Nonprofits to President Biden and Congressional Leaders: Invest in Charities to Help Meet Community Recovery Needs

Nonprofits to President Biden and Congressional Leaders: Invest in Charities to Help Meet Community Recovery Needs

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WASHINGTON, July 21 — Today, 55 national nonprofits sent a letter to President Joe Biden and congressional leadership urging them to recognize and invest in the unique role the nonprofit sector will play in rebuilding the economy, restoring livelihoods and strengthening communities.                                      

The letter highlights how nonprofits met urgent community needs during the height of the pandemic in innovative ways amidst significantly increased demand for services and despite rapidly declining revenue. The letter also highlights how nonprofits continue to support their communities by advancing vaccine awareness and access by setting up clinics, offering transportation and childcare, providing employee incentives and more.  

The letter urges Congress and the Biden Administration to prioritize the following measures that will support nonprofit jobs and provide the resources needed for nonprofits to help their communities recover:

Nonprofit Jobs: The sector needs a major infusion of resources to enable nonprofit organizations to bring back staff and hire additional employees so they can deliver essential services to millions of Americans. Prior to the pandemic, charitable nonprofits employed more than 12 million people, making the nonprofit sector the third largest industry in the country — larger than the construction, financial services and manufacturing industries. As of June 2021, nearly 700,000 nonprofit jobs had been lost due to the pandemic.

  • Pass the “Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofit Organizations Well Act,” also known as the WORK NOW Act (S. 740/H.R. 1987), which would infuse $50 billion into nonprofits across the country to get people back to work and make sure nonprofits are able to meet the needs of the populations they serve.
  • Extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit past 2021 and modify nonprofit eligibility beyond the current “gross receipts” test to reflect the increased costs charitable organizations experienced as they struggled to maintain or expand services to meet local needs throughout the health and economic crisis.
  • Direct the Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide quarterly data on nonprofit employment and wages. This data will guide more effective policy and enable improved decision making by nonprofits nationwide. Policymakers and nonprofit leaders have been forced to craft responses to this crisis without adequate information about the state of the nonprofit workforce.

Nonprofit Resources: Nonprofit revenues are likely to decline sharply in 2021 as individuals are less able to make charitable donations. Without immediate relief from Congress and the Administration, charitable organizations will not have the capacity or resources to provide the breadth of services upon which communities rely.

  • Significantly increase the cap on the above the line deduction for charitable donations that was established in the CARES Act, extend it at least through 2022, and preserve the itemized charitable contribution deduction. Greater incentives for charitable giving are needed as nonprofits respond to the health and economic crises and will be critical in the future as nonprofits play an essential role in recovery efforts.
  • Appropriate funds for emergency grant programs that enable nonprofits to advance their missions and serve their communities. They also stand with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and National Association of Counties in adamantly opposing any proposal that would repurpose the American Rescue Plan Act’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which were originally authorized for nonprofits among other entities, and which remain urgently needed.
  • Invest $100 billion to guarantee all citizens access to affordable high-speed broadband, build out the broadband infrastructure to prioritize the “last mile” hardest to serve communities and fund the Emergency Connectivity Fund. As nonprofits struggled to switch their services to virtual platforms, the pandemic put a spotlight on inadequate access to broadband and digital skills, which made it difficult for everyone in their communities to access their services. Distance learning, telemedicine and spiritual services require accessible and reliable internet services.

Read the full text of the letter.

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