We are talking to and engaging with hundreds of nonprofits every day in Oregon as we navigate this crisis together. We know from connecting with all of you that you are trying to figure out how to keep your nonprofits operational, how to access relief programs and funding, and how to keep your staff and the people you serve safe. With that in mind, NAO is working for you to get timely information and resources. While NAO's in-person programs are suspended we are offering COVID-19 specific programs to support you and your nonprofit. Thank you to our funders and sponsors who have graciously helped us quickly pivot our programs to meet your needs.
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On March 27, the House unanimously passed and President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion economic stimulus package intended to provide immediate relief for individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and state and local governments. Several provisions of the CARES Act are of particular importance to nonprofits, including: 1. The availability of forgivable small business loans to nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees. 2. Unemployment relief for workers and (partially) for many nonprofits; 3. A (limited) universal charitable deduction for 2020; and 4. A variety of appropriations that will help many communities served by nonprofits.
On April 23, Congress voted to allocate an additional $480 billion in relief funds for small businesses and nonprofits.
Here is the news release and highlights of the new funding:
CARES Act Loan Guides & Comparisons
The CARES Act provides two expanded Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs designed to support businesses (and nonprofits). The Paycheck Protection Program is available to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) veterans' organizations, as well as certain tribal entities, and includes the possibility of loan forgiveness, to the extent the loan proceeds are used for payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. Both the Paycheck Protection Program and Expanded Economic Injury Disaster Loan provide advantageous federally insured loans, on an expedited basis, to continue operations. Related rules also provide for deferral of payments under existing loan programs. In some circumstances, federally backed property loans might be eligible for separate forbearance provisions that some nonprofits may find helpful.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The CARES Act allocated major funding to help small businesses and nonprofits keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to eligible organizations. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees can now apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans. These can be used to cover up to 2½ months of payroll, rent, mortgage, or utilities.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Additionally, the SBA is requiring that the advance of $10,000 is limited to $1,000/employee up to 10 employees.
Filing Deadlines Extended for IRS Form 990 and State Returns (CT-12)
Expansion of Charitable Income Tax Deductions: “Above the Line” Charitable Income Deductions. For tax years beginning in 2020, eligible individuals may deduct up to $300 of qualified charitable contributions from their adjusted gross income. This deduction applies only to individuals who do not itemize and is for cash contributions to specific types of charities, with some exceptions.
Suspension of Charitable Contribution Limitations for 2020: Certain cash contributions made to specific categories of charitable organizations during calendar 2020 will, in the case of individual taxpayers, not be subject to traditional limitations that were based on adjusted gross income, or in the case of corporate taxpayers subject to a higher limitation (25% instead of 10%). In the case of partnerships and S corporations, the election to treat certain cash contributions as being excluded from the limitations will be made at the partner or shareholder level. There is also a specific increase in the limitation applicable to charitable contributions of food.
Employee Retention Tax Credit: Employers carrying on a trade or business and tax exempt organizations who, during 2020, experience full or partial suspension of the operation of their business in any calendar quarter due to orders from a governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings because of COVID-19 will be eligible for a payroll tax credit equal to 50% of “qualified wages” paid to employees, not to exceed $5,000 per employee for the year, based on wages paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021. Similar to the structure used in the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the credit will first be applied against employer payroll taxes due and, if the credit exceeds those taxes, a refund will be issued.
Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes Postponed: Employers will be allowed to delay payment of a portion of applicable payroll taxes without penalty or interest, except in certain circumstances, for payroll taxes due beginning on the date of the bill’s enactment and ending before January 1, 2021, provided 50% of the amounts deferred is paid before December 31, 2021 and the balance is paid before December 31, 2022. Employers who have indebtedness forgiven under the SBA Payroll Protection Loan program (see below) are not eligible for payroll tax deferral under this provision.
On March 18, 2020, the federal government enacted the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which provides paid sick leave and additional FMLA protection in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation, which becomes effective April 1, 2020 is aimed at easing the burden on employees as they navigate the economic impacts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applying the new emergency FMLA (EFML) and emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) benefits to individual situations can be complicated for employers, particularly when considered in conjunction with numerous state and local paid sick and safe time and employer policy obligations that already exist. What employers must do in each situation will depend on the specific circumstances.
Generally, when faced with a request for paid leave related to COVID-19, an employer should carefully consider each of the various paid leaves that might be available by statute, regulation, or local ordinance, as well as its own policies and consult with an attorney if necessary.
Summarized from the article Nonprofits and COVID-19, by Gene Takagi of NEO Law Group: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers (generally including nonprofit employers with under 500 employees) to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because (1) the employee is subject to a quarantine order related to COVID-19; (2) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; (3) is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis; (4) is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2); (5) is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or (6) is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:
The paid leave requirements may be seen as an expensive burden for many covered nonprofit employers, but the FFCRA covers the costs of this paid leave by providing them with refundable tax credits. It's possible to receive an advance on these tax credits by filing new Form 7200. Applicable tax credits also extend to amounts paid or incurred to maintain health insurance coverage. Nevertheless, small employers with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the paid leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. Each covered employer must post in a conspicuous place on its premises a notice of FFCRA requirements. Businesses (including nonprofits) that are closed or have furloughed employees because of lack of work are not required to provide paid leave under the FFCRA.
Helpful resources for understanding the Emergency Leave Provisions of FFRCA
Access FREE employer resources from NAO partner organizations including detailed FAQs
The FFRCA includes the Emergency Unemployment Stabilization and Access Act, which allocates $1 billion in emergency state grants to assist with processing and paying unemployment insurance (UI) benefits under some circumstances. Of that amount, $500 million will provide funding for administrative costs, as long as states have met certain requirements to provide eligible workers with access to benefits. The Oregon Employment Department has information that is relevant to employers and individuals seeking to understand business layoff, closures, and unemployment insurance benefits.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced guidance on unemployment insurance for states. The guidance addresses administration and eligibility criteria for state unemployment insurance programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. PUA applies to individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time work, or would otherwise not qualify for benefits. FPUC provides an additional $600 per week in federal benefits for individuals typically not covered under unemployment insurance, like workers for nonprofits too small to quality for the state insurance systems. Employees who are laid off by nonprofits may qualify under these additional programs if certain conditions are met.
March 23 - Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Emergency Order 20-12, “Stay Home Save Lives.” This Emergency Order in conjunction with the operating reality we all find ourselves in has had, and will continue to have significant impacts on the nonprofit sector, how we work, where we work and how we can best keep staff and those we serve safe during a pandemic.
April 8 - Oregon Governor Kate Brown extends Coronavirus School Closures through end of school year.
April 27 - Colorado and Nevada Join California, Oregon and Washington in Western States Pact, a working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.
May 1 - Oregon Governor Kate Brown extends COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency through July 6th.
May 7 - Oregon Governor Kate Brown provides a Science-Driven Framework for Re-opening Oregon - Building a Safe & Strong Oregon.
Health and Safety Information
Virtual Work Resources
Multnomah County health officials, together with state and federal authorities, are closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and working locally to keep our community healthy. Some residents have experienced acts of racism and xenophobia, while some businesses have reported fewer customers because of the myths surrounding COVID-19. Oregon community members are urged to report discrimination incidents that may be motivated by another person’s race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Oregon’s community is responding amazingly to nonprofits’ urgent needs as a result of COVID-19 impacts. Many foundations, corporations, and individual philanthropists have activated special COVID-19-related funds to support nonprofits.
In addition, federal, state, and local public entities have also created funding mechanisms to support eligible nonprofits. Below is a list of potential funding streams that nonprofits can explore. We know this list is not exhaustive; if there are others we should add, please send them to email@example.com.
GOSW-NAO Resource Connector: NAO has partnered with Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington and created a web-based portal that facilitates matching a nonprofit's COVID-19-related request with interested funders. Requests can be between $1,000 and $50,000. Funders can search, review and fund nonprofits’ requests in a few simple steps. The first funding cycle is for eligible NAO nonprofit members and runs from April 16 – June 30, 2020. Subsequent cycles will be determined after this pilot run. Not sure if you’re currently an NAO member? Check out our list of Current Nonprofit Members. To access the portal, NAO members can log on to their user account and visit the Members Only Area for further instructions. Many thanks to GOSW for this great partnership! Together we are connecting the philanthropic and nonprofit communities in a way never done before in Oregon for the benefit of communities around the state!
Tools on Crisis Communication, Fundraising, and Philanthropy
Don’t forget to see if you qualify for the CARES act Federal Loan Opportunities - see details above on Economic Relief thru CARES Act Loans.
It is never too late to incorporate critical business continuity concepts and tools into our board and leadership structures as we navigate an unplanned crisis of this magnitude. As leaders we must focus on what is most important – our organizational missions and the people we serve through those missions.
Contracts & Insurance
Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in the development and implementation of public policy to promote an informed, healthy, and strong democratic society. We witness and respond to the impact of public policies on the people we serve, and at this time of pandemic, our voices are more important than ever. Few institutions are closer to the real problems of people than we are. Nonprofits must be a bridge between policy makers and the public to ensure that all voices are heard and needs are met. Engaging in public policy advocacy can raise awareness of your organization’s mission, mobilize your constituents, and create greater understanding of the needs our communities are facing.
Nonprofits Seek Further COVID-19 Relief from Congress
On Wednesday April 7, Independent Sector, the National Council of Nonprofits and dozens of other national organizations asked Congress to make four key improvements to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Support Act (CARES Act) in its next round of COVID-19 stimulus legislation. Nicknamed the CARES Act 2.0, it is the Phase 4 stimulus bill. CARES 2.0 is expected to address the broad array of issues – nonprofits, small business, big business, state & local governments, equity and disparities, and more. Specifically, this act provides additional relief to charitable nonprofits and tribal entities. NAO is participating in these efforts to secure four key improvements to the provisions of the CARES Act 2.0:
Additionally, the Save Organizations that Serve (SOS) Act, H.R. 6408, is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) at the behest of national nonprofit groups. Its purpose is to generate attention for the work of nonprofits and the need for relief. It calls for an unlimited universal charitable deduction, establishes a $60 billion loan fund for nonprofits, and lifts the 500-employee cap on PPP loan eligibility:
NAO strongly supports these recommendations. We are working with Oregon’s members of Congress to help include this additional relief to nonprofits in the next congressional stimulus bill.
Addressing Disparate Impacts: Oregon Workers Relief Fund
While we fight the direct effects of COVID-19, we must recognize how the lack of diversity, equity and inclusiveness in policy making has increased our vulnerability to the health and economic miseries of the pandemic. The Oregon Health Authority is reporting that our Latinx communities are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Without immediate attention and commitment of resources this will continue to impede our efforts to recover and move forward as a nation. Even as creative as our sector has become in moving programs online, we are hearing from frontline organizations that they need more support in direct ongoing funding for these problems and immediate fiscal assistance to nonprofits providing our safety net. We also know that funding must be made available for UI ineligible immigrant workers through initiatives like the Oregon Workers Relief Fund. Just as important is much stronger assistance to state, county and municipal budgets that provide both infrastructure and critical funding for this work across the country. As tax revenues evaporate and without significantly greater support, unavoidable cuts in state and local budgets will offset much of the federal relief effort for people and communities in need.
A Call to Action: Philanthropy’s Commitment During COVID-19 – Council on Foundations
Funders across America are signing a pledge of action given the critical need to act with urgency in the COVID-19 crisis. They are pledging to loosen or eliminate current grant restrictions, make new grants as unrestricted as possible, and reduce grant reporting requirements among other actions so that nonprofit leaders have the maximum flexibility to respond to the crisis.
WORK NOW Act: Funding Nonprofit Work in Communities
Senators Wyden, Merkley introduce bill to help nonprofits during Pandemic - Press Release (5/15)
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) along with Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Brown (D-OH) are introducing the WORK Now Act, a bill that seeks to inject $50 billion into frontline nonprofits over the next 6 months to generate employment for laid-off workers and to address the skyrocketing needs in communities for COVID-19 relief and recovery. NAO is endorsing this bill, as are national organizations and other state associations. Please consider sending a letter of endorsement to Senator Wyden’s/Senator Merkley's office for this important bill!
Letters Requesting State, Federal and Philanthropic Support for Oregon Nonprofits and Families
Housing and Human Services
Health, Safety, and Community Resources
COVID-19 Relief Programs