COVID-19: Update from The Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO)

by | Mar 23, 2020 | Event

March 23, 2020

General Update

On March 23, Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-12 directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor. Under Closure of Certain Businesses, #2 of the order names specific types of businesses prohibited from operating, including many operated by nonprofits such as aquariums, senior activity centers, theaters, museums, youth clubs, etc. Please check the document to ensure compliance by your nonprofits.

In addition, other references to nonprofits are contained under Workspace Restrictions #9-#11 stating the following workspace restrictions effective March 25, 2020:

“all businesses and non profit entities with offices in Oregon shall facilitate telework and work-at home by employees, to the maximum extent possible. Work in offices is prohibited whenever telework and work-at-home options are available, in light of position duties, availability of teleworking equipment, and network adequacy.

When telework and work-from-home options are not available, businesses and non-profits must designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. Such policies also must address how the business or non-profit will maintain social distancing protocols for business-critical visitors.
Businesses and non-profits that fail to comply with paragraphs 9 and 10 of this Executive Order will be closed until they demonstrate compliance.”

So, only direct service nonprofits that provide services for health care, feeding, sheltering or other types of basic human services should be working from offices or warehouses and with a designated person responsible to ensure social distancing protocols are met. Nonprofits should be implementing strict social distancing practices. The rest of us need to be supporting them by “flattening the curve” and working from home. Our missions are important, no doubt and our leadership is needed now more than ever to lead by example and follow government and public health orders.

The NAO team is working from home and I am writing this from my kitchen table. We know this week is going to be tough on us all. Our world is very different today from pre-COVID-19. Many of you are working on the frontline and working remotely helping to support our communities across the state. Thank you and your teams for your tireless work and continued tenacity in pushing forward. As nonprofits, all of us are in this together. To visibly demonstrate this, for some friendly showcasing to help motivate our staffs, and for some NAO bucks redeemable later, Join us as #ORNonprofitsFlattentheCurve.

Click here for more information! Like, Follow, Tag @NonprofitOregon

Public policy and advocacy in response of COVID-19

At the state level, we applaud (virtual) discussions at the State Legislature to take short-term and budget actions in response to the pandemic. So far, we have not seen any specific reference to the issues that we’ve emphasized for the state in the legislative draft that the Oregon legislature is working on. As we have heard from many of you, we believe it is imperative to have crucial supports go into place now to help you respond to and weather this crisis. With that in mind, NAO partnered with Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington sending this letter to the Governor and Legislative Leadership. If you are a 501(c)(3) in Oregon, please read the message and adapt it to send to the leadership and your legislative representatives.

At the federal level, the U.S. Senate is currently in debate over an economic stimulus package (to include nonprofits). NAO continues to work with the National Council of Nonprofits and Independent Sector to make sure that Oregon nonprofits’ voices are represented and important steps are taken to include nonprofits and our employees in any aid or stimulus packages. The draft emergency economic stimulus bill in the U.S. Senate would allow all taxpayers – not just those who itemize their deductions – to receive a $300 tax credit. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) will be offered an amendment that would significantly increase the cap on the above-the-line charitable deduction from what is in the draft Senate Republican bill. NAO joins the National Council of Nonprofits in endorsing the Lankford Amendment and encourages your organization to do so too.

Please take two steps, IMMEDIATELY:

  1. Fill out this online form to show your support for the proposed amendment.
  2. Feel free to customize and send with your logos, or for the sake of time, simply cut and paste the section above and forward it to your senators.
Engaging regional funders to support Oregon’s Nonprofits

NAO has reached out to regional funders through our partners at Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington. We are alerting them to the important actions that you are taking to respond to this crisis and the enormous negative impact COVID-19 is having on our sector. We are asking them to immediately invest in the work you are doing, be flexible in how their funds are being used, and support operations for their trusted partners. We are pleased to share that GOSW President and Chief Executive Officer Kendall Clawson has invited me to speak with regional funders tomorrow and I will report back what I can on actions they are taking to support you.

We want to hear from you on how COVID-19 is impacting your organizations. How is your nonprofit being impacted, what are the challenges your nonprofit is having to deal with, and where what information and resources to you need. Send us your thoughts to: executivedirector.

We strongly encourage you to continue to follow the advice of public health officials and the government, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, practice social distancing, and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. We will continue to update our Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resources page.

We know that many nonprofits are on the frontline in situations such as this and that Oregonians rely on you to help support our communities, especially the vulnerable and those who need support. Thank you for all you do in our communities especially during this very challenging time.

Sincerely yours,
Skip to content