Washington, D.C. -- Today, the U.S. Senate voted on legislation aimed at addressing some of the issues stemming from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A statement from the leading coalition of the nation’s nonprofits follows:
An engaged and effective charitable sector is critical to helping our nation’s communities and economy recover. Charitable nonprofits, like the millions of people they serve, are struggling amidst the ongoing turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We appreciate the acknowledgement by the Senate that nonprofits are suffering and believe a proposed increase in the universal charitable deduction is a good start. However, nonprofits offering critical services and supporting jobs in communities across the country need more assistance to keep their doors open and continue to offer support to individuals and families.
Nonprofits represent the nation’s third largest industry, with more than 12 million employees who are at the forefront of helping Americans through these difficult times. These charities provide everything from food and shelter to medical and mental health services to education and cultural and spiritual support. Yet, at a time when Americans need these services the most, donations and other earned revenue sources continue to decline as demand for many services continues to grow.
It is imperative that Congress enact significant bipartisan coronavirus relief legislation as soon as possible. Final legislation should include not only an increase to the universal charitable deduction and extend that deduction at least through 2021, but it should also extend a new round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to nonprofits of all sizes, expand refundable payroll tax credits, provide forgivable loans to mid-size and large nonprofits that have thus far been unable to access this necessary aid, provide full unemployment benefit reimbursement for nonprofits that self-insure, and continue emergency funding programs to provide nonprofits with financial support to maintain services protecting vulnerable families and frontline responders. These are all provisions with broad bipartisan support in both chambers.
These measures would offer immediate and critical relief to a sector that is providing help to people in countless ways during this crisis. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure nonprofits can continue their essential work as part of our nation’s social and economic fabric through this pandemic and beyond.
More than 4,000 charitable organizations from all 50 states signed a letter to congressional leaders urging support of specific priorities that would enable nonprofits to continue serving their communities. Read the full letter here.