What is the Government Doing to Help Nonprofits?

The recently passed CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) also created a number of resources to support small businesses and nonprofits alike.

Most notable are emergency loans for non-profits with fewer than 500 employees.  Those who qualify will receive up to $10 million to meet payroll and associated costs, facilities costs, and debt service. LOANS ARE FORGIVABLE IF STAFF IS KEPT ON PAYROLL BETWEEN MARCH 1 and JUNE 30 (essentially turning it into a grant).

There are also additional low interest loans to nonprofits large and small available through this program. Beyond loans, your donors can get up to $300 in tax deductions on top of their standard deduction! This is an important point to note in your communication to them for those of you running fundraising campaigns right now.

Since it’s important for all nonprofits to remain agile and adapt to changing regulations and requirements, we’d like to offer some advice on how to handle the organizational and social changes that have happened due to COVID-19. Here are a few tips that we feel can help you navigate this situation a little more smoothly:

1. Communication is always key – even more so now

Keep employees, boards, donors, volunteers, and the public informed of any new services you’re offering or changes to your organization. Everyone understands that some aspects of life and business are up in the air – offering clarity as to how you’re handling those changes can provide security and certainty to people who need it right now.

2. Take care of employees and your organization

It’s important to have an updated sick leave policy, remote work policy, and financial plans in light of what’s happened over the past few months. These are vital in keeping everyone as safe as possible as well as preparing for how you will continue to support your cause. Notify those within your organization of changes or if everything is status quo. 

3. Understand the remote work tools available

Google Hangouts Premium is free for nonprofits through July 1, Microsoft Teams is available free for 6 months, and Dropbox is free for 3 months to nonprofits focused on supporting COVID-19 related causes. These are just a few examples, but with each new day companies are offering their products and services to help keep nonprofits going.

4. Be a voice of civility

Speak out against discrimination and xenophobia that you’re seeing as a response to the spreading coronavirus. Advocate for safe practices when applicable including social distancing, handwashing, and regular disinfecting of high touch-point areas. People look to nonprofits for help in these times as having a good moral compass, so we should all remember to try to set the best example possible to those looking for guidance from organizations they trust.

5. Take care of yourselves and those you serve

Understand the resources available to all individuals dealing with increased anxiety and stress; the CDC has put out a list of resources for those dealing with related mental health issues. We should all promote self-care in a time where people are more nervous than ever and when social interactions are low. With that being said, using video calls when possible can bring a sense of normalcy to workplace interactions.
If there are any policies we didn’t include that you’d like us to share with the greater nonprofit community, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

For more fundraising advice and news, check back for new posts on our nonprofit fundraising blog. If you’d like help with your direct mail fundraising, GivingMail offers nonprofit direct mail solutions. Here are some nonprofit fundraising ideas to get you started.

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