April 29, 2021
Hello Nonprofit Leaders and Supporters, 
 
We have some exciting and breaking news! Earlier this week, the Senate Appropriations committee announced that they’ll accept Congressionally Directed Spending (sometimes known as earmarks) on a bipartisan basis for spending bills for the next fiscal year. This is big news as it’s the first time this has happened in a decade. This decision has the potential to be incredibly beneficial to Oregon nonprofit organizations.
 
As of today, Senate Appropriations Subcommittees have yet to release more specific guidance on what kind of information they will require for Congressionally Directed Spending requests from nonprofit organizations. We understand that both of our Senator’s will have the opportunity to direct spending, however, as Oregon’s only delegation member who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Jeff Merkley has begun leading efforts to ensure that Oregon’s organizations who would like to pursue Congressionally Directed Spending via the Senate appropriations process can do so.
 
If your organization is interested in talking with Senator Merkley’s staff about a project you think might be worth pursuing through the Congressionally Directed Spending process for the 2022 federal appropriations cycle, I urge you to explore the links provided below and be strategic about the type of project you request. I’d recommend you reach out as soon as possible to Senator Merkley’s representative in your area as the Senator’s deadline for submitting requests to his office is next Friday, May 7th.  
  
Please note: 

1. You can read more about Senator Merkley’s priorities for the 117th Congress here, or read more about the Senator’s take on various issues here in case you’re interested in learning about the top priorities he’s working on for Oregonians as you consider submitting a Congressionally Directed Spending request to his office.  

2. You can read more about Senator Wyden’s take on various issues here as you consider submitting a Congressionally Directed Spending request to his office.

3. The Senate is imposing rules around Congressionally Directed Spending requests. The rules are designed to promote transparency and will require requests submitted to the Appropriations Committee to be posted on Senators’ websites along with information from requesting organizations. 

  • Requests that are funded by the Appropriations Committee and enacted could also be audited by the Government Accountability Office, requiring organizations to making publicly available their financial records to demonstrate how the funding was used.  

4. The Senator’s office is expecting the Congressionally Directed Spending process to yield far more requests than there will be funding available to support, thus appreciates organizations prioritizing just one or a very small handful of requests to discuss and potentially submit by May 7th. 

Stay healthy and be safe,

Jim White
NAO Executive Director
Nonprofit News

Do you work for one of the best nonprofits in Oregon? Register to find out! 
  
NAO has once again partnered with Oregon Business to launch the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon survey for 2021. Oregon Business’ 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon survey is used to find out how satisfied your employees are and what their concerns might be – taking time to listen to your employees will set you up to be an even stronger organization. Join our effort to support strong workplace culture and celebrate successful employers by participating in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon survey. The survey must be completed by July 20, 2021. As always, participation is at no-cost to you. Participating organizations must have a minimum of 10 Oregon-based employees and/or volunteers who work at least 20 hours per month. For survey information, click here; to register for the survey, click here.  
At the State Level

COVID-19
 
Fifteen Oregon counties are moving back to the extreme-risk restriction tier on Friday due to a rapid acceleration of COVID-19 cases throughout the state. The fifteen counties effected are Baker, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, and Wasco counties. For more information on the restrictions going into place, see here.  
 
Having strict restrictions put back into place throughout the state is incredibly challenging for nonprofit organizations who have to continually pivot their operations in order to adhere to the public health rules. We also know that we all want to keep our communities as safe, healthy, and protected from COVID-19 as possible. The best thing that we can do to keep Oregon’s case count low and lift restrictions in our communities is to get vaccinated and encourage our staff, volunteers, and communities to get vaccinated as well. And for those of you who have been putting off making an appointment because they’ve been difficult to get, it’s gotten much easier across the state to make an appointment at multiple locations with plenty of open availability – so don’t let that remain a deterrent!
At the Federal Level

The American Families Plan 

The White House released the details of the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion proposal to provide free education (pre-K and community college), paid family and medical leave, subsidized childcare, and more. The White House also released this Fact Sheet on the American Families Plan
 
American Families Plan would be paid for over 15 years through increased taxes on taxpayers earning more than $400,000 and an increase in capital gains tax rates for people earning more than $1 million. The plan calls for eliminating “stepped up basis,” meaning heirs would be liable for taxes on gains in the value of inherited property (above $1 million), including the ones that accrued before they took ownership. Notably, the plan states that taxes would not be assessed on property “donated to charity.” There is no reference in the plan released to limit the value of itemized deductions to 28% (when President Biden was running for office, he proposed a 28% gap). The plan also is silent on changes to the estate tax or to the $10,000 cap on State and Local Taxes (SALT cap). One or more these may show up in legislative text for the American Families Plan or other legislation. NAO together with our national colleagues will remain all remain vigilant to changes in text that may occur. 
 
The paid leave proposal appears to track a bill announced by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Neal (D-MA). Additional details of the Neal bill, Building an Economy for Families Act – News ReleaseOne PagerSection by Section, and information on universal paid family and medical leave
 
The WORK NOW Act, S.740/H.R. 1987

The “Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofit Organizations Well Act,” or WORK NOW Act (S. 740/H.R. 1987), would infuse $50 billion into the nonprofit community across the country to get people back to work and make sure nonprofits are able to meet the needs of the populations they serve.  
 
  • Funding will cover salaries and wages up to $50,000 for each employee, plus benefits. Some portion of grant funding may be used to cover operating costs (such as rent, utilities, insurance policies, and maintenance) and programmatic costs.

  • 80% of WORK NOW grants will be distributed to state, local, and Tribal governments for grants provided to local nonprofits. 20% of grants will be allocated to intermediary nonprofit organizations for allocation to entities.
  
  • Priority for grants by governments or intermediaries shall be given to organizations serving public needs that have increased during the pandemic, including housing and emergency shelter, public health, arts and cultural, food insecurity, supplemental educational services, direct services to help individuals stabilize their lives and fund self-sufficiency, and services in rural areas. 
 
NAO is happy to report that both Senators Wyden and Merkley have signed on to the bill and we are hopeful that our state associations colleagues can convince their Republican Senators to join this important relief package.  
 
Federal Contractor Minimum Wage 

President Biden signed an Executive Order on Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to workers who are working on federal contracts. The White House Fact Sheet states: “Starting January 30, 2022 all agencies will need to incorporate a $15 minimum wage in new contract solicitations, and by March 30, 2022, all agencies will need to implement the minimum wage into new contracts.” The higher rate must also be incorporated into existing contracts at the time of renewal. The text of the Order makes clear that the mandate only applies to entities contracting with the federal government for:  
 
a. procurement or construction,
b. services covered under the Service Contract Act,  
c. concessions, or  
d. services in connection with federal property or lands and for the benefit of federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.  
 
The Secretary of Labor is instructed to issue regulations implementing the Order by November 24, 2021, with revisions to the Federal Acquisition Regulations to occur within 60 days thereafter.  
 
Contracts only, not grants: Importantly, the Order states that the mandate does not apply to grants. While charitable nonprofits often perform services for the federal government pursuant to contracts the vast majority of agreements between the government and nonprofits are grants that are exempted from the Order. No explanation for the discrepancy was given. This appears to be a case where the nonprofit sector is being treated as being less valued as compared to the for-profits that contract with government. NAO is seeking clarification as to why this class system would be set up within the structure. NAO has long advocated that government needs to step up and pay for the services they receive from nonprofits, so that they in turn can provide better wages to their workers.  
 
IRS Priority Plan

In Notice 2021-28, the IRS and Treasury Department formally invites the public to submit recommendations for items to be included on the 2021-2022 Priority Guidance Plan. That’s essentially the government’s regulatory “to do” list for tax matters, used by Treasury and the IRS to identify and prioritize the tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance. You are encouraged to submit recommendations for guidance electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (type IRS-2021-0004 in the comment box). The deadline for submitting public recommendations is Friday, May 28, 2021.
Upcoming Online Sessions

NAO offers practical, affordable learning and convening programs in a variety of formats, including conferences, resource round-ups, informational sessions and mini-workshops through webinars, and deeper-dive learning through virtual learning cohorts. We have added quite a few new sessions for April and May. Please scroll through and sign-up today!

Convening Opportunity 
 
South Coast Area Learn at Lunch Series
Are you on a nonprofit board or staff member in Coos or Curry County looking for practical training and tools to strengthen your organizational leadership skills? Come learn with us at our South Coast Learn at Lunch series! Each session is one-hour long, held on Zoom and are provided a la carte, so you can join us for all of them. Please see the links for more information and we hope to see you there!
 
 
NAO has a limited number of scholarships available for organization based in rural, and/or BIPOC lead and serving organizations. Scholarships will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Please contact training@nonprofitoregon.org if you would like to be considered for a scholarship with a brief description of your need.

Webinar Sessions

Building Effective Budgets for Your Nonprofit Organization
Tuesday, May 4, 10 – 11 a.m. PT | Presenter: Todd Kimball, CFO Selections
Explore specific budget building methodologies that work the best and how to achieve a collaborative, well-conceived, and impactful tool for the organization. This webinar session will be especially timely for organizations who have a June 30 fiscal year-end. More details and registration information here.
 
Different Ways to Present and Communicate Your Financial Statements
Wednesday, May 12, 10 – 11 a.m. PT | Presenter: Erin Zollenkopf, SMJ
Financial statements help you understand the work of a nonprofit; they paint a picture with numbers. See different ways to present financial information to communicate your story and help stakeholders including the board, management, and funders understand the work and the financial picture of your organization. More details and registration information here.
 
Breaking Down HR Law for Small Nonprofit Employers
Tuesday, May 18, 10 – 11 a.m. PT | Presenter: Christine Frazer, Christine Frazer HR Strategist
Human resource laws can be difficult to grasp. In this session we’ll break down these laws into understandable and actionable items as it relates to nonprofit employers. This hour will be all about asking and answering all those questions you’ve been too afraid to ask. More details and registration information here.
 
Managing Staff in 2021 - How are Nonprofit Employers Innovating for Success?
Tuesday, May 25, 10 – 11 a.m. PT | Presenter: Christine Frazer, Christine Frazer HR Strategist
With the pandemic carrying into 2021, we’ve had to learn how to manage remote employees, keep staff safe, possibly downsize, all while maintaining a positive work culture. Learn about ways other nonprofits are innovating and breaking barriers to be successful. This course is perfect for nonprofits that have between 1-25 employees. More details and registration information here.

Learning Cohort

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Leader Cohort 
May 19 through January 19, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. PT | Facilitated by: Capacity Building Partnership (CBP) 
Our friends at CBP are offering a virtual nine-month in-depth DEIJ Leader Cohort for executives, directors, and others who have significant decision-making authority around DEIJ in their organizations. Participants will engage in a comprehensive experience that will challenge your mindset, advance your leadership, deepen your DEIJ analysis, and build your leadership to implement and integrate DEIJ into the fabric of your organization. *New discount rates and registration deadline extended until Wednesday, May 5th* More details and registration information here


If you have any questions or difficulties registering, contact NAO's Training Program Coordinator at training@nonprofitoregon.org.
Thank you to the following SUPPORTERS and SPONSORS who are supporting NAO’s online 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.
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