May 08, 2020
Dear Nonprofit Colleagues and Supporters:

We round out the first full week of May with warmer weather and a new plan to begin the reopening of the state. Yesterday, May 7, Governor Brown held a press conference announcing new details of the framework for reopening and rebuilding Oregon. The announcement including new guidance for counties and businesses on the phased reopening process. Let’s hope that with the proper protocols, we can help get our communities and nonprofits back to work safely. 
Oregon reopening starts May 15 under Governor Brown’s coronavirus plan

Adherence to strict physical distancing guidelines over the past several weeks have assisted in successfully flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases. Governor Brown reported there are now fewer than 100 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, and Oregon has established plans for increasing testing capacity, expanding contact tracing capability, and building reserves of personal protective equipment. While there are plans for increases in testing, NAO heard just yesterday from an all-rural serving hospital that they do not have enough testing capacity necessary and they continue to be challenged with that as a top need. The governor emphasized that by taking steps gradually and carefully, and following science and data, Oregon can begin to reopen safely.

Earlier this week, Governor Brown announced the limited reopening of some outdoor parks and recreation areas. Next week, updated safety guidelines regarding transit, certain child care, summer school, and summer camps and youth programs will be issued. Each step of reopening is contingent on Oregonians following the safety guidelines for each sector.

Governor Brown’s new guidance on reopening calls for the widespread use of face coverings, maintaining physical distance of six feet between individuals as much as possible, and following good hygiene and disinfection practices.

Phase I Details

In addition, some counties will be eligible to begin the limited reopening of additional business sectors beginning as early as May 15, if they have demonstrated they have met all prerequisites for reopening. Oregon counties can begin submitting applications today, Friday, May 8. Counties must:

  • Show a decline in COVID-19 cases or have fewer than 5 hospitalizations
  • Have sufficient COVID-19 testing and contact tracing capability
  • Establish plans for the isolation and quarantine of new cases
  • Have the hospital capacity to handle any surge in COVID-19 cases
  • Have enough personal protective equipment for health care workers

Counties that meet all of the above criteria will be eligible to enter Phase I of reopening on May 15, pending approval of their application by the governor after recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority.

In Phase I, counties can begin limited reopening of the following sectors under specific safety guidelines:

  • Restaurants and bars for sit-down service
  • Personal care and services businesses, including barbers and salons
  • In-person gatherings of up to 25 people

Counties must remain in Phase I for at least 21 days before becoming eligible to advance to Phase II. If counties begin to see significant increases in COVID-19 cases or community spread, the Oregon Health Authority will work with local public health officials to evaluate what actions should be taken. Significant growth in COVID-19 spread could necessitate a county moving back from Phase I to a stay-home status. More details on Phases II and III are forthcoming.

The governor also announced that large gatherings such as conventions, festivals, and major concerts and live audience sporting events will need to be cancelled  at least through September.  This is an area that will impact many nonprofits that hold youth events, summer recreational events for at-risk populations, concerts, art walks and fundraisers. Live sports events, concerts, theater, festivals and conventions won’t be permitted until there is effective prevention and treatment available. Restarting events of this size will require a reliable treatment or prevention, like a vaccine, which is many months off. The state indicates that further guidance on large events will be provided in the coming months.

The state will also be lifting some restrictions on childcare, summer school, camps and youth programs for the summer, though detailed guidelines are not yet available. They will still be subject to “quite a few restrictions,” according to the governor’s office. 

The state will be implementing a new statewide “face covering” policy as well. Employees in businesses where six-foot distancing is difficult -- grocery stores, pharmacies, public transit, personal services, and ride share services – will be required to wear face covering. It also will be “strongly recommended” that those businesses establish their own mandatory face covering policies for customers. The policy, which will be finalized in coming days, also includes the strong recommendation that masks be worn in any indoor public space where six feet of physical distancing can’t be maintained.

The governor’s reopening rules can be enforced. Businesses violating physical distancing rules can be reported to Oregon’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which can take enforcement action.

Under the current state of emergency, individual violations of the governor’s rules violating is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, or both.

A full copy of Governor Brown’s remarks are available  here .
Video of Governor Brown’s press briefing can be viewed  here .
A video presentation explaining the phased reopening process is available  here .
At the Federal Level

A reminder to join  NAO’s virtual town hall with U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley addressing Oregon’s nonprofit community on Wednesday, May 13 from 8:30 9:30 a.m. PT.  We will have the opportunity to hear from our Oregon senators about the CARES Act and plans for future congressional action, as well as discuss specific issues and needs facing Oregon’s nonprofits. Register for the virtual town hall  here .

In Congress:

The House is expected to move first on the next stimulus bill, but the introduction date appears to be slipping. The House is not likely to return next week. The week of May 18 is the new target for a few days of legislating. It’s not clear whether the CARES 2.0/Phase 4/CV4 bill will be introduced early next week or later. But Hill staff reportedly are working through the weekend to produce legislative language.

  1. Nonprofit Policy Priorities – Lankford/King Letter: Last night, the following news release was posted: Lankford, King, Colleagues Urge Leadership to Consider Nonprofits in Next Relief Proposal. The letter asks Senate leaders to consider expanding access to relief and support, increase unemployment insurance reimbursement for nonprofit employees, and strengthen charitable giving incentives to help ease the burdens facing nonprofit employers. It is signed by 14 Republican Senators, 14 Democrats, and one Independent. Oregon’s Senator Merkley is one of the signatories. NAO extended our endorsement of the letter through our partnership with several national organizations that were invited to endorse. We also sent the letter to both Senator Wyden’s and Senator Merkley’s offices with our endorsement.  
  2. Paycheck Protection Program UpdatePolitico Pro is reporting that Rep. Velazquez, Chair of the House Small Business Committee, is promoting more funding for the PPP, carving out money exclusively for borrowers with 25 or fewer employees “and for nonprofits of any type or size.” If true, that would open the PPP to all nonprofits, charitable and otherwise.There is also growing bipartisan interest in changing some of the terms of the existing PPP by expanding the time period during which the funds can be used (from 8 weeks to 16 weeks) and allowing more flexibility in how those funds are used (e.g., reducing the spending on payroll from 75% to 50%). Here is an example of one outline; others are proliferating. Twenty-four attorneys general wrote to congressional leaders yesterday recommending these and other changes to the PPP, basing their views on concerns expressed by employers in their states.
  3. Mid-Size Forgivable Loan bill. Today, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) is planning to introduce the Help Charities Help Communities Act, legislation that would amend the CARES Act Section 4003 to create a forgivable loan program just for nonprofits with between 500 and 10,000 employees. Even if the cap on PPP loans is lifted for nonprofits (see above), many larger nonprofits are saying that the maximum PPP loan of $10 million doesn’t provide them enough relief. 

Paycheck Protection Program Clarification on Necessity Verification
The U.S. Department of Treasury and SBA  extended from May 7 to May 14  the safe harbor deadline for paying back loan moneys that were deemed not “necessary.” (see  FAQ #43 ) This is seen as a delay to give government officials time to clarify the rules regarding pay-back and forgiveness.

Join  NAO’s   Ask the Experts session on Maximizing Forgiveness Under the Paycheck Protection Program: Tips, Techniques, and a Planning Toolkit for Nonprofits on Tuesday, May 12, Noon 1 p.m. PT. Kathy Swift, Senior Vice President and Nonprofit Development Officer at Heritage Bank, Laura Caldera, Practice Group Leader at Bullivant Houser, and Bill Holmes, CPA of Holmes & Company will provide a comprehensive analysis of how to maximize the loan forgiveness of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Register for the session  here .

ICANN Rejects Transfer of .org Registry
Last week, the  Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)  rejected the transfer of the .org registry to Ethos Capital, a newly formed for-profit company. Advocacy from many nonprofits and government officials was crucial in ICANN’s decision, which will help protect the .org registry from being taken over by a private equity firm that could have significantly increased the cost of nonprofits’ web domain names. This is a big win for nonprofit advocacy! Many thanks to the team at  NTEN  for leading the charge on this issue. 

Reminder: IRS Has Extended Filing Date for 990s through July 15
Last month, the IRS extended until July 15, 2020 the filing deadline for Form 990, Form 990-T, and other nonprofit tax returns and information returns typically due on May 15, 2020. The IRS took this action through a combination of a new notice related to COVID-19 and previous IRS guidance for extension of filing deadlines during federally-declared disasters. Many nonprofits with May 15 filing deadlines for their 990s already were planning to file for automatic extensions.
Upcoming Online Sessions for Nonprofits  

Ask the Experts – Maximizing Forgiveness Under the Paycheck Protection Program: Tips, Techniques, and a Planning Toolkit for Nonprofits, Tuesday, May 12, Noon 1 p.m. PT:  Kathy Swift, Senior Vice President and Nonprofit Development Officer at Heritage Bank, Laura Caldera, Practice Group Leader at Bullivant Houser, and Bill Holmes, CPA of Holmes & Company will provide a comprehensive analysis of how to maximize the loan forgiveness of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. In addition to the tips and techniques, they will provide a PPP loan forgiveness calculator that can be used weekly to manage the payback under this eight-week program. Nonprofits who have received a loan under the PPP program definitely won’t want to miss this important session. There’ll be a Q&A session for participants to ask questions and offer comments. Register for the session  here .

Oregon Nonprofit Virtual Town Hall with U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Wednesday, May 13, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.:  Join NAO for a virtual town hall with U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley addressing Oregon’s nonprofit community. We will have the opportunity to hear from our Oregon senators about the CARES Act and plans for future congressional action, as well as discuss specific issues and needs facing Oregon’s nonprofits. This session will be moderated by Raziah Roushan, NAO Board Member and Chair, NAO Public Policy Committee and Jim White, NAO Executive Director. Register for the session  here .

Rethinking Your Strategy: Planning for Your Nonprofit’s Recovery – a three-part series on Thursday, May 14, Thursday, May 21, and Thursday, May 28, Noon 1 p.m. PT:  Steve Patty, Founder of Dialogues in Action will guide nonprofits on how to rethink our pre-COVID strategies and plan for recovery in this three-part series. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way nonprofits deliver services and programming and continuing to pursue our pre-COVID-19 strategies is not an option. Steve will discuss how nonprofits can make it through this crisis, emerge better, and be even more valuable to our communities for greater impact. The series consist of: Session 1 – The Opportunity of a Crisis (May 14); Session 2 - How to Adapt Your Strategy (May 21); and Session 3 – Create a New Future for a New Normal (May 28).  Register for the three-part series  here .

Nonstop Presents: Workplace Strategies to Support Mental Health, Thursday, May 28, 10 – 11 a.m. PT: Nonstop Administration and Insurances Services, an NAO partner, will be hosting Laura Green, SHRM-CP of Nonprofit HR, who will share how employers can best support their employees during these uncertain times. She’ll discuss tangible, simple solutions to help employees feel connected to the organization, as well as provide resources to assist with finding personal peace of mind. Register for the session on Nonstop’s site  here.
 
QuickBooks Desktop Edition Made Easy for Nonprofits, June 16, 17 & 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. PT:  Gregg S. Bossen, CPA of QuickBooks Made Easy, is partnering with NAO to offer an updated three-part QuickBooks® training webinar for nonprofits.  This webinar is for the Desktop edition of Quickbooks . Gregg will cover the basics of setting up and entering transactions specifically for nonprofits, an overview of the software updates included in the QuickBooks® 2018 Desktop Edition, as well as advanced topics covering a host of specific processes that will help you do more helpful and amazing things! Register for the three-part webinar  here .

QuickBooks Online Edition Made Easy for Nonprofits, June 23, 24 & 25, 11 a.m. – 1 pm. PT:  Gregg S. Bossen, CPA of QuickBooks Made Easy, is partnering with NAO to offer an updated three-part QuickBooks® training webinar for nonprofits.  This webinar is for the Online edition of Quickbooks.  Gregg will cover the basics of setting up and entering transactions specifically for nonprofits, an overview of the software updates included in the QuickBooks® 2018 Online Edition, as well as advanced topics covering a host of specific processes that will help you do more helpful and amazing things! Register for the three-part webinar  here .
Other Updates  

Oregon Business’  100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon survey launched: Oregon Business has launched its 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey for 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties for organizations across all sectors of the economy, including Oregon’s nonprofits. It is more important than ever to keep communication flowing with employees as many are working remotely. Register for Oregon Business’ 2020 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey to find out how satisfied your employees are and what their concerns are in these uncertain times. 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 mid-July. Click here for  survey information ; to register for the survey, click  here .
 
Enjoy the beautiful May weather while continuing to adhere to important physical distancing guidelines!

Sincerely,
Jim White
Executive Director
Thank you to the following SUPPORTERS and SPONSORS 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.
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