COVID-19 Policy Updates

COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation Update – Phase 3.5

Phase 3.5 of the COVID-19 related legislative packages included an additional $484 billion aid package, named the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, would include:

  • $310 billion in additional lending authority for the Paycheck Protection Program, find updated FAQ here;
  • Includes set aside to support loans issued by smaller lenders;
  • $60 billion for separate disaster loans to small businesses;
  • $75 billion for hospitals;
  • $25 billion for virus testing.

View the complete text of the bill here and a summary of provisions here.

COVID-19 Related Sector Advocacy Continues

Advocacy activities continue to focus on asking Congressional leadership to ensure charitable nonprofits are supported in future legislative packages. Philanthropy Colorado was among state organizations making contacts and sending a letter to our Congressional delegation and continues to keep tabs on these efforts. 

Our national network and the entire Charitable Giving Coalition sent a letter to House Ways Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), and urged support for stronger charitable giving incentives in the next COVID-19 package by significantly increasing the $300 cap on the temporary universal charitable deduction, applying the deduction to 2019, extending the temporary suspension of AGI limits and temporary universal charitable deduction beyond 2020, and allowing deductibility of gifts to donor-advised funds.

Main Street Lending Program for Nonprofits?
The Federal Reserve announced the creation of a Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and mid-sized businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofits were initially excluded from participating, but after comments submitted to the Federal Reserve by our partner nonprofit organizations and at the urging of Congressional leadership, nonprofits will very likely now be included. The program would offer four-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues lower than $2.5 billion.


Philanthropy Colorado supports “Dear Colleague” letter in support of nonprofits

Philanthropy Colorado and several members of our national network, United Philanthropy Forum, signed on in mid-April as supporters of a call to action made by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in a letter to House leadership, requesting that charitable nonprofits receive critical relief in any future COVID-19 legislative package. The supporting organizations are listed in a “Dear Colleague” letter the two congressmen sent to Members of Congress, asking them to join in the request to House leadership.

Because our board-approved policy process and platform allows us to take swift action on issues broadly affecting the sector, we were able to sign this letter ahead of a quick deadline. The following organizations joined the Forum in support: Council of Michigan Foundations, Council on Foundations, Forefront, Grantmakers in the Arts, Minnesota Council on Foundations, Philanthropy Colorado, Philanthropy Delaware, Philanthropy Massachusetts, Philanthropy New York, and Philanthropy West Virginia.

Census 2020 News and Resources

In light of COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations to:

  1. Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees;
  2. Implement guidance from Federal, State, and local authorities regarding COVID-19;
  3. Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

Under the revised plan, field activities will not resume until after June 1, 2020, as area census offices begin returning to full staff capacity. In-person activities, including enumeration, office work, and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance from authorities to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public.

Here is some additional census information:

  • The Census Bureau's delay of operations and extension of the census deadline to October 31 necessitated their request to Congress to push back the two statutory reporting deadlines tied to census data: December 31 for apportionment and end of April 2021 for redistricting. The updated timeline is here. Congress hasn't approved this request yet, but the modified timeline for redistricting will have major implications for some states, especially for those whose redistricting timeline is in statute or the state constitution. See NCSL's chart on that here
  • Because of how dramatically organizations have had to shift from in-person outreach, there is still a need for funders to invest in an accurate count. Needs include equipment, digital and social media training, paid ads, list-building mechanisms, and virtual meeting tools, as well as creative approaches to reach rural and remote communities (including American Indian reservations) that have yet to receive census materials. The extension means groups will need additional resources or they'll be stretched especially thin since the census timeline now overlaps with election outreach, according to the Funders Committee for Civic Participation.
  • You can monitor real-time self-response feedback for Colorado and elsewhere at the state, county, and census tract level through the interactive Hard-to-Count map. Many groups are analyzing this information on a regular basis to motivate their communities and refine outreach strategies.