Non–Profit Times. You can read more here. To subscribe to the free newsletter of The Non-Profit Times, click here.