Turning Eligibility into Investments

Regular readers of Nonprofit Advocacy Updates are well aware of the once-in-a-generation financial opportunity that exists thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Perhaps more significant to the readers of the publication is the importance of advocacy. Nonprofit advocacy at the federal level was required to make sure charitable nonprofits would be eligible to receive ARPA funds from state and local governments. Now, charitable nonprofits need to convince their state and local governments to make sure leaders include charitable nonprofits as trusted partners serving the same constituents in the same communities. Unless nonprofits speak up for their missions and the people they serve, ARPA will only be a missed opportunity. Fortunately, many state associations of nonprofits are going the extra mile to ensure their nonprofit colleagues know of the potential funding and know how to secure reasonable investments. Here’s just one example; more of our reporting is listed at the end of the article.

The CT Community Nonprofit Alliance (the Alliance) compiled a toolkit for nonprofits to help its members position themselves to receive resources during the second round of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the American Rescue Plan Act. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds to

Municipalities: Nonprofits Essential to Connecticut’s Recovery (Toolkit 2.0) announces, “Community nonprofits are the backbone of the health and human services delivery system and have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response and remain critical to Connecticut’s recovery.” For this reason, the Alliance compiled the toolkit to make sure nonprofits are “also in the front of the line to receive federal Fiscal Recovery Funds allowed under ARPA.”

This new toolkit provides an overview of local fiscal recovery funds and multiple examples of the types of Nonprofit Projects Funded, Grant Programs, Community Engagement. It even provides Template Messages for Contacting Municipal Officials. It builds on a document published last year: ARPA Funds to Municipalities Can Help Nonprofits Serve Their Communities (July 2021). That toolkit provided information, best practices, templates and contact information so nonprofits could confidently approach municipal leaders where they are located to support their programs and services with ARPA funding.

Thanks to the diligence of the Alliance, nonprofits in the Nutmeg State are in a better position to connect with their state and local officials and make the case for investments in their work in Connecticut communities.

Read other recent Advocacy in Action articles addressing ARPA investments:

The updated Special Report, Strengthening State and Local Economies in Partnership with Nonprofits, provides the latest federal guidance and fresh examples from across the country, plus insights gleaned from effective nonprofit advocacy campaigns and examples of how foundations can support the equitable distribution of ARPA funds. Read the Executive Summary, the full report. Check back regularly for updated resources and other information.

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