Dear fellow nonprofit friends,
Before I dive fully into our weekly communication and update, I want to just say thank you. Thank you for ALL that you do, day in and day out, pandemic or not. Our nonprofit sector is probably the most innovative, creative, and caring group of professionals out there. I see how hard you are all working, doing more with less and constantly fulfilling your missions in bigger and new ways every single day. Thank you just doesn’t seem like a sufficient sentiment right now, but know that I have an incredible amount of respect for you. All of you.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for all of us. We’re adjusting to new schedules, new “coworkers” (in my case a husband and children), new desk/office spaces at home if we are lucky (we’ve received one submission already for our #idahomeandhealthy campaign of someone using an ironing board for a desk!) and learning how to use at least two different remote meeting technologies to remain connected in our work.
While I miss being in my office every day with my team I am also trying to find the positives in my new normal. One of them is that I definitely love the commute. And I find that I am actually far more productive because I do close my office door at home, something I almost never do at the office. I noticed that I am getting outside to walk our Chief Morale Officer, Olivia, far more frequently which is something I never did before. I hope that I continue to take more breaks to enjoy the fresh air when things return to “normal” once again.
Changes in Idaho and the Nation
This week we saw even more changes in our Idaho world. A rapidly increasing count of positive COVID-cases, more Idaho counties with COVID-19, our first deaths, two instances of community spread and a shelter in place order from the Governor. The Attorney General also published this FAQ document about the order, it has great information in it.
We’ve been tracking important legislation and encouraging you all to engage in advocacy as well. As you know, the Families First legislation was signed into law on March 18. We have been able to provide summaries of the legislation for you and hope to host a webinar that will cover this bill and the CARES Act which is being decided in the House of Representatives today. Next Thursday I will host a short, free webinar on Advocacy during COVID-19 to help highlight how, and why, we all should be engaged in advocacy now, more than ever.
Very early on we conducted a survey to better understand how the COVID-19 outbreak has, and will, impact our nonprofit sector. We also wanted to measure your preparedness to help guide us in decisions about future resources and training so we can better support you in this critical time. 103 nonprofits had time to complete the survey, and you can review the entire summary, including open-ended responses, by clicking here.
From that survey we found some bright spots that I want to highlight:
In terms of the potential impacts on the nonprofit sector, 68% of our respondents estimate there will be a significant impact on programs, services and general operations. We are predicting, on average, a 21% increase in expenses. Those expenses could include things like laptops for remote staff or increased demand in services like food and resources for distribution to even more community members who find themselves in need at this time.
To me, one of the most exciting things about the survey we conducted is the level of understanding that our nonprofits have about their own gaps and how they will work to address them. We know where we stand. We know what we need to do, such as updating our sick leave policies and dusting off our financial contingency plans. Actually, from what I read in the survey results, as usual, we’ve got this. But we do still need help.
Daily I am asked “how can I best help right now?” and the answer is simple: the nonprofit sector is anticipating, on average, a 44% decrease in revenues related to the COVID-19 outbreak. We still need financial support. We don’t all have a safe place for volunteers and we don’t necessarily have the capacity to leverage your skill set but I guarantee that now more than ever our nonprofits know what to do with any donations you have the capacity to make.
Continued Support and More Resources
Our team at the Idaho Nonprofit Center is working hard to fulfill our mission to you: to educate, advocate and collaborate in support of stronger nonprofits. And all Idaho Nonprofit Center COVID-19 webinars are being made FREE to all nonprofits, regardless of your membership status. We truly are all in this together.
We are adding resources daily to our COVID-19 resource page, including information about emergency grant funding and SBA loan information. Check back regularly and if you need something you don’t see, let us know and we’ll find it! Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a specific request.
We will keep you informed on policy that impacts our nonprofit sector and will be issuing our own rundown of the CARES act once it’s been signed into law. And we’ll continue to keep you abreast through policy alerts as a small part of our advocacy work.
There will be no end to our willingness to partner and collaborate with other organizations who are here to support our nonprofit sector. We were so proud to work with the Idaho Community Foundation and the United Way of the Treasure Valley on the COVID-19 Response Fund, which is growing daily. And we were blessed to help announce that the application for those funds opened yesterday!
In Eastern Idaho, Bank of Idaho and Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in connection with local nonprofit leaders and public health team members, have initiated a public, community commitment fund in response to COVID-19. More information here.
In North Idaho, Innovia Foundation and local philanthropic, government, and business partners have joined together to create a COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund that will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the region’s coronavirus outbreak. More information here.
Yesterday we also announced that we’re stretching out our annual Idaho Gives campaign to a full two weeks of giving, starting April 23 and ending May 7 at midnight. This will give us all: nonprofits, our supporters, and media partners more time to share the impact that ALL nonprofits have on our communities.
Now more than ever before we have an opportunity to shine a light on our collective work as a sector and inspire Idahoans everywhere to give. As a brief side note, the CARES Act includes a universal charitable deduction of up to $300 which will include all charitable gifts in 2020. This would allow all of us, whether we itemize or not, to deduct our charitable gifts up to $300 on our 2020 taxes.
Stay Home and Healthy
We hope you will join us in our stay home and healthy campaign in the coming weeks. We want to highlight the innovative nonprofit staff and volunteers in their new environments and share it with the world! Please take a picture of your home “office,” new “co-workers,” self-care techniques, and how you continue to serve your community.
Idaho Nonprofit Center will be raffling off $50 of credit every week via random drawing. The winner can use their $50 towards membership fee, training, or upcoming event. We will announce a winner every Monday of the following week. Winners will be contacted by Idaho Nonprofit Center and spotlighted on our social media platforms.
To participate just follow @idahononprofits on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn
And tag @idahononprofits in your post with #idahomeandhealthy.
And we invite you to share your stories of resilience, collaboration, and community support by emailing them to email@example.com or by sharing them on social media and tagging @Idahononprofits in your post with #sharethegoodidaho.
A Wonderful Sector
In closing, I want to reiterate my respect, appreciation, and admiration to each and every one of you. I read every email you send and know that I am blown away by the compassion, caring, creativity, and crazy good problem solving skills that all of you possess.
Our communities and those we serve are lucky to have you. I have never been more proud to be a part of the Idaho nonprofit sector than I am today. God bless, stay well. We’re here for you.
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