WASHINGTON, April 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- YWCA USA, Goodwill Industries International and United Way Worldwide, which collectively employ more than 155,000 people and reach more than 95 percent of U.S. communities, urged Congress to designate a Nonprofit Sector Track within the next COVID-19 economic stimulus package, and identified four critical priorities that would address the specific needs of the nonprofit sector.
Nonprofits like YWCA USA, Goodwill and United Way Worldwide have been on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing food, shelter, emergency childcare, domestic violence services, medical assistance and other critical services to those in need in their communities. As demand for these services surges, the organizations' revenues are plummeting because fee-for-service programs and facilities have been closed as states implement social distancing and stay-home orders; charitable giving is taking a significant hit as millions of workers are laid off; and annual fundraisers have been canceled due to the crisis. The threats to the nonprofit sector's economic stability are real and growing — with potentially devastating impacts for the more than 12 million workers our sector employs, and the millions more who rely on nonprofits for essential services.
"At YWCA USA, the story all across our national network and across the nonprofit sector is the same: demand for the services we provide is skyrocketing — even as our financial resources are dwindling," said Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA. "YWCA is on the frontlines of the pandemic response, offering emergency childcare services for first responders and essential workers, as well as safe housing for low-income families, veterans and survivors of domestic violence. Congress took an important first step in passing the CARES Act by including economic relief measures to stabilize the nonprofit sector during the COVID-19 health crisis, but additional steps are required to meet the full scope of need both now and in the future."
"Nonprofits are often the first on the scene when a crisis hits. They do whatever it takes to provide tangible, relevant assistance to the most vulnerable Americans in our communities, who too often have no other place to turn," said Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "The massive demand for nonprofit support will continue to expand through recovery efforts as millions of Americans who are newly jobless seek to go back to work. As Congress and the administration work on an additional relief package, we can't overlook the needs of these community-based institutions."
"The country can't afford for us to go out of business," said Brian A. Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. "Our people's jobs provide the services that will continue to see a surge in demand in the weeks, months and years ahead: homeless shelters, soup kitchens, childcare for essential workers, job training and more. We need the government to recognize the valuable role our sector plays in the relief and recovery during disasters such as this one and to provide additional economic support so that we all keep our doors open to take care of others. It is unlikely that our economy is going to recover quickly. We're in this for the long haul."
YWCA USA, Goodwill and United Way Worldwide are urging Congress to increase financial resources for the nonprofit sector in the following four ways:
1. Designate funding exclusively for nonprofits within the two main loan programs created by the CARES Act.
Many nonprofits, including the majority of local Goodwill organizations, have more than 500 employees and aren't eligible for one of the most-requested relief options — the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We urge Congress to either remove the employee caps of the PPP or create a similar program with loan forgiveness for nonprofits that employ more than 500 people.
2. Strengthen charitable giving incentives beyond the $300 deduction for 2020.
The CARES Act created a temporary $300 non-itemized charitable tax deduction, but more is needed when the demands on nonprofits are rising as resources are being greatly strained. For example, United Way is finding that requests for help — with basics like rent and food — have increased 200 – 400 percent in most parts of the country since late February.
An unlimited, above-the-line charitable tax deduction is required to help Americans better support the nonprofits that are responding during this crisis. Research shows that the charitable tax deduction is an incentive for people — who may already be inclined to give — to give more. We urge Congress to strengthen charitable giving incentives by removing the cap on giving and extending the timeline for the deduction to encourage all Americans to help their communities through charitable donations during these challenging times.
3. Increase emergency funding by appropriating funds for targeted state formula grants and programs that can provide a rapid infusion of funding to nonprofit organizations.
YWCA is a national leader in providing childcare, housing and domestic violence services, and we are in most urgent need of additional grant funding through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care program, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Across the nonprofit sector, additional emergency federal grant funding is also needed to support summer programs for children, meals for seniors and other critical relief efforts.
4. Increase the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits to 100 percent of costs.
"When we empower nonprofits like YWCA, United Way and Goodwill with resources, we can better meet the needs of communities," said Representative Gwen Moore (WI-04) on a press call hosted by YWCA USA, Goodwill and United Way Worldwide this morning. "That's why I appreciated the opportunity to discuss how we can better support these organizations to address new and ongoing challenges during these difficult times."
Representative Judy Chu (CA-27) also joined the press call and remarked, "At this time of heightened need, nonprofits and the services they provide are more important to our communities than ever. But nonprofits are suffering from the economic slowdown as much as any. That is why I was proud that nonprofits were made eligible for vital Small Business Administration relief programs meant to keep businesses operating and workers paid. But we also need to help nonprofits meet the demand in our communities, and that is why I'm so pleased Congress temporarily reinstated the tax deduction for charitable giving, so that we can encourage the kind of donations that make this necessary work possible."
For a detailed overview of the policy demands and stories from the field, click here.
ABOUT YWCA USA
YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for over 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 157 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people find employment, Goodwill is recognized with GuideStar's highest rating, the Platinum Seal of Approval.
Local Goodwill organizations offer employment opportunities, job placement and training services, and other community-based programs, funded by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores and at shopgoodwill.com®. Last year, more than 34 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill services, and more than 1.6 million people received in-person services.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl.
ABOUT UNITED WAY WORLDWIDE
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world's largest privately funded nonprofit. We're engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.
SOURCE Goodwill Industries International