By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is proud to be a founding partner of the #Relief4Chairities coalition, which came together with a united front early on during the pandemic.
As a coalition of nonprofit organizations with widely varying missions, we appreciate that in passing the bipartisan CARES Act, Congress recognized that both individuals and families rely extensively on nonprofits for important services, and that nonprofits, as the third largest employment industry, play a significant role in our nation’s economy. These bipartisan efforts have been a lifeline for many nonprofits during this crisis, and it is clear every dollar has been leveraged immediately to address present challenges.
Nonprofits still face significant challenges, however, and as we begin the process of reopening, these challenges will only grow. That’s why we’re calling on Congress to provide relief that will enable the nation’s nonprofits to advance their mission-driven service to communities hardest hit by COVID-19.
You can help support our efforts by visiting our Legislative Action Center and sending your lawmakers messages 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 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. 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 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 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 (“reimbursing”) 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.
#Relief4Charities Week of Action is a joint effort of the following nonprofit organizations and coalitions: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, American Alliance of Museums, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Association of Art Museum Directors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Catholic Charities USA, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Ducks Unlimited, Faith & Giving Coalition, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Goodwill Industries International, Inc., Habitat for Humanity International, Independent Sector, Jewish Federations of North America, Leadership 18, League of American Orchestras, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lutheran Services in America, March of Dimes, Mental Health America, National Council of Nonprofits, The Arc of the United States, The Nonprofit Alliance, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union), United Philanthropy Forum, United Way Worldwide, Welcoming America, YMCA of the USA, and YWCA USA.
Collectively, the nation’s 1.3 million nonprofits employ 12.3 million workers, which is more than 10 percent of the private workforce. Nonprofits are the third largest industry, employing more people than the manufacturing or construction industries.