By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Goodwill Industries International
When the pandemic began, Goodwill Industries International joined with many other nonprofits in an effort to seek congressional relief to maintain our operations and continue to fulfill our missions. As lawmakers and staff are negotiating the details for the next COVID-19 relief package, Goodwill® and other nonprofits are teaming up for a #Relief4Charities Week of Action during the week of July 13. Nonprofit organizations provide essential services, but we’ve been hit hard by the health and economic crisis. We need Congress to take action to help us serve communities.
Join us next week for the #Relief4Charities Week of Action!
Every day, we will be sharing information via @GoodwillCapHill on Twitter that aligns with each of our four issue areas. The coalition leaders will also be hosting virtual briefings for Hill staffers to educate them about our asks and how the crisis has been impacting charitable nonprofits.
We ask that you follow along with us and help amplify our social media messages. We will also have a series of action alerts in our next update that will allow you to engage with lawmakers on the issues outlined below.
- Continue emergency funding programs that provide nonprofits with financial support, enabling them to continue and expand services protecting vulnerable families and frontline responders. Charitable organizations must have additional resources to provide vital services that are essential to individual and community well-being, both during the pandemic and to support recovery and rebuilding efforts.
- Provide low-cost loans to mid-size and larger nonprofits that have not been able to access government funding to date. Nonprofits with 500 or more employees are currently completely shut out of the two most important sources of COVID-19 financial support: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program (MSLP). The recently proposed nonprofit MSLP contains numerous financial restrictions and lacks the forgivable feature of the PPP, making it unattractive to most organizations that are targeted for the support.
- Strengthen individual charitable giving incentives to encourage all Americans to help their communities during these challenging times through charitable donations. Donations are especially needed today as nonprofits respond to the current health and economic crisis and will be critical in the future, as nonprofits will play an essential role in recovery efforts when the pandemic ends.
- Provide full unemployment benefit reimbursement to nonprofits that self-insure these benefits. Federal and state laws give nonprofits the option of operating as self-insured employers that make payments to their state unemployment insurance systems for benefits attributable to them in lieu of advance contributions. Shut-down orders by government officials and program cancellations have forced nonprofits to furlough or layoff staff, triggering immediate, catastrophic unemployment payment bills that are due this month in most states. These challenges are exacerbating cash flow difficulties at a time when other employers will likely experience little or no additional costs resulting from COVID-19-related layoffs and are diverting valuable funds from mission services.
Nonprofits like Goodwill have an important role to play in recovery efforts post-pandemic, and we need support from Congress to help us do so. Thanks in advance for being a part of our Congressional outreach efforts. Stay tuned for more information!