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.

Thank you to our COVID Response Donors

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Employer Tax Credits
Many businesses that have been severely impacted by 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 (ARP) 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 pay 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 coronavirus tax credit for employers who keep workers on 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.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is announcing two programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.
These programs are open to nonprofit arts and culture organizations and local arts agencies, regardless of whether they have received NEA funding in the past. This is a change from previous emergency funding requirements at the NEA and significantly expands access to federal funds for the arts and culture sector. The NEA encourages applications from first-time applicants, and will offer workshops, question-and-answer sessions, and other resources for those new to federal funding. The deadline to apply is August 12. To learn more, you can attend the Federal Funding Webinar: New Opportunities for Arts & Culture Nonprofits and Local Arts Agencies through the National Endowment for the Arts – Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 11am-12:30pm. The Alaska State Council on the Arts in partnership with The Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation will host a webinar to explore these new programs. Learn how to register your organization to be eligible for federal funding, gain other resources, and participate in a Q&A session. First-time applicants are encouraged to apply, and this webinar will provide content for new as well as previous NEA applicants. This webinar will be recorded and made available on ASCA’s website within 48 hours after the event.  Please follow this link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89200075698) to join the Zoom meeting on July 22, 2021 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

The American Rescue Plan Act – A Resource Guide
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. Within the ARPA, there are significant direct allocations to the State, local governments, and tribes, as well as to businesses, schools, nonprofits, and the University. Additionally, there will be multiple grant opportunities available for Alaska organizations and governments. The Alaska Municipal League, in partnership with Foraker and others, has created a  website that provides an extensive summary of resources relevant to Alaskans, tracking funds coming in as well as grant opportunities. It is a collaborative effort to serve as a clearinghouse of information that can be used by recipients and other and potential beneficiaries. If you missed the webinar on Accessing ARPA Funding, you can find the recording here.

If you missed the National Council of Nonprofits webinar What’s in the New COVID Relief Law for Nonprofits? You can find a recording of the presentation, the slides, and additional resources on their website. As several of the presenters mentioned, Congress is debating additional COVID relief and federal agencies and departments – particularly the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department – are in the process of answering questions and implementing the law enacted at the end of 2020.

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

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 »

May 30, 2021
Posted Under: COVID

As organizations reopen their offices, many questions have come up about how to safely resume on-site operations. Foraker recently gathered some experts who shared insights and resources on how to communicate with employees about vaccinations and what to consider when developing in-person programming. You can view the webinar here. More resources are available on the COVID page of our website under the heading Returning to the Workplace. If you have additional questions or insights to share with us, please let us know…. Read more »

May 21, 2021
Posted Under: COVID Nonprofit News

Thanks to the advocacy of the National Council of Nonprofits and its state association members, including Foraker, recently released guidance confirms that nonprofits will have access to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. This includes funds coming directly from the federal government, as well as dollars flowing into state, local, and tribal governments. To help organizations interested in applying for funds, we are pleased to announce a new website that describes ARPA and highlights points of access for nonprofits. Foraker is proud to be a partner in this effort, along with other Alaska organizations listed on the website. We especially thank the Alaska Municipal League for developing and hosting the site. We encourage you to visit the site – share it with others – and help us update it if… Read more »

Apr 29, 2021
Posted Under: COVID

Dear Alaska Nonprofit Leader: We care deeply about you, the people and communities you serve, and the overall welfare of every Alaskan. We are all still in the midst of unprecedented times, and we know that you are doing your best to navigate with every new piece of information on COVID19 and resulting economic challenges. We are proud to stand with you as together we navigate the path forward – from relief, to recovery, to resilience, and beyond. Today we need your help to better understand where you stand after 2020 and what you may need in financial assistance or other relief to move ahead.   Just as in 2020, the information in this survey will help us support you and will be provided to the Alaska funding community and policy… Read more »

Mar 25, 2021
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law – it’s the latest federal COVID relief package.  The far-reaching ARPA is packed with financial assistance for nonprofits, individuals, local governments, states, and small businesses.  Thanks to the tireless advocacy of the National Council of Nonprofits for ensuring nonprofits are included in the law.  We know Alaska nonprofits are wanting to learn more about specific parts of the ARPA that affect their organizations, their staff and volunteers, their clients and customers, their communities. 2020 was a tough year, and 2021 presents even more pressing challenges in responding to the global pandemic, and charting a solid, strategic path to long-term recovery.  The ARPA is a significant part of relief and recovery. In the summary below we identify… Read more »

Mar 23, 2021
Posted Under: COVID

Earlier this month President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. Join Foraker and our nonprofit partners across the country on Thursday, March 25 at 11:00 am AKST – to welcome former Congressman Cedric Richmond, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and others to discuss this legislation and what it means for your mission and operations…. Read more »

Mar 15, 2021
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed by President Biden on March 11 and has many components to support nonprofits and the people and places we serve. This is the sixth major federal COVID-relief bill enacted, and nonprofits have been included in all of them. A summary of the key provisions affecting nonprofits has been prepared by our partner, the National Council of Nonprofits, and can be found here. Of particular note to nonprofits: An additional $7.25 billion is available for the Paycheck Protection Program and eligibility is expanded to additional nonprofits and digital news services. Additional funds are allocated for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, and organizations are now allowed to apply for both a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, and the SVOG. An additional $15 billion is provided for Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan… Read more »

Mar 5, 2021
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

On March 4, the Alaska House Health and Social Services Committee took testimony on HB 76, a measure that would extend the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration for the state. Foraker President/CEO Laurie Wolf offered this testimony on behalf of the nonprofit sector. ******** Thank you Representative Zulkosky and Representative Snyder. I am Laurie Wolf, President/CEO of The Foraker Group, which serves as the state nonprofit association for Alaska and the nonprofit capacity building organization for nonprofits across the state. As the voice for the nonprofit sector, I appreciate the opportunity to speak before the committee in support of House Bill 76, extending the Disaster Declaration for Alaska. I join my colleagues from across the state that you have heard from today and many others in support of a renewed disaster declaration… Read more »

Feb 23, 2021
Posted Under: COVID

For a two-week period, the Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program lenders will process loan applications ONLY from nonprofits and for-profit businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Starting Wednesday, February 24 and running through Tuesday, March 9, the exclusive small-employer PPP processing window is designed to provide more equitable relief by “targeting the PPP to the smallest businesses and those that have been left behind in previous relief efforts” to ensure that lenders give smaller employers the attention they need to work their way through the application process. If you think your nonprofit may be eligible for an initial PPP loan or a second draw loan Congress authorized at the end of 2020, now is the best time to contact a lender and find out how much relief may… Read more »

Feb 12, 2021
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

Alaska nonprofits – use your voice today. Let policy makers in Juneau know that your work to keep Alaskans safe, along with the safety net that Alaskans depend upon during this pandemic, are in jeopardy. Like all of our partners in the for-profit and government sectors, we are asking for stability to do our essential work to help people and communities. Remind Governor Dunleavy, your representatives, and your contacts around the state just how the current declaration is making good work happen in every corner of the Alaska. The Legislature and the Governor must work together to extend the emergency declaration. This declaration has been misunderstood by too many as having to do with mask mandates and school closures. The fact is that this emergency declaration has meant a path… Read more »