COVID-19 Nonprofit Resources

Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

We are compiling resources that may be helpful to our nonprofit partners during this difficult time. Below you will find funding opportunities, information on how to navigate federal benefits, non-financial guidance, and summaries of relevant economic relief legislation. Resources that are focused outside the U.S. are marked with a double asterisk (**). We will update this list as new information becomes available. Please send suggestions for resources to include to covidresources@hewlett.org.

Funding Opportunities for Nonprofits

Candid is compiling a comprehensive list of funds specifically established in the wake of COVID-19. View the full list of funds here. In addition to this list, Candid is also compiling RFP announcements here.

Candid also operates a website called GrantSpace, which lists grant/funding opportunities for the following groups:

Open Road Alliance has an open RFP process for grants and loans here.

** Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has a searchable database of capital opportunities for nonprofits here.

** Global Resources are available from the Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS) here.

CalNonprofits is maintaining a database of funding opportunities for nonprofits and individuals in California here. These include:

Nonprofit and Small Business Loan Opportunities

There are two time-sensitive economic assistance opportunities for nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, made available through the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) department, that could significantly offset financial hardship due to COVID-19 over the next few months: the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans Advance.  Nonprofits should consider these opportunities rapidly as both funds will go fast. Sign up here to receive updates on the application and loan process from The Jewish Federations as they become available. 

Paycheck Protection Program

Nonprofit and for-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for loans of up to $10 million to meet payroll and associated costs such as health insurance premiums, facilities, costs, and debt servicing. Much of the loan is forgivable if the organization keeps staff on payroll during the loan period. This, in essence, turns a portion of the loan into a general operating grant. The total loan fund is expected to be $349B, and loans will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Nonprofit organizations can apply through existing SBA lenders or participating financial institutions. You should start by consulting with your organization’s current bank to see if it is participating in the program, but you can also apply at any SBA-approved bank even if your organization doesn’t have an account there.
  • The terms of the loan are two years at 0.5% interest, with loan forgiveness available after eight weeks if payroll is maintained.
  • The SBA guarantees 100% of the loan to the level, encouraging fast approval.
  • The dollar amount is capped at 2.5x average monthly payroll costs or $10 million.
  • Payroll Costs include salaries, wages, sick leave, health benefits, pension, state income tax, and payments to independent contractors (up to a max of $100,000 overall in wages & benefits).
  • Payroll costs over the 8-week period will be compared to average payroll costs over the preceding 12 months.

The SBA estimates the application, including information gathering, will take less than 10 minutes to complete. The SBA has posted a sample application and instructions on its website.

To apply, organizations should:

  • Review the additional resources provided below.
  • Check to see if the bank your organization currently works with is participating in the program, or identify a lending institution on this approved list.
  • Refer to the sample calculation document to calculate your organization’s payroll costs, which will help you estimate your total loan request.
  • Gather internal decision makers (executive director, board members, finance team, etc.) to review governance processes and reach consensus on the decision to apply for a loan.
  • Complete the sample application for submission to lender as soon as possible.

The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to be a simple process. However, if you require assistance, We The Action established a Nonprofit Relief Task Force to help nonprofit organizations apply for the Payroll Protection Program, advise on their eligibility, and guide them through the nuts and bolts of completing the application.

Economic Injury Grants & Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

As part of its disaster assistance program, the SBA is providing low-interest working capital loans of up to $2M to small businesses and nonprofits affected by the coronavirus.

  • Eligibility: As of March 23, small businesses and nonprofits in every state can apply.
  • Amount: Recipients are eligible for loans of up to $2M.
  • Permitted Uses: Loans may be used to cover accounts payable, debts, payroll and other bills the coronavirus has affected your ability to pay.
  • Terms: These loans carry an interest rate of 2.75% for nonprofits. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay, but go up to a maximum of 30 years.
  • Application: You can apply now online at the SBA website. You will need to fill out a number of forms and supply supporting documentation.
  • No Double Dipping…But:
    • A borrower can separately apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (stimulus package #1) and expanded 7(a)/PPP loans.
    • There is a specific prohibition against double dipping, but that prohibition has a specific exception if the loan applications are for different purposes (such as personnel and rent costs and related for 7(a) and other operating expenses for EIDL).

Source: NewSchools Venture Fund

Financial tools and resources

Fiscal Management Associates offers a Payroll Protection Program Toolbox and additional resources such as:

  • Reserve Fund Policy Template
  • Cash Flow Projection Template (video tutorial)
  • Revenue Scenario Planning Tool


Nonprofit Finance Fund
offers resources including:


SeaChange
offers a decision framework for nonprofit leaders and boards, including financial decisions.


Additional Resources

Non-financial resources

Nonprofit response

Equity considerations

The virtual world – telework and technology

Operations and fundraising

Staff well-being

Communications

  • Communications Network Coronavirus Crisis Comms Triage Kit: Membership group for nonprofit communicators offers detailed crisis comms tips, links to sample messaging from a broad variety of nonprofit groups in its membership, COVID-19 webinars, and more.
  • CDC COVID-19 Communications Resources: CDC’s official materials supporting COVID-19 crisis communications includes a social media toolkit, press materials, an image library and more.
  • CDC Crisis Communications Resources: A crisis and emergency risk manual for communicators based on psychological and communication sciences, studies in issues management, and practical lessons learned from emergency responses.
  • Frameworks Institute: Communications research org offers a new email series on framing COVID-19: sign up for email alerts and updates.
  • Resource Media’s Media Relations Tipsheet for Communicating in a Coronavirus Era: Nonprofit communications firm offers to-the-point advice on engaging media right now.
  • The Race Class Narrative’s COVID-19 Messaging Guide: Rooted in the research of Anat Shenker Osorio, this messaging guide emphasizes values of interdependence, mutual solidarity, shared purpose and collective action.

Employee and employer resources

Pro bono support

  • Catchafire is offering special assistance to any nonprofit whose work has been impacted by COVID-19, and their community of volunteers is ready to respond quickly to your needs by collaborating with you virtually and 100% pro bono.
  • BoardSource is answering and sharing questions that they are hearing from nonprofit board and staff leaders.

Resource hubs

  • Candid.org hosts a comprehensive, US-focused resource hub for funders and nonprofits with everything from relief funds to resources for nonprofits to a summary of key articles.
  • Independent Sector offers “Information on COVID-19,” a curated list of resources and articles to help members of the charitable sector serve their communities.
  • First Nations Development Institute hosts a comprehensive resource hub focused on native communities across the US.
  • Council on Foundations offers a US, funder-focused resource hub.
  • **IDR offers a crowdsourced list of guidelines and practices for organizations, funders, and foundations in India grappling with the effects of COVID-19.
  • The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control continue to be go-to sources for the latest developments and recommended actions.
  • BoardSource is answering and sharing questions that they are hearing from nonprofit board and staff leaders.
  • Bridgespan curated a list of articles and resources to help funders and nonprofits navigate this crisis and its implications.
  • Philanthropy CA compiled a robust list of links to COVID-19 information hubs, articles, equity-focused resources, policy briefings, and communications strategies.

Summaries of COVID-19 related legislation

Summaries of key legislation

Summaries of key provisions

Below is detailed information on provisions available to nonprofit organizations in the United States CARES Act. There are five key provisions in the CARES Act intended to support nonprofit employers; most of the benefits surround payroll costs and are intended to incentivize organizations to retain their employees and keep them on payroll. There are two provisions that can provide immediate cash flow and two that provide immediate tax credits (intended to support, again, a steady payroll). The fifth provision is for nonprofits that have 500-10,000 employees.

Cash flow provisions

SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program

Under the CARES Act stimulus bill, nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for loans up to $10M to meet up to 2.5 months of payroll and associated costs such as health insurance premiums, facilities, costs, and debt servicing. Much of the loan is forgivable if the organization keeps staff on payroll during the loan period. This, in essence, turns a portion of the loan into a general operations grant. The total loan fund is expected to be $349B, and loans will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Application details are expected on the SBA website in early April.

Details:

  • Eligibility: 501(c)3 nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees are eligible, regardless of whether the organization qualifies as a small business under the normal SBA standards. Recipients do not have to certify that they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.
  • Loan Period: Loans are intended to cover expenses incurred during the period from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020, although a future stimulus package could extend the program beyond June.
  • Amount: Recipients are eligible for a loan of up to 2.5 times the organization’s average monthly payroll (with pay capped at $100K per employee), up to a maximum of $10M.
  • Permitted Uses: Payroll support (up to $100K per person), benefits, paid sick leave, mortgage payments, rent payments, and debt servicing.
  • Terms: Maximum interest rate of 4% and a maximum repayment term of 10 years; principal and interest are deferred for up to a year and all borrower fees are waived.
  • Loan Forgiveness: Nonprofits are eligible for loan forgiveness for the amount spent during the first 8 weeks of the loan on payroll costs, interest payment on mortgage, rent, and utilities. The portion of these expenses that is eligible for forgiveness depends on the percentage by which you reduced FTE staff and/or salaries (relative to a comparable period in 2019). The specific mechanics of this comparison are not yet defined.
  • Lenders: Loans are made directly through local 7(a) lending institutions and are guaranteed by the SBA. No personal or collateral guarantee is required. Here is a list of qualifying local lenders.

How to apply:

  • You will apply directly with local lenders. SBA is expected to release application instructions in early April.
  • The SBA posteda sample application for seeking a PPP loan, along with instructions for completing and submitting the application. The application opened on Friday, April 3. Given that loans will be given on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are spent, it is important that organizations move quickly to have the application and required documentation in place. The SBA has significantly simplified the process and estimates that the application, including gathering of information, will take less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Organizations will apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lenders or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Organizations should consult with their current banking institution as to whether it is participating in the program, or use this list to identify an approved lender.

Key action steps for organizations:

  • Review the resources provided above.
  • Check to see if the bank your organization currently works with is participating in the program, or identify a lending institution on this approved list.
  • Refer to the sample calculation document to calculate your payroll costs, which will help you estimate your total loan request.
  • Gather internal decision makers (C-suite, board members, finance team, etc.) to review governance process and reach consensus on the decision to apply for a loan.
  • Complete the sample application for submission to lender ASAP thereafter.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

EID loans offering up to $2M in assistance are also now available to nonprofits and small businesses to help overcome temporary loss in revenue caused by COVID-19. The interest rate is 2.75%, with repayment terms of up to 30 years. The application is straightforward and can be completed online. However, please note that this loan does not include forgiveness provision, unlike the 7(a) program. Organizations cannot receive both, unless the loan applications are for different purposes (i.e. personnel and rent costs for 7(a) and other operating expenses for EIDL). The pot of money for this program is also much smaller, so we recommend looking into the 7(a) loans first.

Details:

  • Eligibility: As of March 23, small businesses and nonprofits in every state can apply.
  • Amount: Recipients are eligible for loans of up to $2M.
  • Permitted Uses: Loans may be used to cover accounts payable, debts, payroll and other bills the coronavirus has affected your ability to pay.
  • Terms: These loans carry an interest rate of 2.75% for nonprofits. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay, but go up to a maximum of 30 years.

How to apply:

  • Apply online. You’ll need to fill out the business loan application (select “Economic Injury (EIDL)” as the reason you’re seeking assistance) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Supporting Information form.
  • You’ll need to supply required supporting documentation including your organization’s most recent tax return, a schedule of liabilities, and tax information authorization (IRS Form 4506) for any affiliated entities.
  • Call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 if you need help with your application.

Source: NewSchools Venture Fund

Tax credits

Employee Retention Credit (administered by IRS)

  • Any organization that has been required to shut down by government order or has suffered 50% loss in receipts is eligible
  • Refundable tax credit up to $5,000 per employee
  • Can be applied immediately to the taxes withheld from employee wages; report on quarterly withholding report (Form 941)
  • If you receive a loan through the Payroll Protection Program, you are ineligible for this credit.

Deferral of Payroll Taxes (administered by IRS)

  • Employers can defer their share of Social Security taxes (6.2% of wages)
  • Deferred taxes have to be paid in the following two years; half in 2021, half in 2022
  • If you have a loan forgiven under the Payroll Protection Program, you are ineligible for this deferral.

Timelines for CARES Act Provisions

This table outlines the approximate timelines that the various CARES Act provisions will come into force. It also identifies the responsible agency, so you can learn more by going to that agency’s website.

Provision Agency Required Timeline Approximate Date
Streamlined and expedited procedures for air carriers and contractors to submit requests for financial assistance Treasury Department  No later than 5 days after enactment April 1
Funds appropriated for transit infrastructure grants Department of Transportation  No later than 7 days after enactment April 3
Application procedures for loans & loan guarantees for Loan Stabilization Fund Treasury Department No later than 10 days after enactment April 6
Initial payments of payroll assistance for air carriers Treasury Department No later than 10 days after enactment April 6
SBA Title of CARES Act Small Business Administration 15 days after enactment April 11
Rebate payments of $1,200 to individuals Treasury Department Three weeks from enactment April 17
Loan payment deferral process Small Business Administration 30 days after enactment April 26
Coronavirus Relief Fund (distributed to states) Treasury Department 30 days after enactment April 26
Assistance to states for 2020 election Election Assistance Commission 30 days after enactment April 26
Notice inviting applications for grants to states with the highest COVID-19 burden Department of Education 30 days after enactment April 26
Notice inviting applications for Emergency Education Relief grants to governors Department of Education 30 days after enactment April 26
Agreement with National Academies to produce a report on medical product supply chain security Department of Health and Human Services 60 days after enactment May 26
Notice to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding drugs of the current drug shortage Department of Health and Human Services 180 days after enactment September 23
Guidance on the sharing of patients’ protected health information during the public health emergency Department of Health and Human Services 180 days after enactment September 23

 

Additional Sector Resources

  • Independent Sector toolkit that helps individuals, small nonprofits, and large nonprofits understand how to access the benefits available.
  • The Council on Foundations has a COVID-19 resources hub with more details on the legislation
  • The Jewish Federations of North America developed a detailed FAQ document on SBA 7(a) PPP loans, sample loan and forgiveness calculation sheet to help estimate total loan request, webinar recording of their PPP Briefing, and a quick comparison between PPP Loans and traditional Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
  • NewSchools Venture Fund has a How-to-apply article in Forbes
  • Schusterman Family Foundation has an overview of SBA PPP & EIDL Loans

Additional Federal Resources and Information


Sources: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BoardSource, Bridgespan, CalNonprofits, Candid, Council on Foundations, Exponent Philanthropy, First Nations Development Institute, FSG, Giving Compass, Independent Sector, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, National Council on Nonprofits, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), Open Road Alliance, Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation, Philanthropy California, Philanthropy Roundtable, United Philanthropy Forum, Weiss Associates LLC, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Nonprofit Quarterly, The Nonprofit Times

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