November 6, 2020
Note: The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits typically provides Nonprofit Policy Update each week as a benefit to its nonprofit members. However, to help all North Carolina nonprofits respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're temporarily providing this newsletter to non-member nonprofits.
In this issue...
What does the 2020 election mean for nonprofits?
Nonprofits help get record turnout in the 2020 Election in North Carolina
Many nonprofits now eligible for state grant program for businesses closed due to COVID-19
Learn more about MURR grants from Center’s free webinar recording 
Governor Cooper extends executive order on nonprofit membership meetings
SBA announces new PPP loan forgiveness requirements for certain nonprofits
New OMB guidance takes effect next week
What Does the 2020 Election Mean for Nonprofits?
With the results of Tuesday’s elections dominating news coverage and social media this week, you may be wondering what the election results mean for North Carolina nonprofits. To help answer your questions, the Center has posted an initial analysis of the nonprofit implications of the election results.

The Center is also offering a free webinar on Friday, November 20 at 11 a.m. on the 2020 election and nonprofits. The webinar will include:
  • Highlights of election results and what they mean for nonprofits;
  • Prospects for policy solutions (and potential challenges) for the nonprofit sector at the state and federal level in 2021; and
  • What to expect on major policy issues in 2021 and beyond. 

Nonprofits Help Get Record Turnout in the 2020 Election in North Carolina
Voter turnout for this year’s election was the highest it has been in decades in North Carolina. As of yesterday, at least 74.6 % of registered voters had cast their votes during Early Voting, on Election Day, or through mail-in absentee ballots. Overall, a record 5.5 million North Carolinians voted in this year’s election. Thousands of nonprofits helped North Carolina achieve this high level of civic engagement through their nonpartisan voter registration, voter education, and get-out-the-vote activities.

Thank you if your nonprofit took part in nonpartisan civic engagement this year. Your efforts made a big difference in North Carolina’s record-breaking voter turnout this year!
Many Nonprofits Now Eligible for State Grant Program for Businesses Closed Due to COVID-19
Last week, the NC Department of Commerce made significant changes to the Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR) Program – a new grant program that provides financial relief to businesses in certain industries that were closed due to COVID-19. Most notably, many types of nonprofits may now apply for these grants. Eligible organizations include museums, concert hall operators, live theater operators, performing arts center operators, indoor fitness and recreational sports facilities, aquariums, zoos, wild animal parks, and botanical gardens. Grants are available to eligible organizations with 50 or fewer employees per location that were closed between April 2020 and July 2020 due to COVID-19. Grants are available up to $20,000 per facility (for a total of $40,000 for an organization with two or more facilities).

Originally, these grants were only open to for-profit businesses, but the Center successfully advocated for the Department of Commerce to change the eligibility requirements to allow nonprofits to receive grants. The Department of Commerce is issuing grants to eligible organizations on a first-come, first-served basis, so the Center encourages eligible nonprofits to apply immediately.
Learn More About MURR Grants from Center’s Free Webinar Recording
Yesterday, the Center offered a free webinar where the NC Department of Commerce provided more information about the MURR grant program and answered dozens of questions from nonprofits. Notably, the webinar clarified that nonprofits that received other CARES Act funding such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, state Job Retention Grants, or arts council grants may still be eligible for MURR grants if they are using their MURR grants to cover different pandemic-related expenses than their other COVID relief funding. If your nonprofit is eligible for grants and wasn’t able to join the webinar, we encourage you to watch the recording. You can also send questions directly to the NC Department of Commerce at murr@nccommerce.com.
Governor Cooper Extends Executive Order on Nonprofit Membership Meetings
Last Friday, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 173, which extends by 60 days three previous executive orders (Executive Order No. 149, Executive Order No. 136, and Executive Order No. 161) allowing nonprofits with members to hold membership meetings remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. The order gives boards the flexibility to allow membership meetings to take place by remote communication and through remote voting, even if these types of remote meetings are not expressly authorized in the nonprofit’s articles of incorporation or bylaws. The Center advocated for Governor Cooper to issue the original executive order and to extend it. We are appreciative that Governor Cooper has provided this relief to nonprofits since it will help some organizations continue to take actions that require membership approval during the COVID-19 crisis.
SBA Announces New PPP Loan Forgiveness Requirements for Certain Nonprofits
Last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration published notice that nonprofits and businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in the amount of $2 million or more will need to complete new questionnaires dealing with PPP “loan necessity.” Nonprofits with loans of $2 million or more will use the new Form 3510 to answer questions about their activities and liquidity prior to and during the term of their PPP loans. The SBA estimates that about 10,000 nonprofits will be filling out this form. Comments on the reasonableness of the forms are due by November 25.
New OMB Guidance Takes Effect Next Week
The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued final guidance on amendments to the Guidance for Grants and Agreements (OMB Uniform Guidance). The OMB Uniform Guidance is a set of rules that applies to nonprofits with federal grants. The changes to the OMB Uniform Guidance include increased ability for agencies to terminate federal awards, clarification of the de minimis indirect cost rate that nonprofits can adopt, and public disclosure of negotiated indirect cost rates. OMB’s new requirements take effect on November 12. The Venable law firm has prepared a good analysis of the changes to the OMB Uniform Guidance.
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Nonprofit Policy Update is a weekly newsletter 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.