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

  • Applications will open for the Municipality of Anchorage Nonprofit Relief grant program at noon on Monday, October 19, 2020. The grant program will make available over $4,000,000 of CARES Act funds to eligible nonprofits, and $50,000 from the Rasmuson Foundation that will be dedicated to arts and culture nonprofits.  Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) will process applications for this grant program and distribute the funds.  Learn more here. You can listed to a recording of the Q&A session we hosted here.
  • Nonprofits with 50 or fewer employees can access free attorney consultations to help with COVID-related legal issues, such as government relief programs, commercial leases, contracts, and employment law questions. The program is run by Alaska Legal Services Corporation. You can find more information here.
  • Lenders are beginning to accept loan forgiveness applications. The SBA recommends using the EZ PPP Forgiveness Application if your organization qualifies. You can find the regular PPP Forgiveness Application here. The SBA, in consultation with the Treasury Department, also released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. You can view the forgiveness application and instructions here. The SBA is offering PPP forgiveness webinars every Wednesday in October, register here. Contact your lender if you have questions.
  • In response to COVID-19, the Alaska Department of Revenue has released temporary guidance that allows nonprofit permittees to sell raffle tickets online to in-state purchasers. You can learn more from our webinar with Katrina Mitchell, Gaming Manager at the Department of Revenue. You can find the recording here.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) –  The law 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.
  • The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service has issued a three-page guidance implementing the Presidential Memorandum allowing employers to defer withholding and payment of the employee’s portion of the Social Security tax. Notice 2020-65, posted on August 31 on IRS.gov, makes relief available for employers and generally applies to wages paid starting Sept. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. The employee Social Security tax deferral may apply to payments of taxable wages to an employee that are less than $4,000 during a bi-weekly pay period, with each pay period considered separately. No deferral is available for any payment to an employee of taxable wages of $4,000 or above for a bi-weekly pay period. See the IRS news release.

RELIEF FUNDS

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 law 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).

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

Oct 17, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

Applications will open for the Municipality of Anchorage Nonprofit Relief grant program at noon on Monday, October 19, 2020. The grant program will make available over $4,000,000 of CARES Act funds to eligible nonprofits, and $50,000 from the Rasmuson Foundation that will be dedicated to arts and culture nonprofits.  Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) will process applications for this grant program and distribute the funds. $2.5 million of the grant program will be set aside for general nonprofits, while $1.5 million of the grant program will be set aside for arts and culture nonprofits.  Qualified applicants will be eligible to receive grants of $7,500, $15,000, or $30,000 depending on the recipient’s gross revenue. The grants may be used to cover costs of operational interruptions caused by the COVID‐19 pandemic and local emergency… Read more »

Oct 9, 2020
Posted Under: COVID President's letter

We call these days “blursday.” They are endless and full, and one day bends and folds into liminal space. These are days where the virus has done more than bring isolation, death, and sorrow – it has revealed and exploited the deep inequities that already existed, and its wake only deepens our fears about each other and about the state of our nation. In this “in-between time,” we hold our breath waiting for the next revelation  that we know will come, and we are never sure from which direction. Will it be in the new way we respond to our work with agility and speed that we didn’t even know we had? Or in the new life of teacher-parent-worker that we never thought was possible but yet is happening? Or… Read more »

Sep 23, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The National Council of Nonprofits is hosting a free webinar on September 24 at 11:00 AKDT to answer questions about COVID-related paid leave requirements. During the webinar, speakers from the U.S. Department of Labor will: Walk participants through the requirements of the laws Explain which employees and employers are and are not covered Discuss the concept of intermittent family leave in the context of school reopening Address the recent federal court decision and changes to Labor Department regulations effective September 16 You can register here…. Read more »

Sep 23, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The SBA is processing very few PPP loan forgiveness applications and banks across the nation are waiting to hear from congress. There is increasing pressure on congress to automatically forgive loans less than $150,000, but it is unclear when and if that will happen. Most banks in Alaska are not accepting PPP loan forgiveness applications. That being said, when the banks are accepting the applications – you’ll want to understand the process. To that end, the SBA Alaska District Office is hosting free webinars on September 23 & September 30 from 1:00-3:00 pm to review PPP loan forgiveness, including an overview of the forgiveness requirements, a walkthrough of PPP forgiveness applications, and the appeals process. Register here…. Read more »

Sep 3, 2020
Posted Under: Advocacy COVID

The National Council of Nonprofits provided the following information on the executive order that was issued by the President on August 8. “The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service has issued a three-page guidance implementing the Presidential Memorandum allowing employers to defer withholding and payment of the employee’s portion of the Social Security tax. Notice 2020-65, posted on August 31 on IRS.gov, makes relief available for employers and generally applies to wages paid starting Sept. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. The employee Social Security tax deferral may apply to payments of taxable wages to an employee that are less than $4,000 during a bi-weekly pay period, with each pay period considered separately. No deferral is available for any payment to an employee of taxable wages of $4,000 or… Read more »

Aug 28, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The state has made important changes to the AK CARES grant program. Starting on August 31, 2020, 501(c)3, 501(c)6, and 501(c)19 nonprofits that received any amount of PPP/EIDL funding will become eligible.  AIDEA has developed an online application portal that is available at www.akcaresonline.org. All applications must now be made through the portal. Please note, there is no option to save and come back to the grant application. Do not start the application until you have reviewed the FAQs/Checklist and have all supporting documents ready for upload. The funds will go quick – so if you plan to apply you’ll need to prepare now. Join us on Monday at 1:00 to learn more…. Read more »

Aug 13, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

The AK CARES grant application is live and has received 800 applications totaling $37 million in its first week. Credit Union 1 continues to process the applications they received before the portal went live. If your organization applied to CU1, there is no need to reapply. CU1 has approved 500 applications for a total of $24 million. A few tips for filling out the application: Gather all your documents before beginning the application. Once the portal application has been started, you cannot save your application and return later. The portal will not time out, so you can leave it open as long as you need. When a supporting document is uploaded, there is a text box allowing the applicant to leave a note regarding the document if explanation is needed…. Read more »

Aug 7, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

A global pandemic – a childcare/educational crisis – escalating economic loss – a sector under siege or boarded up while adapting to the needs of our communities. This is beyond the disasters that Alaskans know of like earthquakes, floods, and fires. These disasters come quickly, leaving us devastated, but a clear path forward soon emerges. Our current crisis is the longest marathon at sprint pace most of us have known. Adjusting is an understatement. Recovery is a faraway place as we live in the here and now and do our best to put the puzzle pieces of relief together. What we know is that as a sector we are the safety net. We are fire service, childcare, and food security. We are human support. We are human spirit. We are… Read more »

Aug 6, 2020
Posted Under: COVID

Mission Driven is a good-news series highlighting the many ways in which Alaska’s nonprofit sector is moving forward during the pandemic. Hosted by Foraker President/CEO Laurie Wolf, these recorded chats feature inspiring tales of resilience from nonprofit leaders in our state.   RBI Alaska’s Founder/CEO, Jamar Hill, has had a storied baseball career. These days, he’s finding new ways to teach kids about the sport he loves. His takeaway: kids are resilient Michele Girault hit the ground running in her first 100-days as Executive Director at Hope Community Resources. Her focus in a distanced environment has revolved around deepening personal connections and maintaining flexible systems. How are nonprofit leaders gathering and using data to chart their way forward during a pandemic? For Anchorage Concert Association’s Executive Director, Jason Hodges, the process… Read more »

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 »