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

  • $35 million in CARES Act funds available to Alaska nonprofits. The Alaska Community Foundation is administering this new program. To review the guidelines to determine if your organization is eligible and to apply, please go to Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund. If you missed the  Q&A session you can find the recording here. Please note if you do watch the recording there has been an update: They will no longer require a private firm to audit your organization. The audit requirements will follow the typical state and federal threshold levels of $750,000. You can find a word version of the application here and a budget spreadsheet here. We have prepared an explanation of the state and federal assurances here. You can find sample policies here.  If you need assistance on compliance or help applying, let us know. We have services that can help you, including assistance with grant writing.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program has reopened. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020. As PPP borrowers prepare to apply for forgiveness, the SBA recommends using the EZ application if possible. (Borrowers may qualify to use the EZ form if they were able to maintain staffing/levels salaries, or if staffing levels changed because of regulations imposed by DHHS, CDC or OSHA. See EZ form instructions for eligibility.) Learn more here.
  • The SBA closed the EIDL Advance opportunity. The EIDL program remains open. Learn more here.
  • Free Cloth Face Coverings Available to Community Organizations: Cloth face coverings are now available at no cost to community organizations from the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Minimum order is 500. More info here.
  • Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Grant Funding Available: The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority still has grant funding available to support organizations that serve Trust beneficiaries during COVID-19.
  • Mat-Su Health Foundation CPR Grant Funding: The Mat-Su Health Foundation is offering Coronavirus Prevention and Response (CPR) grants of up to $50,000 to Mat-Su nonprofit organizations.
  • The State of Alaska has a COVID conscious toolkit you can use to help keep your workforce and clients safe.
  • 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 program will be updated to allow organizations who received less than $5,000 of federal relief (PPP and EIDL) to be eligible. 501(c)(6) nonprofits will also be eligible. More information coming soon.

Reopening

  • 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. The State issued new resources for businesses to encourage COVID-19 precautions; see COVID-Conscious Business Toolkit info HERE and HERE.
  • Alaska SBDC has released 10 industry-specific guides for reopening including childcare, business office, and at-home services.
  • 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

Jul 29, 2020
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

We know many of you have questions about the next federal relief packages.  Thanks to the National Council of Nonprofits for putting together this chart to document how nonprofits could be impacted in the various bills being proposed.  We are monitoring these options closely and will keep you informed as we continue to learn more…. Read more »

Jul 14, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

In partnership with the Atwood Foundation, we are offering considerable discounts on COVID relief services to Anchorage arts, culture, and humanities organizations. Your organization may be eligible if: -Your mission is focused on arts, culture, or humanities -You are based in Anchorage -You are in need of one of the following services to help you recover and find your way forward from the pandemic: Financial scenario planning Grant writing Adapting fundraising strategies Crisis communication Human resources counseling Strategic restructure/merger Tracking federal relief in accounting systems Review and modification of strategic plan Review and modification of current operational plan If your organization is interested in learning more please fill out this application and send it to Monica Garcia-Itchoak at mitchoak@forakergroup.org…. Read more »

Jul 12, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has announced a grant program for Alaska nonprofits that will be funded with $35 million from the CARES Act. The program is being administered by the Alaska Community Foundation (ACF). You can learn more about the program in this DHSS press release. To review the guidelines to determine if your organization is eligible and to apply, please go to the Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund page on the ACF website. If you need assistance on compliance or help applying, let us know. Send us a note at info@forakergroup.org, or call us at 907-743-1200. We have services that can help you including assistance with grant writing…. Read more »

Jul 9, 2020
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

Foraker President/CEO pointed out to the committee that the current rule that says nonprofits and small businesses cannot access the AK CARES program because they have received assistance through PPP or EIDL is “disastrous.” She continued: “Allowing groups access to AK CARES who get other types of funding like PPP or EIDL or local government funds are critical ingredients to a recipe for fixing what is broken. We strongly encourage changes that support nonprofits to get back on their feet.” Laurie’s full testimony is here…. Read more »

Jul 9, 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 »

Jul 8, 2020
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

Congress is expected to pass another piece of COVID-19 legislation by the end of this month. It is important to reinforce with our Alaska delegation and other members of Congress that nonprofit policy solutions need to be included in each relief and recovery effort. We are essential to a healthy economy. You can make your voice heard by signing the new Nonprofit Community Letter sponsored by the National Council of Nonprofits. Foraker has signed, and we urge all Alaska nonprofits to join us and your colleagues from around the country to do the same. The CARES Act enacted by Congress in March extended economic relief programs to some nonprofits, but the law fell short in many areas. The Nonprofit Community Letter calls for improving the Paycheck Protection Program, providing loans to mid-sized… Read more »

Jul 8, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

There are several updates to COVID-19 relief funds that may impact your nonprofit: In mid-June, the state announced that the AK CARES grant eligibility would be expanded to businesses and nonprofits receiving $5,000 or less in PPP or EIDL funds. In addition, they announced that AK CARES would be opening up to 501(c)(6) entities. So far, those changes have not been implemented. We are monitoring the situation and will continue to keep you updated. On the federal side, the Paycheck Protection Program has reopened. The new deadline to apply for a PPP loan is August 8, 2020. As PPP borrowers prepare to apply for forgiveness, the SBA recommends using the EZ application if possible. (Borrowers may qualify to use the EZ form if they were able to maintain staffing/levels salaries or if staffing… Read more »

Jun 11, 2020
Posted Under: COVID Foraker News

A note from Laurie:  A new reality needs new words. Recently I was asked, “are you open?”  A simple question but now with so many meanings and answers.  In the midst of this pandemic, we have watched nonprofits close the doors on their physical space but stay open virtually.  We have watched as some close their physical space without a clear path to anything virtual and we have watched missions shift space and double down on service delivery no longer hampered by their building infrastructure.  For decades when consulting with organizations about their potential capital campaigns I have said to countless board and staff members “you are not building a building – you are expanding or deepening mission.” Indeed it is the mission that happens inside the building that matters,… Read more »

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 »