Advocacy alert: The HEALS Act needs a nonprofit booster shotKaren Beavor
Last week, Senate Republicans unveiled their latest proposal for confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act, it is the starting point for negotiations for the next, long-anticipated Coronavirus relief bill.
While this proposal bolsters the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), offers improved unemployment insurance relief, and injects emergency funding into the 2020 Census, it falls far short of what nonprofits need to continue serving communities effectively.
We need to act swiftly and collectively to ensure that the final bill provides the nonprofit industry with the resources we need to sustain our organizations and workforce.
We are asking you to contact your legislators and activate your networks to ask for the following.
1. Additional resources to continue efforts essential to individual and community well-being, during the pandemic and throughout recovery and rebuilding. Specifically:
- Enact and expand support programs such as the proposed WORK NOW Act and the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help nonprofits retain employees, scale service delivery, and create new jobs.
- Appropriate funds for federal grant programs that enable nonprofits to advance their work serving communities. Additional funds for extended unemployment payments, housing relief, child care support, and front-line-worker support are critical to our workforce and our mission impact.
2. Provide relief to mid-size and larger nonprofits which have been unable to access government funding through the PPP or the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP). Specifically:
- Authorize and require the Federal Reserve to quickly finalize a nonprofit lending facility under MSLP tailored to accommodate mid-size nonprofits, and which offers a loan forgiveness option.
- Extend and expand the PPP by enabling a second round of funding for all nonprofits and modifying the 500-employee limit on eligibility.
3. Further incentivize giving to nonprofits. Specifically:
- Let lawmakers know how much the already-established $300 charitable deduction established in their previous COVID relief package means to your work – then urge them to cosponsor the Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act which significantly increases the charitable deduction cap, and support its inclusion in the new relief package, significantly increasing the cap on the universal charitable deduction for 2020.
- Urge them to extend these incentives through 2021 and 2022 in order to ensure nonprofit work is sustainable through a protracted economic recovery.
Your efforts have already helped us secure significant legislative support, but we need you to remain vigilant. Together, we can continue to educate lawmakers on the incredible contributions our sector makes, and the ways they can help us meet their constituents’ most pressing needs.
See this document for links to Georgia’s representatives in Congress, and a sample script for your call or email. (Note: Phone calls always work best.)