This week, United Philanthropy Forum joined other national nonprofit and philanthropy organizations in signing on to two letters sent to Capitol Hill on behalf of nonprofits, relating to proposed COVID-19 and economic stimulus package legislation.
On March 12, 2020, the Forum signed on to a letter to Congressional offices outlining why nonprofits must be included in COVID-19 stimulus package legislation. This letter highlighted practical policy examples and solutions for Members of Congress to think about when drafting legislation. On March 14, 2020, the House voted 363-40 to pass H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill ensures that nonprofits can use a tax credit to offer paid leave for their employees – one of the requests in the letter.
On March 18, 2020, the Forum signed on to a second letter that asks Congress to provide an infusion of $60 billion in capital to America’s charitable nonprofits to maintain operations, expand the scope to address increasing demands, and stabilize losses from closures throughout the country. Later that evening, the Senate voted 90-8 to pass the House bill and the president signed it into law. The final bill includes paid sick leave, food assistance for vulnerable populations and financial help for coronavirus testing.
Currently, Senate leaders are already working on another stimulus package, with a focus on relief for small businesses. As Congress continues to work on additional legislation, we encourage you to post the 2nd letter on your own websites and share the letter with your elected officials, and highlight two key asks in the letter:
- Urge them to infuse $60 billion in capital to America’s charitable nonprofits so they can be equipped to help the most vulnerable affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
- Urge them to enact an “above-the-line” or universal charitable deduction for charitable contributions through the end of 2021. Congress should permit taxpayers to donate today – at the height of the pandemic – and claim the benefit from these deductions on 2019 tax returns.
Also, please share the letter with your foundation members, as they reach out to their elected officials.
The Forum is grateful to the National Council of Nonprofits for its leadership in developing both letters. Developments pertaining to legislation are happening quickly, the Forum will continue to keep you updated on its progress.
For more information about philanthropy’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Forum’s website, here .