Nonprofits Call Bipartisan COVID Relief Compromise Insufficient, Call for #Relief4Charities

Nonprofits Call Bipartisan COVID Relief Compromise Insufficient, Call for #Relief4Charities

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In response to the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, National Council of Nonprofits President and CEO Tim Delaney released the following statement:

“At a time when tens of millions of additional Americans are relying on charitable nonprofits for basic needs, Congress needs to stop taking nonprofits for granted. Yet that is exactly what the bipartisan COVID bill would do. Congress can do better; Congress must do better.

“Charitable nonprofits have lost almost a million jobs since March, and hundreds of thousands more are now at risk. Despite often skyrocketing demands for their services, higher operating costs to deliver services safely, and plummeting revenue, nonprofits have continued helping people depending on them. But sheer will can only last so long, and the final breaking point is near.

“Everyone in America has seen that charitable organizations have stepped up throughout this pandemic to provide relief to ever more people. The horrifying images of miles-long lines at food banks provide only a tiny glimpse of America’s increased dependence on nonprofits. Homeless shelters’ numbers have exploded. Domestic violence and suicide hotlines have rung off the hook – and been answered by trained nonprofit personnel. You don’t see these or other very private services on TV like the food bank lines, but they are equally severe.

 

“Policymakers must recognize that the nonprofit and for-profit business experiences have been vastly different. Many businesses have hibernated or reduced operations as their customers have dwindled. Meanwhile, charitable organizations have faced exponential increases in demands for their services. Sometimes public donations increased, but never in an amount that kept pace with demands or enabled the nonprofit to break even. Nonprofits are doing more and more, while Congress is providing less and less.

  • Less in terms of the Paycheck Protection Program, with proposed provisions seeking to impose arbitrary for-profit standards that would exclude even more charitable organizations.
  • Less in terms of unemployment relief that lets for-profit employers pay zero in 2020 while forcing many nonprofit employers to pay 50 percent to their state unemployment systems, millions of dollars that nonprofits could – and should -- be using to deliver needed services in communities.
  • Less in terms of tax provisions that allow for-profit businesses to double dip when it comes to business deductions, but an abject failure to expand or even renew essential charitable giving incentives, the employee retention tax credit, or other CARES Act tax provisions that could help charitable nonprofits help people.

“The “Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020” offered on December 14 by the bipartisan group of Senators addresses the wants of many special interests, but it fails to put the public interest first. Congress must provide specific relief for nonprofits regarding unemployment reimbursement, Paycheck Protection Program expansion, support for midsize organizations, and charitable giving expansion.

“We applaud the desire of the bipartisan group to strike a deal, but a deal that undercuts the ability of America’s charitable nonprofits to continue serving our communities is self-defeating and must be corrected. As nonprofits go under from the crush of demand and lack of resources, where will tens of millions of Americans go for help? That’s the key question Congress must ask as the funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have run out, unemployment bills for self-insured nonprofits are currently due, and charitable giving continues to decline or fails to keep pace with needs. Larger nonprofits, completely shut out of the job-saving programs contained in the CARES Act, are similarly running out of time and money. Each of these priorities is explained in the updated Nonprofit Community Letter signed by more than 4,100 organizations in all 50 states.

“It is past time for Congress to pass COVID relief for the people of our country. As a better package comes together, it must provide significant relief for nonprofit organizations so we can continue helping our communities when they need us most."

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The National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits) is a trusted resource and proven advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. Connecting the policy dots across all levels and branches of governments, the Council of Nonprofits keeps nonprofits informed and empowered to create a positive public policy environment that best supports nonprofits in advancing their missions. Working with and through the nation’s largest network of nonprofits—with 25,000-plus organizational members—we identify emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve. Find out more at www.councilofnonprofits.org.

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