The House acted last week on COVID-19 legislation to address immediate needs and stimulate the economy. While no one expects the Senate to accept the bill as written due to its $3 trillion price tag and partisan provisions, the HEROES Act contains many bipartisan solutions important to charitable nonprofits and their ability to promote immediate relief and recovery in their communities. Some in the Senate prefer to take a wait-and-see approach to legislating – as in waiting to see if past stimulus provisions provide sufficient relief – while also insisting on including their own controversial components in future legislation. Nonprofit organizations and the people we serve literally cannot afford yet another partisan standoff that not only delays truly essential lawmaking, but also increases pain of people and harm to the economy.
Contact your U.S. Senators – Democrats and Republicans alike – and tell them that the lives and livelihoods of their constituents are much more important than partisan posturing. Urge them to start with the bipartisan provisions enabling nonprofits to serve our communities, and to build a bill that addresses essential needs and promotes the health of our residents and the economy. Connect with your Senators today. For the sake of your mission and the people you serve.
Here are key points to share:
- Unemployment bills are due now for thousands of nonprofits that self-insure under federal and state unemployment systems. The bipartisan text in the HEROES Act is only a partial fix and hasn’t been enacted. Unless Congress acts by early June, nonprofits will be forced to divert millions of dollars from their missions to pay an unfair and untimely tax.
- Mid-size nonprofits were left out of CARES Act and inaction by Treasury and the Federal Reserve gives little hope that these vital organizations will see relief any time soon. There is nothing to wait and see for these nonprofits; layoffs are becoming permanent firings.
- By early June, early PPP loans will have blown through the eight-seek covered period and those employees who benefitted will likely be laid off. Further, the flawed interpretations by SBA and Treasury (2-year maturity; 6-month deferral; 75%/25% rule) and uncertainty are leading nonprofits to send the money back and lay off staff that could have been saved. Delay by Congress only exacerbates these problems.
- Donations delayed are donations denied during this crisis. Congress needs to permit retroactive application of donations made now (3/13/2020 – 7/15/2020) to 2019 tax filings and expand the above-the-line deduction now, so the donations can do the most good when needed most.
Find your Senators’ Twitter handles and tweet one of the following @ them. Also consider including a photo to make the appeal more personal and further connect the importance of this bill to your nonprofit’s mission.
Usual texts about finding Senator twitter handles
- .[Senator handle] #Nonprofits on the front lines can’t afford to wait-and-see on #COVID19 relief from Congress; we need #Relief4Charities now. Pass the bipartisan reforms without delay. Your constituents’ lives and livelihoods are counting on you to act, not delay. https://bit.ly/3g3fAqI
- .[Senator handle] States are requiring self-insured #nonprofits pay 100% of the costs of UI benefits for former employees, diverting millions from missions when these organizations need the money the most. Fix the UI flaws in CARES Act #Relief4Charities https://bit.ly/3g3fAqI
- .[Senator handle] Mid-size #nonprofits have received no relief under the #CARESAct, so there’s nothing for us to wait and see. We need #Relief4Charities now. Pass the bipartisan reforms without delay, including forgivable loans for larger orgs. https://bit.ly/3g3fAqI
- .[Senator handle] Donations have dried up due to COVID-19. Help #nonprofits help communities recover by allowing 2020 gifts on 2019 taxes; expand and extend above-the-line deduction. #Relief4Charities https://bit.ly/3g3fAqI