Alert! Nonprofit Resources for Navigating CARES Act Assistance Programs
Go to our blog post for more information and resources.
Updated April 7, 2020
Let’s get through this crisis together!
We are learning fast about how to survive and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofits that typically operate on thin margins are facing unprecedented challenges. Washington Nonprofits is committed to supporting nonprofits through this crisis with timely information and advocacy.
In the past few weeks, we have moved from trying to understand what this crisis means to sheltering in place and learning how to work remotely. Now we are putting new plans in place to keep our programs operating safely or to “go dark” temporarily to ensure our long-term survival. We are also trying to figure out if the new loan programs available through the federal government are useful for our individual situations.
What Is Washington Nonprofits doing?
Learning and Crowdsourcing Ideas
Our first move was to help nonprofits cope by providing information and opportunities to share ideas and strategies.
- We have quickly organized a series of webinars and curated resources on topics that were requested by our members. We offered these for free and had nationwide participation by 400-600 people per webinar. Recordings are available here.
- We have convened census organizers to share information about how they are adapting their outreach strategies given the importance of avoiding gathering and social distancing. Recording and resources here.
- We are convened volunteer managers in Washington to talk about how to adapt volunteer recruitment and management strategies during COVID-19.
- We have virtual ED Coffee Hours coming up on April 6 and 14.
- We are maintaining our calendar of online learning opportunities.
- We are shifting the Central Washington Conference for the Greater Good and the Washington State Nonprofit Conference to virtual events. Our presenters will adapt their presentations in light of COVID-19, and we’ll have the latest updates for you.
Advocating with Elected Officials
Now is the time for advocacy. As government leaders at all levels have crafted the first COVID-19 relief and recovery programs, the focus has been on public health, small businesses, and employees lacking sick leave and suffering economic losses. These are all valid priorities. We’ve started to speak up and our advocacy showed in the CARES Act, which includes loan and grant programs that nonprofits can access. We need to continue working hard to ensure that policymakers are aware that nonprofits are suffering economic losses as well as increased costs to provide responsive services.
- We have convened a COVID-19 Nonprofit Advocacy Workgroup to ensure that nonprofits are visible and included in recovery planning. Email Laura Pierce for additional information: email@example.com
- We are communicating with Washington State leaders and our US Congressional delegation.
- We are collaborating with nonprofits across the country through the National Council of Nonprofits to advocate at the federal level.
Here’s a great video from the National Council of Nonprofits: “How We Can Help Each Other and Our Communities During the Coronavirus”
Dialoguing with Funders
Washington Nonprofits issued an Open Letter to Funders and has been speaking with foundation leaders to provide nonprofit input as they determine how to respond. Feel free to share with your networks and tag @WaNonprofits.
Thank you to our partner Philanthropy Northwest for tracking and keeping an updated list of special coronavirus response funds throughout the region.
What Nonprofit Leaders can do
Advocacy: We will be sharing opportunities to advocate and educate policymakers and funders. Please make sure you are subscribed to our lists, particularly our public policy advocacy list.
Storytelling: To advocate effectively, we need to know what is happening for you, your organization, and your community. Please keep in touch and share your stories with us.
Tips for Leaders
- Don’t panic. Breathe!
- Keep your staff team connected even as you work remotely. Communicate more, not less.
- Demonstrate care and concern for your staff, board members and volunteers.
- Follow all recommendations from public health officials.
- Speak out to counter discrimination.
Check out our webinars and related resources to better understand how to plan for program continuity, make key decisions, shift your fundraising strategy, and work effectively from home.
Are you still operating and using volunteers? Check out this sample liability waiver provided by our partners at NPIP.
COVID-19 & Nonprofits Webinars & Related Resources
We have posted recordings and resources related to a series of webinars related to COVID-19 and nonprofits, including:
- Event Planning & COVID-19
- What should nonprofits be thinking about
- Alternatives to Meeting in Person
- Adapting Our Fundraising Strategy
We also have posted information on updating your census outreach strategy for COVID-19. We hope these resources will help your organization adapt and stay strong through the crisis.
More resources on our blog:
Resources from our partners
- Legal Alert: Recommended Practices for Employers in Response to Coronavirus from Communities Rise
- Prepare. Respond. Serve. from 501 Commons & Tech Impact
- Cabin Fever Questions and “Strange Pages: 15 Books for Uncertain Times” from Humanities Washington
- Washington State Coronavirus Response maintained by the state Joint Information Center
We will periodically update our resources here based on new information. Remember your role as a leader in the midst of uncertainty: show your team that you care and strategize together about how to stay safe and meet your mission.
To ensure that you get timely updates and to support us to provide information on emergent issues, please join Washington Nonprofits if are you not already a member.