COVID Response

Resources for Alaska's Nonprofits

Now is the time for all of us to protect the people we serve, our staff, and the community at large. We all have hard decisions to make about what policies we put in place for our employees, how our services may change, and what to do about planned events. Here is a collection of resources to help you to make those decisions. We will continue to keep this page updated as we learn more.

 

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is directing significant funds to Alaska. There may be an opportunity for your nonprofit to apply for federal funds. You can contact Zoe Olson directly at zoe.olson@forakergroup.org for specific questions on ARPA funds. We also encourage you to sign up for the Alaska ARPA email alerts and updates to stay in the know.

Supreme Court rules on vaccine mandates. In November, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a standard requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19. The U.S. Supreme Court stayed that requirement on January 13. This means that the court hasn’t struck down the standard but only put it on hold pending further action in lower courts. In other action, the court lifted injunctions against CDC rules that require vaccinations for all applicable staff of employers receiving payments under Medicaid and Medicare programs. Litigation in this case also continues, but the vaccination mandate is no longer blocked.

CARES funds encumbered by December 31, 2021, can be expensed through September 30, 2022. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has revised its guidance for the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), which was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Under the revision, CRF funds may be used for costs incurred by December 31, 2021, and expensed by September 30, 2022. Text of the revised guidance is available here. Information on the Coronavirus Relief Fund is found here.

Vaccine Mandates and Your Nonprofit
On November 4, 2021 OSHA released the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) regarding vaccine mandates for employers with 100 or more employees.  Since last week’s release, the ETS has been challenged.  Although a federal appeals court issued an order to stop the ETS, we encourage nonprofits with 100 or more employees to prepare to implement the ETS by its first deadline on January 4, 2022. The National Council of Nonprofits prepared a summary intended to answer most nonprofit questions and provide assistance to nonprofit employers seeking to determine whether their organization is covered by the mandate and if so, to comply with the standard.

Employer Tax Credits
Many businesses that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) will qualify for two new employer tax credits – the Credit for Sick and Family Leave and the Employee Retention Credit. Learn more here.

Paid Leave Credit for Vaccines — The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that paid sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. For more Information see our fact sheet.

Employee Retention Credit — New law extends coronavirus tax credit for employers who keep workers on payroll:  New law extends the coronavirus tax credit for employers who keep workers on the payroll. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted December 27, 2020, amended and extended the employee retention credit (and the availability of certain advance payments of the tax credits) under section 2301 of the CARES Act.

Sick and Family Leave Credits — COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses:  COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses. The COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted December 27, 2020, amended and extended the tax credits for paid sick and family leave under sections 7001-7005 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

RETURNING TO THE WORKPLACE

EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER RESOURCES

  • Don’t overlook the hidden treasure in the Employee Retention Tax Credit. This provision can have a big impact on all nonprofit employers. Additional information is available here.
  • Are you still facing the possibility of laying off or furloughing employees? If so, this Foraker resource, Managing Layoffs, Furloughs, and Reductions in Force, will help guide you.

BUDGET AND FINANCES

  • One of the most important things you can be doing right now is scenario planning. There are still many unknowns, but with this Financial Scenario spreadsheet template to guide you, you can make more informed decisions.
  • Now may be a good time to check in with your leadership team and board to watch out for other financial red flags. You can use our Indicators of Financial Crisis to do so (a printable version can be found here).

PUBLIC POLICY

  • We are closely tracking a number of federal, state, and local issues that will impact nonprofits. We encourage you to sign-up for bulletins from the National Council of Nonprofits. Council staff in Washington D.C. are on the front line advocating for nonprofits and sharing information as they receive it.
  • You can receive Foraker’s Public Policy Alerts by signing up here.
  • Information and resources can be found on the COVID webpages for each member of Alaska’s congressional delegation. We thank them for all they’re doing to ensure that nonprofits are covered by federal relief programs. 
    • Senator Lisa Murkowski’s webpage
    • Senator Dan Sullivan’s webpage
    • Congressman Don Young’s webpage

FUND DEVELOPMENT

  • Foraker put together tips and reminders for fund development work during COVID-19
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals has put together an extensive COVID response guide here.

Latest COVID Posts

May 9, 2022
Posted Under: COVID

Your organization may be eligible for several upcoming federal grant funds. Check out the two opportunities below and stay up to date on other opportunities at akfederalfunding.org. Nonprofits and tribes are eligible to apply for Denali Commission funds focused on housing, broadband, workforce development, energy, and more in rural Alaska. The deadline to apply is May 13. The Anchorage Assembly has issued a call for proposals for the second round of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The Assembly has set four priority categories for the money: child and family support, housing, economic development and promoting a healthy workforce. The application can be found here. The deadline to apply is May 20…. Read more »

Mar 11, 2022
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

In partnership with the Alaska Municipal League, Alaska Federation of Natives, and through support from the Municipality of Anchorage, The Foraker Group is taking part in a Federal Grant Symposium on April 12 from 9am – 4pm at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage following events hosted by Senator Murkowski on April 11. Nonprofit leaders are encouraged to register to attend. The event is free and offers learning opportunities focused on federal grant compliance, preparing to apply for federal grants, and opportunities to network and engage with community development projects being planned at the regional and local levels. While the presentations will be in the context of the federal funding coming to Alaska through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed earlier this year, this symposium is an opportunity to collaborate with community members, organizations, and leaders from… Read more »

Mar 7, 2022
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

Nonprofits from all 50 states have signed a letter to the President and congressional leaders calling for “urgently needed pandemic and workforce shortage relief that will enable charitable organizations to fulfill their roles in our nation’s relief, recovery, and rebuilding.” The letter identifies nonprofit-specific policy solutions that would provide disaster relief, address nonprofit workforce shortages, and promote volunteerism. The letter is open for all charitable organizations to sign and circulate for others to sign to show Congress and the White House that nonprofits in local communities throughout the country support these priorities. Join us in signing on. … Read more »

Jan 14, 2022
Posted Under: COVID Government

In November, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a standard requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19. The U.S. Supreme Court stayed that requirement on January 13. This means that the court hasn’t struck down the standard but only put it on hold pending further action in lower courts. In other action, the court lifted injunctions against CDC rules that require vaccinations for all applicable staff of employers receiving payments under Medicaid and Medicare programs. Litigation in this case also continues, but the vaccination mandate is no longer blocked. We encourage Alaska nonprofit employers to continue examining their vaccination and testing policies to determine what is in the best interest of their staff and the people they serve…. Read more »

Nov 16, 2021
Posted Under: COVID Government

On November 4, 2021, OSHA released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) regarding vaccine mandates for employers with 100 or more employees. Since last week’s release, the ETS has been challenged. Although a federal appeals court issued an order to stop the ETS, we encourage nonprofits with 100 or more employees to prepare to implement the ETS by its first deadline on January 4, 2022. The National Council of Nonprofits prepared a summary intended to answer most questions and provide assistance to nonprofit employers seeking to determine whether their organization is covered by the mandate and if so, to comply with the standard…. Read more »

Nov 15, 2021
Posted Under: COVID Government

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is directing significant funds to Alaska. There may be an opportunity for your nonprofit to apply for federal funds. In this video, Foraker’s Rachel Morse will walk you through how to find details about the funds in order to determine if your organization is eligible. You can contact Rachel directly at rmorse@forakergroup.org for specific questions on ARPA funds. We also encourage you to sign up for the Alaska ARPA email alerts and updates to stay in the know. As a reminder, one of the funding opportunities currently available is through a partnership with the State of Alaska and The Alaska Community Foundation. The ARPA Nonprofit Recovery Fund will have two rounds of applications – the first round is due November 19…. Read more »

Oct 22, 2021
Posted Under: COVID

Thursday, October 21, 2021 (Anchorage, AK) – Today, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) announced a partnership with the Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) to distribute $20 million to Alaska’s nonprofit sector. The Alaska Legislature appropriated $20 million from the State’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds towards a nonprofit grant program to be administered by DCCED, now known as the ARPA Nonprofit Recovery Fund. With the guidance of the DCCED, statewide funders, and regional leadership, the ACF will administer the program, including processing applications, distributing grant funds to eligible organizations, and managing grantee reporting. “COVID has had negative economic impacts on almost every industry sector and our nonprofits are no exception as they continue to persevere and provide services to Alaskans.  said DCCED Commissioner, Julie Anderson…. Read more »

Oct 6, 2021
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

Responding to a number of inquiries from Alaska nonprofits, Foraker has been in productive discussions with leadership of the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services to reduce the financial impact from a recent cyberattack. We commend department leaders who are working to navigate fallout from the incident, which has resulted in late disbursement of grant funding to many nonprofits, some of whom have been waiting for several months to receive their funds. Understandably, this has caused financial difficulty for them. Foraker is working with the department to identify organizations that are facing significant financial hardship and have had to or are considering actions such as tapping into dwindling reserves, accessing and/or pursuing a line of credit to cover payroll and other expenses, letting staff go, or at the most… Read more »

Sep 12, 2021
Posted Under: COVID

To be 100% clear, we believe that every person who can be vaccinated should get vaccinated. We stand with science and public health. We stand for health and the economy as one and the same. We stand with our whole community and say: “we care.” We also understand that health disparity is deeply rooted in our country and in our state. This means that while we all might be floating in the same ocean we were never sitting in the same boat. At our last advisory board meeting, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders from around the state engaged in conversation on this topic. We reminded ourselves that while some are choosing to be unvaccinated, many others want the shot but have difficulty accessing it. Let me share one example of thousands… Read more »

Jun 10, 2021
Posted Under: COVID President's letter

Returning to the workplace is the conversation we are all having both formally and informally with our friends, our peers, and our attorneys. Protocols, policies, and expectations abound, and in it all is a great amount of hesitation and uncertainty about what it looks like to do the right thing for the people on our team and the communities where we live. To be sure, we are not “just going back to work” ever again. Our collective conscience has shifted and individuals feel different about the workplace. So pretending that it will all just “be normal” or “as it was” is likely an unhelpful place to start when it comes to meeting your whole team where they are. The recent decision by the CDC, which is largely based on trusting… Read more »