COVID-19: July 7 NAO Update

by | Jul 9, 2020 | Event

July 07, 2020
Hello Nonprofit Leaders and Supporters,
I hope that you are had a restful Fourth of July weekend. With so much going on in Oregon and the world, it is important for our mental health and as a means to sustain ourselves that we take breaks and decompress. Our friends at Living Yoga, who specialize in trauma-informed yoga practices, are offering a Body-Based Resiliency Course to help you and your team stay centered and effective, as well as free 15-Minute Resiliency Practice Sessions for the month of July.
Not to add to your allostatic load of stress, but we keep seeing COVID-19 cases in Oregon rise. Oregon has now registered well over 10,000 cases of the disease and the curve continues to rise, not flatten. As Oregon continues to suffer from growing cases of COVID-19, NAO suggests that nonprofits take extra precautions in your programs and operations.
You can find complete details on Oregon’s reopening strategy and information on how and when your nonprofit can re-open here. Please, please be sure to consider if your nonprofit can maintain work-from-home protocols for longer as a public service to continue to keep cases low. Consider which staff are essential and be sure to plan for hygiene and safety measures in your workplace. For resources on how to be safe, please visit our COVID-19 resources page.
Download your Planning During Change Toolkit!
Last week, NAO released a new tool for nonprofits to plan and forecast your financial health through this crisis and into recovery. The “Planning During Change: A Toolkit for Nonprofits” was developed to provide nonprofits a starting point as they consider near- and mid-term plans for their organizations amid the uncertainty we are all facing. The toolkit presents an opportunity to begin framing your position and response, is a launching point for conversations for team members, and has practical templates for building action plans for your programs and finances.
Download a copy of the toolkit materials today!
At the Federal level
Include Urgent Nonprofit Priorities in COVID-19 Legislation
Yesterday, Senate Leader McConnell indicated that the Senate will pass its last piece of COVID-19 legislation before the end of this month. Congress has already passed a bill, which will likely get changed in committee. It is unclear right now which of all the competing demands for needs will be prioritized; therefore, it is urgent that nonprofits tell the House and Senate to include nonprofit policy solutions in the final package. With that in mind, a new Nonprofit Community Letter has been drafted to help ensure that federal lawmakers insert these bipartisan solutions in the legislation. Please join us in endorsing and signing your organization’s name onto this letter to congressional leaders!
The CARES Act enacted by Congress in March extended economic relief programs to some nonprofits, but the law fell short in many ways. In early April, the broad nonprofit community sent to every House and Senate office a letter highlighting needed policy reforms. That version of the letter was signed by more than 450 national nonprofit organizations.
A new version of that letter is now open for all charitable nonprofit organizations throughout the country to sign, not just national groups. It has been revised to reflect legislative and administrative actions that have occurred since early April when the letter was delivered to Congress. This new, updated letter identifies remaining problems and fresh, bipartisan solutions in four distinct areas:
  • Continue Emergency Funding Programs, including improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program, creation of a nonprofit jobs-expansion program, and funding for community support grants programs that enable nonprofits to serve vulnerable populations.
  • Provide Low-Cost Loans to Mid-Size and Larger Nonprofits that have been left out of and not able to access government funding.
  • Strengthen Charitable Giving Incentives by expanding the incentives to all taxpayers, not just itemizers, via an above-the-line or universal charitable deduction of one-third of the standard deduction.
  • Provide Full Unemployment Benefit Reimbursement benefits paid to laid off or furloughed employees of self-insured or reimbursing nonprofit employers.
Please join charitable nonprofits of all missions, sizes, and states across the country by signing your organization onto this urgent letter calling on Congress to include these policy priorities in the COVID-19 economic relief bill that lawmakers are negotiating now to pass by the end of July. The deadline for signing the letter is close of business, Friday, July 10, 2020. #Relief4Charities Week of Action
Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) introduced the House version of the WORK NOW Act, the bill to help nonprofits meet demand and promote employment for people who are newly unemployed. In a news release, she stated: “Since the pandemic began, nonprofits and frontline organizations catering to vulnerable populations like homeless shelters, foodbanks, and domestic violence shelters, have seen declines in revenue and volunteers. At the same time, these nonprofits are trying to adhere to social health guidelines while trying to stay afloat. This bill will provide new grants to allow nonprofits to retain their workforce or provide jobs for newly unemployed people.” The Senate version of the bill was introduced in May by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Unemployment Insurance Fixes
Even before the Senate passed the Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act (S. 4209) [the fix of earlier Dept. of Labor guidance] Thursday afternoon, NAO has been working with national organizations trying to get an answer to the question of whether the House could pass the bill by unanimous consent during pro forma sessions over the next two weeks. We are told yes by former House staffers, but no confirmation from current House staffers. There’s a House session scheduled for this Thursday that we are hoping can be used to take up and pass this bill so it’s off our to-do list.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Update
On Tuesday, June 30, the Senate passed an extension to the PPP, on Wednesday, July 1, the House concurred, and on Saturday, July 4, the President signed, S. 4116, the bill that officially extends the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8. If your organization has not yet taken advantage of this SBA program, you have this additional time to do so.
Revising PPP: On Thursday, July 2, Representatives Golden (D-ME) and Kelly (R-PA) introduced H.R. 7481, the House version of a PPP reform bill that severely restricts loan forgiveness for nonprofits in relation to for-profits. This is the companion to the Bennet/Young RESTART Act, S. 3814, introduced in May. The one-page summary gives a good overview of the bill. At that time, we alerted you that the bill would extend and revise the Paycheck Protection Program in some troubling ways for nonprofits. While for-profit businesses with up to 5,000 employees would be eligible for loans and loan forgiveness, only nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees could seek partial loan forgiveness that is less favorable than that which is granted to for-profit businesses. Here’s the latest news release. Senator Merkley (D-OR) is a supporter of the bill.
Disclosing PPP Loans: Yesterday, SBA and Treasury Announce Release of Paycheck Protection Program Loan Data. Everyone in Washington D.C. is scouring the data for stories of misuse or fraud. Some of the data are slow to download. Here is a nugget from: Paycheck Protection Program approved lending through June 30, 2020, on page 11:
So when you do the calculations using this data it reveals a troubling truth that nonprofits really were slighted in the processing of PPP loans. The group SBA calls nonprofits (religious, civic/social, others) received 2.7 percent of loans, 2.4 percent of dollars loaned, and represent 3.2 percent of all jobs saved. There are, of course, plenty of coding errors by borrowers and/or banks, so these may not be the last numbers on the subject. With nearly 200,000 nonprofit jobs comprising almost 12% of the private workforce in Oregon, this is important information. We’ll keep you posted on how nonprofits did in their applications to receive PPP as compared to other sectors of the economy.
Upcoming Online Sessions for Nonprofits
15-Minute Resiliency Practice Sessions for the month of July, Tuesdays from 5:30-5:45 p.m. and Thursdays from noon – 12:15 p.m.: 15-Minute Resiliency Practice Sessions for the month of July, Tuesdays from 5:30-5:45 p.m. and Thursdays from noon – 12:15 p.m.: Systems change work requires longevity. In order for our racial justice work to be sustainable over the long haul, we need to practice regulation skills that support our nervous systems. Living Yoga, NAO nonprofit member, is offering these short, accessible, free, and open-to-anyone Resiliency Practice Sessions. Each session includes four simple movements and breath practices that can be done anywhere – no props or anything needed to participate. Living Yoga trainers connect the practices to our need for grounding, and support us in accessing our resiliency as we deal with acute stress and sustain our efforts to interrupt racism and oppression. More information and links to the Tuesdays/Thursdays sessions here.
Ask the Experts: Maximizing Loan Forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program, Wednesday, 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 of Pacific West 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.
Understanding Trust in Civil Society – A Conversation with Dan Cardinali, President and CEO – Independent Sector, Tuesday, July 21, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. PT: Our ability as individuals and organizations to hold true to creating a more just and equitable nation will live or die by trust in civil society. While we intuitively know that trust building is vital, we don’t always have the information necessary to know where we stand or what we need to change. Independent Sector recently released a survey report on trust in civil society. The data shows that nonprofits are more trusted than philanthropy and that the more closely aligned with mission and impact, the more likely people trust those organizations. Join Dan Cardinali, President and CEO of Independent Sector and co-moderators Sarah Kastilec, Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association/Board Member of Independent Sector and Jim White, Executive Director of NAO in a frank conversation on the key findings and themes of this trust in civil society report. Please note: this is a 90-minute session. Register for the session here.
Your Grants Success Path – 10 Steps to Get You Where You Want to Go, Wednesday, July 22, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT: Wherever you are right now, this live online masterclass is for you! Join Maryn Boess for this fast-paced, high flyover of GrantsMagic U’s unique Grants Success Path – the powerful 10-step roadmap that cuts through the confusion to lead you reliably through the bewildering “grants wilderness” to your next level of grants success. Then stick around for Q&A … plus exciting news about how GrantsMagic U can help you make sense of the grants wilderness and help you navigate it with skill and confidence. Register for the session here.
Help Employees Repair and Reset Their Retirement Plan, Thursday, July 30, 10 – 11 a.m. PT: Nonstop Wellness, an NAO member benefit partner, is hosting a webinar building a foundation of general financial health, helping employees to stay the course, retirement savings in the midst of a pandemic, and meeting employees where they are in their financial life. Register for the session here.
Mark Your Calendar! 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. Registration for the course begins July 22. More details here.
Other Updates
Oregon Business’ 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon survey: Oregon Business has launched its 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey for 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties for organizations across all sectors of the economy, including Oregon’s nonprofits. It is more important than ever to keep communication flowing with employees as many are working remotely. Register for Oregon Business’ 2020 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey to find out how satisfied your employees are and what their concerns are in these uncertain times. Taking time to listen to your employees will set you up to be an even stronger organization. Join our effort to support strong workplace culture and celebrate successful employers by participating in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey. Register by Friday, July 10. Click here for survey information; to register for the survey, click here.
The Rapid Redesign Project – a two-part cohort on Monday, July 13, and July 27, 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, July 10. Learn more. (Another cohort will launch in August.)
Funding opportunity – Portland General Electric Drive Change Fund applications are being accepted now through September 1: The PGE Drive Change Fund supports projects that benefit residential customers in PGE’s service territories. PGE will award $2.25 million in grants to local organizations spearheading projects that increase access to electric transportation. The goal is to help electrify transportation in Oregon since that is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our state. Grant recipients will be announced by December 31, 2020. This is an open and competitive application process. More information can be found here.
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.
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