Nonprofits’ Response to COVID-19, and Policy Remedies

As first responders, service providers, and employers, nonprofits are contributing to and impacted by the coronavirus response efforts in a number of ways. Federal and state governments are in the process of developing policy remedies to address immediate needs and determine longer-term recovery needs. MNN is in communication with public officials to coordinate a cross-sector approach, and ensure that nonprofits are included in government mitigation and relief efforts. Specifically, MNN is working to ensure that any forthcoming policy remedies acknowledge the following:

Nonprofits are significant employers in the Commonwealth. 

  • Any employer-focused relief should make sure that tax credits and deductions are applicable to the taxes nonprofits pay, such as unrelated business income taxes and payroll taxes. 
  • Unemployment insurance measures should consider the fact that a number of nonprofit employees work at organizations that self-insure, and look to remedies that relieve the unanticipated burden on self-insured organizations. 

Nonprofits are front-line service providers and economic generators in their communities.

  • Direct-service organizations that shifted operations to respond to the crisis should be included in any public recovery funds.  
  • Economic stimulus proposals targeted at adversely affected industries should recognize the impact of the coronavirus on the broad array of closed nonprofit services.  

Nonprofits rely heavily on donations and government grants to execute missions.

  • Massachusetts has restored its state charitable deduction at a critical time: when charitable donations are down, and service demands are up. Preserving this incentive is vitally important.
  • Government agencies should adopt policies recognizing that a nonprofit may not fulfill its deliverable on a state contract due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, state grantmaking agencies should consider temporarily loosening government-wide grant and contract reporting, application, and renewal requirements.

MNN will continue to provide updates through our newsletter and main coronavirus page with new developments. Nonprofits with questions or input on policies that would be beneficial to their organizations should contact MNN’s Director of Government Affairs Danielle Fleury.