April 17, 2020
Note: The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits typically provides Nonprofit Policy Matters each week as a benefit to its nonprofit members . However, to help all North Carolina nonprofits respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we're temporarily providing this newsletter to non-member nonprofits.
In this issue...
North Carolina nonprofits send unified message to Congress on COVID-19 relief
Take Action : Let your state legislators know what COVID-19 relief nonprofits need
Paycheck Protection Program runs out of funds...for now
Census tip of the week: Census help available for nonprofits providing services during COVID-19 crisis
Nonprofit civic engagement during COVID-19 crisis
IRS issues guidance on deferral of payroll taxes and Paycheck Protection Program
Join an online nonprofit town hall today
North Carolina Nonprofits Send Unified Message to Congress on COVID-19 Relief
Yesterday, a group of 461 nonprofits from across North Carolina sent a letter to each member of Congress from North Carolina asking for additional COVID-19 relief for charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve. Specifically, the letter asks Congress to make four key improvements to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Support Act ( CARES Act):
  1. Expand Access to Credit. Helping nonprofits get more immediate financial relief by expanding nonprofit eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and by establishing a dedicated funding stream for PPP loans to nonprofit organizations.
  2. Bolster Charitable Giving Incentives. Strengthening temporary above-the-line charitable deductions from the CARES Act by allowing taxpayers to use it on 2019 taxes, significantly increasing the $300 cap, and extending it beyond 2020.
  3. Protect Self-Insured Nonprofits. Holding harmless self-insured nonprofits by providing funding to cover 100% of the costs of these organizations’ unemployment claims. Without this change, many nonprofits that provide health care, food assistance, affordable housing, childcare, and other critical services will have to end or curtail services later this year.
  4. Support Nonprofit Service Providers. Increasing emergency funding so that nonprofits can work with state and local governments to provide essential services to vulnerable families and front line responders to the COVID-19 crisis.

Thank you if your organization signed on to this letter. Your advocacy is making a difference! The Center has heard from several members of Congress who are actively seeking legislative solutions to these four issues based on the unified message from so many nonprofits.
Take Action: Let Your State Legislators Know What COVID-19 Relief Nonprofits Need
The Center continues to work with legislators and the Governor’s Office to provide suggestions for state policy solutions that could help North Carolina nonprofits respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center's recommended state policy solutions, based on feedback from hundreds of nonprofits, include:
  1. Unemployment Relief for Self-Insured Nonprofits. Nonprofits that have elected to self-insure for unemployment insurance (UI) are required to reimburse the UI Trust Fund for the cost of UI claims of their laid-off and furloughed employees. While the federal CARES Act provides relief of half of these costs, the financial burden of paying for the other half of these claims could be crippling for many organizations in the second half of 2020 and early 2021 without additional relief. To be able to reopen and continue to provide services, these organizations will need an extension of time to reimburse the state for the costs of UI claims and/or forgiveness of the remaining half of the costs of COVID-19 related UI claims. 
  2. Flexibility In Use of State Grants and Contracts. Many nonprofits that provide public services through state grants and contracts have been unable to fulfill the specific deliverables under these contracts due to the COVID-19 crisis. It is important that state agencies provide these organizations flexibility to use these grant and contract funds for other purposes during this crisis.
  3. Encouraging Charitable Giving. The General Assembly can help encourage more private giving to help nonprofits recover from the COVID-19 crisis by temporarily reinstating North Carolina’s tax credit for charitable contributions by non-itemizers. 
  4. Allowing for Temporary Nonprofit Sales Tax Exemption. Temporarily allowing for point-of-sale exemption from sales tax (instead of waiting for six months for the NC Department of Revenue to process refunds) would greatly help with cash flow for many nonprofits.
  5. Ensuring Operational Stability. Many nonprofits have told the Center that they would benefit from small, temporary changes to state laws and the state budget, including extensions of charitable solicitation licensing deadlines, laws ensuring that nonprofit boards and members can conduct meetings virtually, and budget provisions to expedite the flow of federal relief support into North Carolina’s communities.

Do any of these issues resonate with your nonprofit? Are there other ways state legislators could help your nonprofit and your community respond to the COVID-19 crisis? If so, please take a few minutes to contact your state legislators – and other state legislators you know personally – to ask them to include relief for nonprofits in COVID-19 legislation. It would be helpful if you can be specific about the type of relief that would be helpful (feel free to use language from the list above or from the Center’s more detailed suggestions). We encourage you to share your input with the Center so we can help with your advocacy.

The NC General Assembly will return to Raleigh on April 28 to pass COVID-19 relief legislation. Legislators are working on the details of these bills right now, so it is important to contact them as soon as possible.
Paycheck Protection Program Runs Out of Funds...For Now
Yesterday, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that lenders have approved loans for the full $349 billion in funding for the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This means that financial institutions cannot approve new PPP loans unless Congress appropriates additional funding for the program. The Center has heard from many nonprofits that have applied for (or attempted to apply for) this emergency relief program, which allows for forgivable loans for nonprofits and small businesses to pay for up to eight weeks of payroll expenses and other operational costs. The U.S. Senate was unable to approve $251 billion in additional funding for the PPP this week, but congressional leaders from both parties are hopeful that Congress can approve this additional funding next week. The Center is advocating for Congress to approve additional PPP funding as soon as possible and to allocate a portion of this funding for 501(c)(3) organizations so that more nonprofits can receive this necessary financial support soon.
Census Tip of the Week: Census Help Available for Nonprofits Providing Services During COVID-19 Crisis
A complete and accurate count in the 2020 U.S. Census is important for nonprofits since it will help ensure that North Carolina has full representation in Congress and access to federal funding that supports the work of many nonprofits. Because nonprofits are trusted messengers that often serve hard-to-count communities, it is important for all nonprofit organizations to spread the word about the importance of completing the 2020 Census. Nonprofit’s engagement in Census outreach is particularly critical since North Carolina continues to lag behind other states in our Census response rate. As of Wednesday, North Carolina’s response rate was 45.9%, well below the national average of 49.4% (see the U.S. Census Bureau’s map of response rates for more details).
Census Tip of the Week
The NC Counts Coalition is looking for organizations that are currently providing services during the COVID-19 crisis to provide Census coloring books and crayons and/or Census promotional items (such as grocery bags for food banks). If your organization is available to help promote the Census as you serve your communities, please contact Durrell Johnson. NC Counts will figure out the logistics so your nonprofit won’t have to do any extra work to make this happen! Thank you in advance if your nonprofit can help “get out the count” while also providing essential services during this time of great need.
Nonprofit Civic Engagement During COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 crisis is changing the way that nonprofits engage in nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities. Two Center partners are offering ways for nonprofits to learn more. 
  1. You Can Vote is offering a free series of online discussions on the first Thursday of every month to help nonprofits and businesses learn the latest on the 2020 election and the impact of COVID-19 on voter education, voter registration, and turnout. You Can Vote will share its plan and new tools to support your organization with the most up-to-date, fact-based voting rules and information. Register for the first of these meetings, which will be on May 7 at 12 p.m.
  2. Many nonprofits are now advocating for changes to state absentee voting and vote-by-mail policies to ensure that all eligible voters can vote safely during a pandemic. Nonprofit VOTE, a national partner of the Center, is offering a free webinar on Thursday, April 23 from 2-3 p.m. to help your nonprofit learn more about vote-by-mail policies. Nonprofit VOTE has also provided updated information for nonprofits about vote-by-mail policies in every state.
IRS Issues Guidance on Deferral of Payroll Taxes and Paycheck Protection Program
This week, the IRS issued guidance clarifying that employers – including nonprofits – may defer payment of payroll taxes while they are seeking or receiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans until they receive notice of loan forgiveness from their lenders. After receiving notice of forgiveness of PPP loans, employers are no longer eligible for payroll tax deferral. The CARES Act allows employers to defer Social Security tax payments that would normally be due between March 27, 2020 and December 2020 until December 31, 2021 (for half of the amount of payments) and December 31, 2022 (for the full amount of payments).
Join an Online Nonprofit Town Hall Today
Join us for another free nonprofit town hall webinar today, April 17 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The webinar will include updates on the latest federal and state legislative and executive relief efforts to help nonprofits respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and an online discussion about the needs nonprofits have right now – both operationally and as service providers. Special guests will provide information on the Paycheck Protection Program and other emergency financing options for nonprofits, and give an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. It will also include a (quick) briefing on the state of North Carolina’s nonprofit sector and current (and future) public policy issues affecting nonprofits. Registration is free, but participants will need to provide their own lunch!
Nonprofit Policy Matters is a service for current Members of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. We track state and federal policy issues that affect all 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Learn about the Center's public policy priorities . For more information, contact David Heinen , Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy.

Your Center membership allows everyone within your organization - staff members, board members, and key volunteers - to set up their own online accounts to access the resources and benefits specific to their roles. Encourage everyone to create an account .