TAKE ACTION: Nonprofits Must Be Included in the COVID-19 Stimulus!

TAKE ACTION: Nonprofits Must Be Included in the COVID-19 Stimulus!

Dear Nonprofit Community,
Thank you for all you are doing to sustain our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress recently passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and is now quickly working to pass an economic stimulus package to respond to the recession brought on by COVID-19. The Senate proposal is already out. We must make our voices heard, as powerful economic engines of our city, state, and national economies. We need you to TAKE ACTION and tell Congress nonprofits must be included in any federal stimulus package. Feel free to use the boilerplate language below to contact your Congressmembers today.

Contact the Senate
Contact the House

In solidarity,
Your friends at Nonprofit New York

Thank you for all you are doing to sustain our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand Congress is actively working on an economic stimulus bill to mitigate the recession COVID-19 has created. New York City’s nonprofits face an unprecedented threat to be able to serve our communities. Our sector is committed to ending COVID-19, but we must remain in existence to do our part.

New York City’s nonprofits employ 16% of the private workforce, 6% higher than the national average. In the Bronx we are 34% of the workforce, in Staten Island 25%, in Brooklyn 21%. Our arts and cultural organizations that employ 300,000 people and pay over $20 billion in wages, attracting global tourism. Our health and human service organizations, many of whom have more than 500 employees, are on the frontlines of the pandemic, through 3,000 organizations employing over 40,000 people. We are faith centers, philanthropic institutions, schools, theatres and arts education centers, advocates, environmental justice champions, musicians, and sites of housing, community, and economic development among many other fields. Nationally we contribute $900 billion to GDP and employ 12 million workers. We are part of the infrastructure and vitality of our city, state, and nation and must be valued in the same way as airlines, hospitality, and other businesses.

The impact of COVID-19 on our sector has been severe. Organizations face near impossible choices when our communities need us most. Staff furloughs or layoffs; suspend services this week or next. Some have one to two weeks of cash left. Even our largest institutions are suffering significant deficits and layoffs. Gig artists are out of work. Part-time workers laid off. Underpaid health and human service workers are asked to shift and work more, in high-risk positions.

The latest draft of the stimulus, from Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY), provides minimal support for charitable organizations, but certainly not enough to help nonprofits succeed and survive. And certainly not as much as business interests. We are particularly concerned that the small business loans (Section 7(a)) exclude nonprofits with more than 500 employees, and organizations that bill for Medicaid. We commend the federal student loan payment suspensions, which is a major burden on our workforce.

We are calling on our Congressional leaders to:

  • Clarify that charitable nonprofits of all sizes, including more than 500, are able to participate in the emergency Small Business Loan Program by using the tax-law definition of charitable organizations (Sec. 501(c)(3) public charities) and removing the language that excludes nonprofits that are eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Expressly include charitable nonprofits in the $200 billion loan fund for businesses. The charitable sector needs an immediate infusion of $60 billion and the loan program is a fast way to get cash in the hands of organizations serving immediate needs in communities, yet facing lost and declining revenue due to the pandemic.
  • Improve the above-the-line charitable deduction by raising the cap to $2,000 and allowing all taxpayers to immediately claim the deduction on their 2019 taxes (due on July 15), and afterwards through 2021. Nonprofit New York endorses Senator Lankford’s amendment that would significantly increase the cap on the above-the-line charitable deduction from what is in the draft Senate Republican bill.

Have questions? Contact Policy Director Chai Jindasurat at [email protected].