COVID-19 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.

Thank you to our COVID-19 Response Donors

Wells Fargo Alaska
Mat-Su Health Foundation

The Latest

  • The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was signed into law – allows organizations more flexibility and time to spend PPP funds. You can find more information here or register to learn more here.
  • The State of Alaska AK CARES program is open through Credit Union 1. The program is first come first served for eligible businesses and nonprofits.  Learn more here and here.
  • The State of Alaska has a five phase plan with specific guidance for various industries, including information about physical distancing and hygiene protocols. The phase III/IV guidance is here. Check out their extensive FAQ for more information.
  • In partnership with the Mat-Su Health Foundation, Foraker is offering free services to Mat-Su Borough nonprofits.
  • The NDN Collective is offering grants to indigenous-led organizations and tribes. Learn more here.

Reopening

  • If you missed Reopening Safely: A conversation with Dr. Zink and Natasha Pineda, you can find a recording of the session here.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has print resources available for posting reminders and guidelines for your staff. They also released health protocols for various sectors seeking guidance on safely reopening from stay-at-home orders:
  • The State of Alaska has a five phase plan with specific guidance for various industries, including information about physical distancing and hygiene protocols. The phase III/IV guidance is here. Check out their extensive FAQ for more information.
  • For data on the coronavirus in Alaska, visit the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub
  • The EPA has guidance for building and maintenance professionals to follow to help protect office buildings from COVID-19.
  • As Alaska slowly reopens its economy and eases restrictions, some Alaskans are wondering how much socializing is reasonable if we hope to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Zink is urging Alaskans to voluntarily keep track of their social interactions as restrictions continue to ease and keep their social bubble small.
  • The Alaska Manufacturing Extension Partnership can help connect buyers in need of bulk orders of PPE to manufacturers.  Request PPE at Alaska-MEP.com
  • For Anchorage nonprofits, you can find the Municipality’s roadmap to reopening here. You can also use the Frontline Business Safety Initiative (A volunteer effort to support businesses that work directly with the public on a daily basis or prepare food for the public with masks, gloves, or hand wipes.)

Employer Resources

  • In response to the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security recently released temporary policies for completing the I-9 form which is used to confirm that an individual is authorized to work in the United States.“Because many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity document. Considering these circumstances, DHS is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification…Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.”  For further details on the temporary policies, you can learn more here.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – On March 19, the President signed into law, H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill includes a complex set of temporary paid leave mandates and employer reimbursement provisions, as well as funding for free coronavirus testing, food nutrition security, and Unemployment extension.
    • You can find analysis from the National Council of Nonprofits describing how the Act affects nonprofits here.
    • To help Alaska nonprofits better understand the provisions of the act, Manley & Brautigam P.C. in Anchorage prepared this material for us.
    • The Department of Labor has created a helpful FAQ you can find here.
    • To comply with the FFCRA, employers are required to provide employees with this poster to let them know their rights under this legislation.
  • Are you considering laying off or furloughing staff – this Foraker resource Managing Layoffs, Furloughs, and Reductions in Force will help guide you.
  • The IRS extended more tax deadlines, including Form 990-series returns and notices. See Notice 2020-23 and Rev. Proc. 2018-58 for more information, including a complete list of affected forms, tax payments, and other time-sensitive actions.
  • The Department of Revenue is waiving fees for Biennial Reports required of all Alaska entities every other year.  If your organization is currently out of compliance or are required to file your report in the next 60 days, you can log in to the State of Alaska Department of Commerce website and register for two years for free. Learn more here.
  • In response to the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security recently released temporary policies for completing the I-9 form which is used to confirm that an individual is authorized to work in the United States.“Because many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity document. Considering these circumstances, DHS is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification…Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.”  For further details on the temporary policies, you can learn more here.

BUDGET & FINANCES (including federal relief funds)

  • Looking for more information about funding inside the CARES act? Here is an excellent spreadsheet from Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii that gives a break down of all the grants including those from the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and more.
  • The SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30am EDT. With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis.
  • One of the most important things you can be doing right now is scenario planning. There are a lot of unknowns, but if you listen to this webinar and use 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).

LOCAL FUNDS

PUBLIC POLICY

  • We are closely tracking a number of federal, state, and local issues that will impact nonprofits.  We are advocating for the HEROES Act. 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.
  • 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, including joining us on our call: Navigating Federal Relief for Nonprofits with the Alaska Congressional Delegation 

COMMUNICATION

EQUITY

FUNDRAISING

  • Foraker put together tips and reminders for fund development work during COVID-19
  • If you missed our free webinar you can watch the recording here: Re-imagining Your Fundraising Efforts with Laurie Wolf (slides are here)
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals has put together an extensive COVID response guide here.
  • Here is a list of digital fundraising platforms to help you take your event virtual from our friends at Washington Nonprofits:
    • Auctria – online fundraising / auction platform
    • CauseVid – nonprofit stewardship video platform
    • Classy – online fundraising platform
    • Give Lively– free fundraising platform
    • Funraise– online fundraising platform / donor database
    • GiveSmart– online auction / event software

WORKING REMOTELY

  • Two common questions we receive are – can our board meet electronically, through a program like Zoom or Skype? and can our board vote on a question by email? We have answers for you here.
  • Need some tips for hosting a more effective virtual meeting? Foraker has you covered.
  • We could all be better at working remotely. TechSoup has some ideas for you.
  • The Montana Nonprofit Association has ideas on everything from setting up your home office to file sharing.

Latest Blog Posts

Jun 5, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, signed into law today, gives organizations more flexibility and time to spend PPP funds. Highlights from the Act include: An extension of the “covered period” for PPP loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks. Note that the covered period cannot extend beyond Dec. 31, 2020. A reduction in the percentage of funds that must be spent on payroll. Specifically, the requirement to spend 75% of PPP funds on payroll reduced to 60%.  To qualify for any forgiveness, borrowers must spend at least 60% on payroll costs. Extended loan terms for any unforgiven portions that need to be repaid from 2 years to 5 years, at 1% interest. An extension to December 31 for employers to restore employee and wage levels to pre-pandemic levels. A… Read more »

Jun 1, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The application period for the AK CARES Grant Program is open on the Credit Union 1 website. Is your nonprofit eligible? If your organization is a 501(c)3 or 501(c)19, has 1-50 employees, did not receive federal relief funds (PPP, EIDL) then you are eligible to apply. We can help. If you need help preparing to apply, contact us…. Read more »

May 28, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been eight weeks since the Paycheck Protection Program began. If you would like the PPP funds to be a grant instead of a loan, it’s time to prepare to apply for PPP forgiveness. Please note Congress is currently debating possible extensions to the PPP program, but as of today, nothing is finalized. The highlights in this post are based on current PPP guidance. The PPP forgiveness application can be found here. The recently released PPP forgiveness guidance can be found here. Find a quiet moment to dive into these documents. They are lengthy but important and worth the read.  Here are some highlights: The full amount of your PPP loan may be eligible for forgiveness if you meet the forgiveness conditions. Spend all of… Read more »

May 27, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

Foraker’s President/CEO Laurie Wolf was invited to testify at an Anchorage Assembly work session focused on the impact of COVID to Anchorage nonprofits. The following is her testimony: Thank you Chair Rivera and members of the Anchorage Assembly. I am here today as President and CEO of The Foraker Group, which serves as Alaska’s nonprofit association and the capacity building organization for nonprofits and tribes across the state. Before I jump into talking about the considerations that nonprofits need for relief I want to emphasize the critical role nonprofits play in Alaska. Importantly, nonprofits are a major economic driver for our state and our city. We deliver essential services, leverage public funds for maximum impact through public/private partnerships, invest in our communities, and ensure community well-being and quality of life…. Read more »

May 23, 2020
Posted Under: COVID Nonprofit News

We are pleased that media in both Alaska and around the country are reporting on the impact COVID-19 is having on the nonprofit sector and the many organizations that continue as best they can to serve their communities. On this page, we will share the reports of how we and our partner the National Council of Nonprofits are working to ensure that the sector is part of both state and federal relief programs. And we’ll share with you some stories of ways that Foraker Partners and other Alaska nonprofits are managing the crisis. Read more »

May 21, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The State of Alaska is opening up applications for a $290 million small-business and nonprofit grant program. The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) are partnering with the lender Credit Union 1 (CU1) to support small business and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the AK CARES Funding Program. The application to apply for AK CARES will be provided on the  CU1 website. The application period is currently scheduled to begin on June 1, 2020, and funds will be awarded first-come, first-serve. We encourage you to prepare your documentation now (a list of items is provided in the FAQs here). More information can be found here and here.    … Read more »

May 19, 2020
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

Foraker President/CEO Laurie Wolf called on the Senate Finance Committee to move critical CARES Act funds to Alaska’s nonprofits and small businesses as fast as possible. “We need it today so we can be here tomorrow,” she said. Read her full testimony here…. Read more »

May 14, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

This is not intended as financial or legal advice.  Did you receive a PPP loan for less than $2 million? The SBA announced today: “Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.”  You can learn more here. (question #46). What does that mean for you as a borrower? The SBA will accept the good faith certification on your PPP application certifying the loan was necessary. The SBA  will not be asking you to submit additional documentation to demonstrate need. You will still need to meet the other guidelines of the PPP program. As of today, the SBA has not… Read more »

May 13, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

Earlier this week, the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee of the Alaska Legislature approved Governor Dunleavy’s plan to spend federal coronavirus aid from the CARES act. Through our collective advocacy efforts with many of our partners, we were successful in ensuring that nonprofits are included in multiple funding streams and that we are seen as a key component of our state’s economy. While it is not clear yet exactly what the guidelines for distribution will be, know that we are working to ensure that the intent remains strong to include nonprofits in these programs. The following is a partial list of the allocation (pending litigation) of $1.25 billion of Alaska CARES funding. Nonprofit leaders should watch each of these avenues as their missions dictate and apply or be ready to… Read more »

May 12, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

In partnership with the Mat-Su Health Foundation, Foraker is offering free services to Mat-Su Borough nonprofits to help navigate the COVID-19 crisis. We are ready to help your organization with: Tracking CARES relief funds in your accounting systems Financial scenario planning and budgeting Preparing to apply for federal relief Grantwriting/applying for philanthropic COVID-19 relief funds Adapting your fundraising strategies Crisis communication Human resources counseling Strategic restructuring/mergers If you are interested, contact us. Please use the subject line “Mat-Su services” and indicate which of the services you are interested in…. Read more »