COVID-19: June 4 NAO Update

by | Jun 6, 2020 | Event

June 04, 2020
Hello Nonprofit Leaders and Colleagues,
As communities across Oregon and the U.S. lift their voices in peaceful protest for change and continue to shine a light on the trauma and painful events engulfing our nation, please continue to stay safe and healthy and take all necessary precautions against COVID-19.
In Oregon
Yesterday, the Governor gave updates on the Phase 2 of Oregon’s coronavirus reopening. The draft guidance for phase 2 was released last Friday and states that counties could allow gatherings of up to 50 people, ease travel restrictions and allow a limited return to work, though remote working is still strongly recommended.
Thirty one of Oregon’s 36 counties began their 21-day Phase 1 reopening process on May 15. Those that can demonstrate they have maintained adequate levels and met criteria during Phase 1 may be eligible this Friday to further loosen restrictions on businesses, childcare, summer camps and outdoors sports. The second phase also allows limited reopening of theaters, cinemas and churches would does permit youth sports with physical distancing and overnight camps.
Multnomah County, the state’s most populous, has yet to enter Phase 1. Multnomah County officials says they will submit a Phase 1 reopening plan to the governor’s office tomorrow and enter into the Phase 1 lifting of the coronavirus stay-home order starting June 12.
You can find the complete details on Oregon’s reopening strategy and information on how and when your nonprofit can begin re-opening procedures here. 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 re-opened workplace. For resources on how to open safely, please visit our COVID-19 resources page.
At the Federal Level
Thank you to everyone who joined NAO’s Oregon Nonprofit Town Hall virtual session with Senators Wyden and Merkley yesterday. A recording of the event can be found here.
Both Senators have a longstanding appreciation for the nonprofit sector and have served with nonprofits themselves. With Senator Wyden’s position as Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, he always has valuable insights into ideas and proposals for nonprofit tax law. Both Senators committed to voting to expand the above-the-line charitable deduction as proposed by six other Democrat and Republican Senators on Tuesday. (A recording of that discussion is posted on YouTube.) This change would permit non-itemizers to make charitable deductions of up to 1/3 of the standard deduction (about $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for joint-filers). Senator Merkley made the case for reforms and increased funding for rural broadband. Senator Wyden pointed out that he is an original sponsor of the WORK NOW Act that would provide $50 billion in funding for nonprofits and he is working on a bill to provide direct payments to nonprofits along the lines of the payments to individual taxpayers.
And as you can see by our next item of good news, both Senators voiced strong support for simplification and extension of the Paycheck Protection Program.
Paycheck Protection Program
Great news! Late yesterday, the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) by unanimous consent. The same bill passed the House last week by a vote of 417 to 1. The provisions in the bill create more flexibility for small businesses, including nonprofits, by:
  • Extending the expense forgiveness period from eight weeks to twenty-four weeks
  • Reducing the 75 percent payroll ratio requirement
  • Eliminating 2-year loan repayment restrictions for future borrowers
  • Allowing payroll tax deferment for PPP recipients
  • Extending the June 30 rehiring deadline
In the original CARES model, borrowers had eight weeks to spend the money. That has been extended to twenty-four weeks through the act. That creates significant breathing room for nonprofits struggling to meet the previous stringent requirements.
Before, to achieve full forgiveness a somewhat complicated head-count test had to be met by June 30. That has been extended to December 31, but more significant is relief in the event the borrower is unable to get people back. The other possible source of relief is an inability to get back to the same level of business because of all that social distancing stuff.
We are still unpacking the guidance and will send more details as we understand them. The good news is that this spells more relief for nonprofits by easing restrictions that made it difficult to comply with the original PPP loan provisions.
Hearing: The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee is holding a hearing June 10 on “Implementation of Title I of the CARES Act.” Title I is the part that includes the Paycheck Protection Program. Witnesses will be Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Carranza. NAO’s national partners – the National Council of Nonprofits and Independent Sector – are working to generate questions for the witnesses while they are on the stand. Let us know what questions you may have regarding PPP and EIDL and we will work with our national partners to get them presented to Secretary Mnuchin and Administrator Carranza.
Pandemic Response Accountability Committee
National Council of Nonprofit’s CEO, Tim Delaney testified yesterday in the town hall meeting of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, a watchdog panel of federal inspectors general created in the CARES Act to keep tabs on transparency and accountability. In written statement submitted last week, Tim discussed the need for government grant/contracting reforms, including prompt payments, and went into details about the need for corrective action at the Labor Department and SBA. During his live presentation yesterday, Tim emphasized the reliance of the federal government on charitable nonprofits, shared need-to-know information about the nonprofit community, and identified CARES Act problem areas that the IGs need to investigate. These include the PPP 75 percent forgiveness ratio, the refusal of SBA and Treasury to disclose nonprofit PPP loan data, the Labor Department’s UI guidance (discussed in a lower article), and the failure of Treasury and the Federal Reserve to establish a Main Street Loan Facility for nonprofits. Tim was the only nonprofit witness during the two-hour program.
Unemployment Insurance Update
Hearing: The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing next Tuesday, June 9 on “Unemployment Insurance During COVID-19: The CARES Act and the Role of Unemployment Insurance During the Pandemic.” Labor Secretary Scalia will be testifying. This is an ideal opportunity to raise the twin UI challenges reimbursing nonprofits are facing: (1) Labor Department guidance requiring 100% payment upfront and (2) need for the federal government to cover the full costs of reimbursing nonprofits and not just the 50% promised in the CARES Act. As a reminder, Senator Wyden is Ranking Member on this committee.
Upcoming Online Sessions for Nonprofits
Rapid Redesign Project Cohort: Following on from Steve Patty’s three part-series on “Redesigning Your Strategy: Planning Recovery for COVID-19” held in May, Steve and his team at Dialogues in Action are bringing together a Rapid Redesign Project Cohort to dive deeper into helping you redesign your nonprofit’s program strategy. DIA will guide each participating nonprofit team of 2-5 members to redesign your program strategy. Nonprofit teams will have the opportunity to engage with other cohort program teams to share ideas and get feedback. The deadline to register is Friday, June 5. The cohort will meet virtually on June 15 and 29. For more information click here.
Re-Opening Guidance for Zoos, Museums, and Outdoor Gardens Webinar, Monday June 8, time TBD (NAO will social media final details): The Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Museums Association, and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition will be hosting this webinar to discuss the official statewide reopening guidance for zoos, museums, and outdoor gardens. Gov. Brown has announced that these organizations can now reopen and the webinar will provide a general overview of those guidelines and opportunity for questions and discussion. Additional information and how to register will soon be available on the Oregon Museum Association and Oregon Heritage websites. NAO will also social media time and registration details when available. This is great news for museums across Oregon!
Ask the Experts: How to Pivot to a Virtual Annual Fundraising Event Successfully, Tuesday, June 9, Noon – 1 p.m. PT: Brennan Wood, Executive Director of The Dougy Center and Lauren Dully Clark, Principal Consultant at Raise Agent will share how they pivoted The Dougy Center’s 23rd Annual Reflection Benefit and Auction – an annual in-person event and biggest fundraiser of the year – to a successful virtual event the weekend before Mother’s Day. They’ll discuss what it took working with their long-time auctioneer, audio-visual expert, and others to make this the special event it is every year for everyone The Dougy Center serves. Register for this session here.
QuickBooks Desktop Edition Made Easy for Nonprofits, June 16, 17 & 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. PT: Gregg S. Bossen, CPA of QuickBooks Made Easy, is partnering with NAO to offer an updated three-part QuickBooks® training webinar for nonprofits. This webinar is for the Desktop edition of Quickbooks. Gregg will cover the basics of setting up and entering transactions specifically for nonprofits, an overview of the software updates included in the QuickBooks® 2018 Desktop Edition, as well as advanced topics covering a host of specific processes that will help you do more helpful and amazing things! Register for the three-part webinar here.
QuickBooks Online Edition Made Easy for Nonprofits, June 23, 24 & 25, 11 a.m. – 1 pm. PT: Gregg S. Bossen, CPA of QuickBooks Made Easy, is partnering with NAO to offer an updated three-part QuickBooks® training webinar for nonprofits. This webinar is for the Online edition of Quickbooks. Gregg will cover the basics of setting up and entering transactions specifically for nonprofits, an overview of the software updates included in the QuickBooks® 2018 Online Edition, as well as advanced topics covering a host of specific processes that will help you do more helpful and amazing things! Register for the three-part webinar 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.
The Carpenter Foundation logo
Skip to content