April 16, 2020
Hello Nonprofit Colleagues and Supporters, 

We have lots to report today.

First off, I’d like to share that NAO has partnered with  Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington  and launched the GOSW-NAO Resource Connector this morning! The Resource Connector is a web-based portal that will facilitate matching a nonprofit's request with interested funders. We are piloting this portal for the first cycle, which runs April 16-June, 30, 2020 for NAO 501(c)(3) nonprofits members. To access the portal, NAO members can log on to their user account and visit the  Members Only Area  for further instructions. Many thanks to GOSW for this great partnership! Together we are connecting the philanthropic and nonprofit communities in a way never done before in Oregon for the benefit of communities around the state! 

Before we dive in further, I want to remind you all to breathe… the best way to enter into a thoughtful, strategic state of mind is to keep calm and think through your options. We are in the “emergency phase” of this pandemic. Our colleagues in the healthcare and social services sectors are doing heroic work (and I don’t use that term lightly) to treat the ill and provide safe and healthy services to the most vulnerable in our community. I don’t normally do this, but wanted to draw your attention to the new website  Saves Lives Stay Home supporting nurses and other healthcare professionals in Oregon and Washington that just went live yesterday. I encourage as many of you to contribute if you can.

A disaster, and the recovery from it, follow specific patterns and there are best practices that can both mitigate the impacts of the disaster while building the foundation of a stable recovery more quickly. I know that there are still many questions, answers, options and challenges that are unknown to us. Unfortunately, that is the nature of an emergency. As nonprofit and community leaders, our role now is to use the best available information we have to make short- and intermediate-term decisions that will bring our communities, staff, volunteers and organizations through this. For those that have planned, maybe even trained for disasters and have reserves and contingency plans, the road will be much less bumpy. For those that have not, it is not a lost cause. Don’t give up! It’s more difficult, but you can “build the plane as you’re flying it.” NAO is here with you to hand you the right tools. In fact, we did a session today on contingency planning for nonprofits. And, check out our new and improved  COVID-19 Resources page  – we’ve redesigned and reorganized the information so you can find COVID-19-related news and resources that you need easily and quickly! Keep up the great work you are all doing for all Oregonians!

So now, let’s get into it… 

Last night, banks received notification that the first $349 billion in the Paycheck Protection Program funds have been allocated. It is unclear if applications that were in process, but had not yet received an etran number are counted in that allocation or not. This morning, I spoke to Kathy Swift a lending expert at Heritage bank who has over 35 years in lending and she told me that the etran number is the “golden ticket” showing that the SBA has your application in their system. While it is not guaranteed, it is highly likely that if you got an etran number from your bank, you’re counted in the $349 billion allocation. It is critically important that if you sent more than one application to different banks, and you receive an etran confirmation from one, immediately contact the other banks you have applied to an withdraw your application! The system will allow two etran numbers to be generated, but it will catch it later and your applications may be in jeopardy. Under no circumstances should you sign two different lending documents with two different lenders for the PPP. Reject one immediately and contact your bank professional.

For those of us that have not yet received an etran number from our banks, don’t despair! The big question remains whether congressional leaders will reach an interim deal to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program and perhaps other programs. Negotiations are under way for an additional $250 billion to be put into the PPP. There have been phone calls between the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin yesterday. We know that the House Democratic Caucus is scheduled to meet by phone today at 2:00 pm EDT and that the Senate is set to go into  pro forma  session at 3:00 pm. Both times were previously scheduled, but the timing would work nicely for advancing a deal.

As you are aware, NAO has been circulating an  Oregon Nonprofit Community Letter . Thank you to the over 290 organizations that have signed the letter so far. We will deliver a copy of the letter today with those organizations’ endorsements. We are also extending the time for any additional organizations to sign-on to that letter through the end of today. If you have been sitting on the sidelines, not sure if your nonprofit can lobby, I can assure you that you can. Time is of the essence and we need our U.S. Congressional representatives to hear from all of us! Please sign on today! 
As lawmakers are considering what reforms are needed to the CARES Act several are circulating letters asking their elected colleagues to sign onto.

  • House Letter Supporting Nonprofit “Asks” in the CARES Act 2.0: Representatives Moulton (D-MA) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA) sent out a draft Dear Colleague letter on Wednesday encouraging their fellow Representatives to join them in urging congressional leaders to ensure provisions benefitting the work of charitable nonprofits are included in the fourth stimulus package. Specifically, the letter calls for expanding nonprofit access to financial relief and support (credit/grants); providing 100% unemployment reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits; and improving the charitable giving incentives. NAO will be asking our US Representatives to sign the bipartisan Moulton/Fitzpatrick “Dear Colleague letter” on the CARES Act 2.0 bill.

  • Senate Letter Supporting Appropriations for Social Services Programs Performed by Nonprofits: Senator Schatz (D-HI) has crafted a sign-on letter to Senate leaders calling for emergency funding in the CARES Act 2.0 bill for programs typically performed by nonprofits. The letter states, “A rapid infusion of funds to nonprofit organizations that are partnering with state and local governments will help frontline responders and vulnerable families.” NAO will be asking our Senators Wyden and Merkley to sign on to Senator Schatz’s letter. 

For large organizations (over 500 employees):

Treasury and Federal Reserve Board Announce New and Expanded Lending Programs to Provide up to $2.3 Trillion in Financing some of which goes to the Main Street Loan Programs.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent out a letter  urging Democratic Members of Congress to reach out to nonprofits to share concerns about a loan program Treasury and the Fed announced last week. Representatives have contacted so many of you in the past 24 hours urging action. The deadline for taking the actions requested by the Speaker – submitting short comments.

This morning, we submitted the attached public comments to the Federal Reserve expressing disappointment in the Main Street programs and calling on the Fed and Treasury to promptly launch a loan program expressly available to charitable nonprofits that satisfy the favorable terms in the CARES Act. Our comments include the common set of “asks” our coalition of national and state association nonprofit organizations have been advocating since the beginning of this crisis. If you have over 500 employees at your organization, please submit your comments on the  Fed public comment form  (1,500 character limit) by  today, April 16 .

Please feel free to copy the feedback we have given on this program:

NAO joins with the National Council of Nonprofits in expressing concern that the Main Street Loan Facilities fails to extend essential relief to nonprofit organizations. If the programs are intended to satisfy the mandates in CARES Act §4003(c)(3)(D), significant changes must be made to comply with the law. If the Secretary intends to create a different loan program to extend credit to mid-size nonprofits, it is imperative that the Treasury and the Fed communicate this intention immediately to stem the furloughs of nonprofit employees while the needs for their services are growing exponentially.

As Treasury and the Fed work to create a program under §4003(c)(3)(D) providing financing to lenders to make loans to nonprofits and other employers with up to 10,000 employees, the program should include the following terms to satisfy the requirements of the CARES Act:

  • Include an interest rate of 0.50% (50 basis points) for 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits at a 5 year amortization 
  • Provide priority to 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits responding to COVID-19 relief efforts and require lenders to make a proportionate number and value of loans to nonprofits to prevent the crowding out that is being seen in the Paycheck Protection Program 
  • Set a date certain for when employee retention provisions should begin 
  • Payments shall not be due until two years after a direct loan is made 

We also ask that Treasury and the Fed utilize all authority to establish protocols to convert loans under this program into grants, similar to the terms established for the Paycheck Protection Program. Regardless of size, the needs and realities of nonprofits on the frontlines are the same. Loan programs should provide equal treatment.

Check out these important upcoming online sessions to assist/support nonprofits:

Ask the Experts – Nonprofit Leaders’ Challenges/Priorities During COVID-19 Times, Tuesday, April 21, Noon – 1 p.m. PT: Rick Jung, Executive Director of Portland Gay Men’s Chorus; Kecia Kubota, Executive Director of Camp Fire Central Oregon; and Janet Yousey, CEO of Shangri-la will discuss the challenges and priorities facing their organizations and other nonprofits in their communities during these unprecedented COVID-19 times. How are they dealing with key challenges such as financial, staffing, programming, supporting the communities they serve, etc.? What are some emerging strategies and priorities they expect they need to focus on in anticipation of Oregon’s “reopening” following the loosening of the current stay at home order. There’ll be a Q&A/discussion session where participants can share their thoughts as well in a peer-to-peer forum. Register for the session here .

COVID-19 Financial Tools and Resources for Oregonians: Experts weigh in on navigating current financial challenges for Oregon households, Thursday, April 23, Noon – 1 p.m. PT: Many Oregonians are now facing significant financial challenges and uncertainty due to COVID-19. A panel of Oregon experts will share tools, tips and resources to help individuals and families navigate these timely financial topics. Panelists include: Brian H Farr - Licensed Professional Counselor & Financial Therapist, Private Practice; James Boley - Consumer Lending: Student Lending Manager Sr., First Tech Federal Credit Union; Erin Moore - Education Program Manager, OnPoint Community Credit Union; and Nancy Yuill - Financial Education Outreach Coordinator, Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, Department of Consumer and Business Services. The session will be moderated by Kate Benedict - Executive Director, Financial Beginnings Oregon. Register for the session  here .

So, lots to process today, but remember to breathe… your strategic mind won’t be able to guide you and your organization forward if you are in fight or flight mode. Know that we are in this together and we will build the resiliency in our communities and organizations together. 
Jim White
Executive Director
Thank you to the following SPONSORS and FUNDERS who are supporting NAO’s online COVID-19 events and communications during these challenging times. Their support is vital in helping NAO to bring much-needed resources and information to Oregon’s nonprofits – thank you.