[UPDATE: May 3, 2020]

In April, a fourth Congressional bill was passed and signed into law to add to the pot of money available to help the nation through COVID-19, which was huge but not nearly enough to cover the enormous need. Legislators are already at work on a fifth bill. The nonprofit community along with sympathetic federal legislators are trying to achieve a dedicated track of funding for our sector.

State governments are also stepping up in a big way, including through regional coalitions to coordinate strategy and achieve greater pooled purchasing power.


[April 1, 2020]

Now, more than at any time in many decades, the government – at all levels – will play a key role in our lives. There are, and will continue to be, different laws and rules as well as conflicting messages. The system of federalism – which allocates authority and power between the federal government and the states – will be tested as never before.

Yet at the same time that the nonprofit sector (along with all other elements in our society) is dealing with restrictions, we will need the government’s financial largesse. The CARES Act, enacted on March 26, 2020, is the largest-ever infusion of money into the economy in United States history. But this $2 trillion stimulus law is “not nearly enough”, and “private giving can’t possibly make up for the huge increases in demand [for nonprofit services] expected.”

Contact FPLG (619) 780.3839

For nonprofits, a key question is: Do you trust your state policymakers to take into account the work of charitable nonprofits? Or, if you don’t, would you like to coach them with a little common sense and facts—otherwise known as advocacy?

— Tim Delaney, NCN (4/7/20) 

As the federal government struggles to execute on time and at scale with the core elements of the CARES stimulus bill, states have to execute their own large-scale responses for unemployed residents and vulnerable, if not already shuttered, businesses. Where do nonprofits fit in governors’ and state legislatures’ calculus of who needs what, and how urgently?

— Jeanne Bell, Steve Dubb, The Nonprofit Quarterly (4/7/20)


GO TO – Federal legislation

UPDATE: The CARES Act and Nonprofits

[March 27, 2020] The third prong of the Congressional response to the COVID-19 pandemic - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 747) - is now before the House of Representatives, having passed the Senate on Wednesday. The House is expected to approve it today with overwhelming support; voting is expected to begin shortly.  It could be signed at the White House and in effect before the end of this weekend. [...]

Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up

Ten days ago, we posted Funders Must Step Up - Right Now! (March 16, 2020).   That same morning, influential blogger Vu Le had posted Funders, this is the rainy day you have been saving up for. Mr. Le has long been a vocal critic of many foundations’ viewing the five percent payout figure in the tax code as a ceiling instead of what it is: a floor.  During that week, as most of us were [...]

Nonprofit Board Meetings in an Emergency

The devastating pandemic has brought sudden and profound challenges for all of us.  In What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation, (March 16, 2020), the experts from BoardSource write:  “As the world responds to the threats of COVID-19, many nonprofits and their boards are wrestling with difficult questions and decisions.”  A rewrite of that sentence may be in order; every nonprofit and its board is flying blind in [...]

The Charitable Sector: COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

America's charities request $60 billion infusion of support to help the most vulnerable March 18, 2020 The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic facing the country is having a profound impact on the economy and has greatly expanded the need for charitable organizations to provide additional services in an unprecedented manner. At the same time, the economic downturn will undoubtedly result in a contraction in contributions and other sources of revenue which are the lifeblood of many charitable [...]

Coronavirus and Nonprofits: Challenges & Resources

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the news media focused on the minutiae of the primary-election horse race. This week, Americans have been forced to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the nonprofit sector, the emergency becomes a double-barreled crisis: we are both victims and saviors. This is not an unfamiliar conundrum; there are frequent natural disasters that devastate one area or another. This nation’s charitable organizations - and, in particular, the social [...]

Funders Must Step Up – Right Now!

“Funders,” writes nonprofit blogger Vu Le, “this is the rainy day you have been saving up for.”  Recently, we wrote about Mr. Le’s earlier plea for America’s foundations to step up their payouts beyond the “five percent rule” in the federal tax code. In an article last summer, he characterized it as a moral imperative: The ethical argument for foundations to increase their annual payout rate beyond 5% (August 4, 2019). This morning, it’s a [...]

Small Business Association Disaster Loan Guidance and Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an existing program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, that extends disaster relief loans to small businesses, including nonprofits, to help alleviate economic injury caused by disasters.  On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the SBA announced that the program will be available to claims arising from COVID-19.  The SBA will work with state officials to offer loans of up to $2 million.  “These loans may be used to pay [...]