PNY's Call to Action on Behalf of NYC's Nonprofits During COVID-19

Friday, April 24, 2020

PNY's Call to Action on Behalf of NYC's Nonprofits During COVID-19

On Monday, April 20, 2020, Philanthropy New York sent a letter to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressmembers Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Peter King, Grace Meng, Hakeem Jeffries, Kathleen Rice, Nydia Velazquez, Jose Serrano and Tom Suozzi sharing the detailed request from our colleagues at Nonprofit New York. The nonprofit sector is being directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and it is imperative that this is addressed in the next round of aid legislation.

Dear Senator/Congressmember,

We appreciate your steadfast support of the nonprofit sector in the government’s first response to COVID-19. We are writing today to draw your attention to sectoral needs that we hope will be addressed in the next round of aid legislation.  

We are sharing the detailed request from our colleagues at Nonprofit New York. We want to draw your attention to the following critical issues:  

·         Due to years of chronic under-funding by local governments, many human service organizations have merged or consolidated into organizations with well over 500 staff members. These nonprofits operate with very thin margins [4], are shifting scopes of work as essential providers during the pandemic, and are in most need of zero-interest and forgivable emergency loans. We recommend that in further relief efforts, nonprofits with more than 500 staff members can access zero-interest and forgivable loan programs.

·         Many nonprofits have realized through COVID-19 that their insurance plans did not cover business losses related to pandemics and contagious diseases, and force majeure clauses will not cover COVID-19 related losses. We recommend Congress expand insurance coverage for nonprofits that have experienced and will continue to experience losses related to COVID-19.

·         Nonprofit revenue and income streams are complex and the 'products or services' they provide are subsidized because they are considered a public benefit. This means that the 'fee' for products and service are not an equivalent to the 'fee' that for-profit businesses collect. Criteria for certain relief funds are based on a loss of 'revenue’. We recommend the definition of revenue or income for funding eligibility include donations, sponsorships, and grants.

We recognize that you are operating in a rapidly evolving policy environment and that you are also trying to be responsive to the needs of your constituents. We want to share several resources that can help you to pinpoint philanthropic funds available to New Yorkers:

·         Candid Coronavirus Funds

·         National Center for Family Philanthropy Coronavirus Funds

·         Blue Meridian COVID Response Fund

·         Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pledges $50 Million for COVID Relief

Thank you for your unwavering support of New Yorkers during this crisis. We hope these resources are helpful to you and your constituents. If you need any additional information that Philanthropy New York members can provide please do not hesitate to ask.

With appreciation for your work,

Ronna Brown Signature_transparent background

Ronna D. Brown

President, Philanthropy New York