COVID-19: August 11 NAO Update

by | Aug 13, 2020 | Event

August 11, 2020
Hello Nonprofit Leaders and Supporters,
It’s hard to believe that we are already in mid-August! Before you know it school will soon be starting back up although there’s much uncertainty around what that will look like. As we continue to deal with COVID-19, time doesn’t stand still and neither does the work of Oregon’s nonprofits. Many who work in the nonprofit sector do so for the love and passion of a specific cause or calling, NAO firmly believes that nonprofits should, and need, to be appropriately compensated for the great work they do in making a positive difference in the lives of Oregonians. Earlier this year NAO conducted a compensation and benefits survey and today we are pleased to share the findings, albeit a tad later than originally planned due to COVID-19.
NAO’s 2020 Oregon Nonprofit Compensation and Benefits Report Executive Summary provides a snapshot of the findings and is available free to all. The Full Report provides nonprofits with valuable detailed compensation and benefits data to inform important decisions for your organizations and employees. For information on how to download the executive summary (free) and obtain the full detailed report (affordably priced) with job roles and titles, job positions and wages, as well as access to the interactive online tool (Tableau dashboard), click here.
A big thank you to the 266 nonprofits who participated in the survey!
At the State Level
The Oregon Legislature concluded its second special session of the year. It closed a $1.2 billion gap in the current two-year budget and passed several policy changes – 11 bills were passed in 15 hours. Collectively, the budget bills lawmakers passed Monday will cut $362 million in general fund spending with most of the reductions to human services programs, according to a legislative analysis. Top budget writers have characterized many of the changes as relatively easy cuts to yet-to-launch programs and unfilled jobs. But, as Oregonians testified in recent public hearings, some existing much-needed programs stand to be gutted.
An assortment of other budget maneuvers allowed legislators to close the remainder of the budget shortfall, including using $56 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to pay for Oregon State Police troopers, according to legislative documents.
Lawmakers also did not cut or freeze state employees’ pay. Oregon is midway through a two-year cycle of cost-of-living and step increases that will raise pay for employees ranging from frontline workers to executives by as much as 15% at a cost of approximately $200 million.
Lawmakers managed to largely preserve recent investments made to the state’s public school system. By tapping into a $400 million state education reserve fund, they managed to keep a $9 billion fund for schools intact.
SB 1701 and SB 1703 both passed. SB 1701 will allow unemployed workers to make up to $300 a week and still qualify for full unemployment benefits and SB 1703 allows the state’s Department of Revenue to share information about self-employment income with the Oregon Employment Department. The tweak is intended to help employment officials verify claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. But SB 1702, which was crafted to help some school employees to more easily access benefits did not pass. The bill would have relieved the OED from needing to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether some school employees were likely to have their normal jobs resume at the end of the summer break, a factor which typically disqualifies them from payments.
Lawmakers found far more common ground in HB 4301 that limits the use of force by police, which was passed. The bill further tightens the rules around chokeholds set during a special session in June. Under the new bill, police are prohibited from using the holds except for instances when they are trying to defend themselves or another person. The bill also folded in new rules for when police can use physical force — which under Oregon law includes the use of pepper spray or a stun gun — or deadly physical force.
At the Federal Level
With negotiations between the Administration and Democrats over a COVID relief bill stalled, the President signed documents over weekend purporting to partially renew unemployment benefits, defer payroll taxes, and call on federal agencies to consider how to extend the eviction ban and provide student debt relief. Each of the measures is legally suspect, given that the President took unilateral action over matters controlled by statutes enacted by Congress. Whether intended as legitimate policy moves or simply as political moves to give the appearance of doing something, the actions will no doubt be litigated in federal courts. See a summary of the executive actions, and comments of Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY), and a joint statement from House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Schumer (D-NY).
No new negotiating sessions have been announced, but resumption is considered inevitable. The parties still have high priorities that were not addressed through the President’s unilateral actions. Republicans remain committed to enacting liability protections and Democrats, and some Republican Governors, are seeking significant funds for state and local governments. Nonprofits have stakes in almost all of the issues on the table, e.g., questioning how efforts to curb lawsuits will affect worker and client safety and organizational sustainability, and recognizing that governments typically turn to and turn on their nonprofit partners during times of financial duress. And, of course, none of the essential nonprofit policy priorities identified in the new Nonprofit Community Letter can be enacted unless and until lawmakers resolve the broader issues and reach a deal on COVID relief.
New PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidance
The Small Business Administration and Treasury Department released additional guidance last week: Frequently Asked Questions For Loan Forgiveness. Many of the 10 pages of questions and answers relate to timing issues for expenses and interpreting what counts as payroll and non-payroll expenses. The new FAQs repeat past guidance about reductions to loan forgiveness, such as when borrowers are not able to rehire qualified staff, and provide new examples regarding the effect of pay reductions. See also the loan application and instructions for additional information.
Census Deadline Squeezed, Reducing Chances of Complete Count
Last week the U.S. Census Bureau reversed itself and announced plans to end in-person operations and non-response follow-up on September 30. The Bureau previously told Congress that because of public health delays stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic it needed until at least Oct. 31 to complete field operations to count all persons. Its stated rationale for reversing course and ending the count early was to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for submitting final Census numbers for the apportionment of congressional districts for the next decade. Nearly 900 organizations signed a letter asking Congress to extend the deadline to give the Bureau more time to complete the count. A fair, accurate, and complete count for the 2020 Census is essential to ensure proper allocation of more than $1.5 trillion federal dollars – annually – that hinge on decennial data, including funding for state and local governments and nonprofits that deliver vital services to individuals and communities.
Upcoming Online Sessions
Ask the Experts: Maximizing Loan Forgiveness Under the Paycheck Protection Program, Wednesday, August 12, Noon – 1 p.m. PT: Many nonprofits who received loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program are now dealing with how to best navigate the complexities of maximizing their loan forgiveness. In this session, Lisa Fajardo Faust – Senior Vice President and Relationship Banking Team Leader at Pacific West Bank, Robert Countryman – Market President for Portland/Seattle at First Interstate Bank, and Lesley Bennett – Senior Financial Consultant at CFO Selections will discuss practical steps, processes, and documentation that nonprofits should follow to ensure the best outcomes for their organizations. They will provide guidance on the approach, processes, and procedures that nonprofits should implement as they see it from their vantage points as a professional at a lending institution that transacted the PPP loans and a finance practitioner. Register for the session here.
Strategic Health Benefits Planning for Your Upcoming Renewal: A Conversation you Can’t Afford to Miss: Thursday, August 20, 10 – 11 a.m. PT: Health benefits renewal is coming, ready or not! Nonprofit leadership have a tremendous responsibility to strategically plan for a potentially challenging upcoming health benefits renewal season. The earlier risk can be identified, assessed, managed, and integrated into strategic planning, the better. Lead your nonprofit out of the hazardous cycle of skyrocketing premiums and diminishing health benefits. Join Lesley Brown Albright, Senior Marketing Manager of Nonstop Administration & Insurance Services, Inc.; Libra Forde, COO at Self-Enhancement, Inc.; and Todd Kimball, Partner at CFO Selections to learn how your nonprofit can strategically approach health plan design to control costs and improve health benefits for your employees. There’ll also be time for questions and answers. Register for the session here.
The Ultimate Grant Proposal Blueprint Course: Your Step-by-Step Roadmap and Built-It-Yourself Toolkit for Crafting an A+ Grant Proposal, an eight-week online course scheduled from August 24-October 26: In this comprehensive, on-your-own-schedule video-based, course from GrantsMagic U, veteran grant writer, grant consultant, and grantmaker Maryn Boess pulls back the curtain on what it really takes to be successful in the grants world. She will share hundreds of tried-and-tested tools, strategies, how-to’s and “insider’s tips” to take you to your next level of grants success no matter where you’re starting out.. More details here.
Charitable Giving Trends and Strategic Insights, Tuesday, August 25, 10 – 11 a.m. PT: Last year, we knew charitable giving in the U.S. would be different in 2020 mainly due to economic conditions and tax law implications, but we had no idea how different until we were in the midst of COVID-19. Giving USA is the most comprehensive report about charitable giving in the nation… but what can it tell us about giving in a time of crisis? In this webinar brought to you by Unemployment Services Trust, Melissa Brown, a nationally recognized researcher and speaker will share valuable insights into recent studies of donors, charitable giving and disaster response; how giving trends have been changing in recent years; and donor giving patterns in response to economic and social forces. She will discuss how nonprofits survived prior crises and recessions, and what nonprofit fundraisers can do now. Register for the session here.
The Rapid Redesign Project – a two-part cohort on Wednesdays, September 9, and September 23, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. PT: Steve Patty, Founder of Dialogues in Action, along with DIA colleagues Jessamyn Luiz and Landen Zernickow invite your organization to participate in a two-day facilitated cohort around redesigning your program strategy due to impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This cohort will help you design solutions for the immediate challenges of your program; fix some of your chronic and pre-existing issues of your program; and grow the leadership for your program. Let’s reframe our thinking! Registration allows up to five staff members. To participate, fill out this registration form by Friday, September 4. Learn more.
I hope that you all stay safe and healthy!
Jim White
Executive Director
Thank you to the following SUPPORTERS and SPONSORS who are supporting NAO’s online COVID-19 events and communications during these challenging times. Their support is vital in helping NAO to bring much-needed resources and information to Oregon’s nonprofits – thank you.
The Carpenter Foundation logo
Skip to content