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Many nonprofit organizations are facing challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Review what federal funding assistance may be available.

COVID Financial Management

Grant Funding and Financial Help for Your Nonprofit in Response to COVID-19

  • Rebecca Field
  • 5/19/2020

Key insights

  • Federal legislation was passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which includes funding assistance available to help nonprofit organizations.
  • Review which programs align with your organization’s mission and goals.
  • Organizations that benefit from such funding may also be subject to additional compliance requirements.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on organizations of all sizes, including nonprofits. As many nonprofit organizations continue to provide services to communities across the country, their leaders are seeking financial assistance to help their organizations stay in operation. Federal legislation passed in response to the pandemic provides a number of funding assistance options that may be available to nonprofits.

Discuss the CARES Act impact on nonprofits.

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Review funding program application details and related requirements

New and existing grant programs and other resources exist, and many are being offered as a result of coronavirus-related legislation: the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. The grant application and funding processes will vary depending on the federal agency appropriating the funding. Many programs will flow through state agencies, and each agency will likely have their own application process.

If you pursue grant funding assistance, it is essential to review the related compliance and reporting requirements, as you could lose your funding if you don’t adhere to the requirements. You may also need to make changes to your internal control structure to comply with these additional requirements. View our recent webinar for a discussion about the CARES Act and implications for nonprofits.

COVID-19 legislation funding assistance overview

Read through our summary chart to see what types of funding opportunities may be available for your organization. We’ve outlined which grant programs may have funding available to nonprofits. This gives you a start when performing funding opportunity research and analysis.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Health Care Enhancement Act Funding Summary
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
SBA $310 billion Provides additional funding to restart the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans of up to $10 million for small businesses to maintain payroll and related benefits, interest on mortgages and other debts, leases and utility payments. Loan forgiveness is available for the principal portion of the loan used for payroll costs, interest on mortgage, rent, and utilities. Learn more here.
SBA $60 billion Provides funding for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and grants for businesses that need financial support. Of that amount, $10 billion is for emergency grants of up to $10,000 that do not have to be repaid and $50 billion is to fund loans under the EIDL. Learn more here.
CARES Act Funding Summary
Administration for Community Living (ACL)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
ACL $955 million Supports nutrition programs, home- and community-based services, support for family caregivers, and expand oversight and protections for seniors and individuals with disabilities. ACL is announcing a $50 million funding opportunity to support efforts by Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 emergency. All states and territories are eligible for funding and encouraged to apply. Funding will be distributed based on population estimates of individuals who are age 60 and older and individuals of all ages who have disabilities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
CDC $1.5 billion Provides flexible funding to support the CDC’s continuing efforts to contain and combat the virus, including repatriation and quarantine efforts, the purchase and distribution of diagnostic test kits (including for state and local public health agencies), and support for laboratory testing, workforce training programs, combating antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic resistant bacteria as a result of secondary infections related to COVID-19, and communicating with and informing public, state, local, and tribal governments and healthcare institutions.
CDC $500 million Provides funding for global disease detection and emergency response.
CDC $500 million Provides funding for public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization.
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
ACF $3.5 billion Allows child care programs to maintain critical operations, including meeting emergency staffing needs and ensuring first responders and health care workers can access child care while they respond to the pandemic.
ACF $1 billion Provides additional Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding to help communities address increasing unemployment and economic disruption, including providing housing and utility assistance, health services, and emergency support services. States receive funds according to a statutory formula. In turn, states fund a network of local entities with 90% of their CSBG grant award. These local entities include, local governments, migrant and seasonal farm worker organizations, and Community Action Agencies (CAAs).
ACF $900 million Helps lower-income households heat and cool their homes.
ACF $750 million Provides support for Head Start to meet emergency staffing needs.
ACF $45 million Available for Child Welfare Services, for funding maltreatment prevention, family preservation, permanency, and workforce training.
ACF $45 million Available for the Family Violence Prevention and Services program to help shelters and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
ACF $25 million Provides additional funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth programs, which provide grants to community-based public and private agencies for the provision of outreach, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, family reunification, and aftercare services to runaway and homeless youth.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
FEMA $45 billion Provides funding for 501(c),(d), or (e) non-profit entities with facilities that provide critical services. They may be eligible for reimbursement for emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials legally responsible to save lives or protect public health and safety. This can include operating costs. Learn more here.
FEMA $200 million Provides funding for shelter, food, and supportive services to individuals and families in sudden economic crisis.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
HUD $4 billion Provides Homeless Assistance Grant funding to address the impact of COVID-19 among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, homelessness prevention, and eviction prevention. Funds will be distributed to states and local governments using the formula used for such grants in fiscal year 2020. The remainder is to be distributed using a formula determined by the HUD secretary that allocates the amounts to areas with the greatest need.
HUD $2 billion Allocated to states and units of local governments that received an allocation under the fiscal year 2020 CDBG formula.
HUD $1 billion Provides funding to states to support a coordinated response across entitlement and non-entitlement communities.
HUD $65 million For rental assistance, service coordinators, and support services for the affordable households for the elderly and low-income persons with disabilities.
HUD $65 million Funding to Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS to maintain rental assistance and expand operational and administrative flexibilities for housing and supportive service providers to assist nearly 61,000 households. Given that this population is particularly vulnerable, the bill includes temporary relocation services to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 for these at-risk households.
Department of the Interior
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
Department of the Interior $158.4 million Allocates resources to address coronavirus response needs for national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands and other bureaus. Includes funding for equipment and supplies for cleaning buildings and public areas; support for law enforcement and emergency personnel deployed to critical areas; support for scientific needs; increased telework capacity; and other prevention, mitigation, or recovery activities associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
Department of Labor (DOL)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
DOL $360 million Invests in programs that provide training and supportive services for dislocated workers, seniors, migrant farmworkers, and homeless veterans. This also includes funding for DOL agencies to ensure new paid leave and unemployment insurance benefits are implemented swiftly and effectively.
National Endowment for the Arts
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
National Endowment for the Arts $75 million Provides funding to state arts agencies to provide grants and to support arts organizations, museums, libraries, and other organizations during the coronavirus crisis.
National Endowment of the Humanities
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
National Endowment of the Humanities $75 million Provides funding to state humanities agencies to provide grants and to support arts organizations, museums, libraries, and other organizations during the coronavirus crisis.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
SBA $350 billion Provides loans of up to $10 million for small businesses to maintain payroll and related benefits, interest on mortgages and other debts, leases and utility payments. Loan forgiveness is available for the principal portion of the loan used for payroll costs, interest on mortgage, rent, and utilities. Learn more here.
SBA $10 billion Provides an advance of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) within three days of applying for the loan. Learn more here.
SBA $562 million Provides Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to businesses that need financial support during this difficult time. Learn more here.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
SAMHSA $425 million Provides funding for mental health and substance use disorders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with certified community behavioral health clinics receiving $250 million. SAMHSA gets $50 million for suicide prevention, and $100 million in flexible funding to address mental health and substance use disorders and provides resources to youth and the homeless during this time.
United States Agency for International Development
(USAID)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
USAID $258 million Responds to the extraordinary needs in other countries that are underequipped to respond to the pandemic. The funding will prioritize populations affected by ongoing humanitarian crises, particularly displaced people, because of their heightened vulnerability, the elevated risk of severe outbreaks in camps and informal settlements, and anticipated disproportionate mortality in these populations.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
USDA $15.51 billion Provides additional funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to ensure all Americans, including seniors and children, receive the food they need.
USDA $8.8 billion Provides additional funding for child nutrition programs to ensure children receive meals while school is not in session.
USDA $450 million Supports food banks.
USDA $100 million Funds allocated for the ReConnect program to help ensure rural Americans have access to broadband, the need for which is increasingly apparent as millions of Americans work from home across the country.
USDA $25 million Supports the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program. This increase will help improve distance learning and telemedicine in rural areas of America.
FFCRA Funding Summary
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
ACF $500 million Provides access to nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women or mothers with young children who lose their jobs or are laid off due to the COVID-19 emergency.
ACF $400 million Assists local food banks in meeting increased demand for low-income Americans during the emergency. Of the total, $300 million is for the purchase of nutritious foods and $100 million is to support the storage and distribution of the foods.
Department of Health and Human Services
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
Department of Health and Human Services $250 million Assists the senior nutrition program in the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to provide a home-delivered meals to low-income seniors, congregate nutrition services, and nutrition services for Native Americans.
Internal Revenue Service
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
Internal Revenue Service Undefined Provides businesses with tax credits to cover certain costs of providing employees with required paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19, from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Learn more here.
Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Act Supplemental Appropriations Funding Summary
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
CDC $950 million $475 million must be allocated within 30 days, to support states, local governments, territories, and tribes to conduct public health activities such as: surveillance for coronavirus, laboratory testing to detect positive cases, contact tracing to identify additional positive cases, infection control at the local level to prevent additional cases, migration in areas with person-to-person transmission to prevent additional cases, and other public health preparedness and response activities.
CDC $300 million Provides funding for global disease detection and emergency response.
United States Agency for International Development
(USAID)
Federal funding agency/department Amount authorized Description
USAID $435 million Provides funding for Global Health Programs to support health systems responding to the coronavirus outbreak overseas.
USAID $300 million Provides funding for the International Disaster Assistance program to support humanitarian assistance needs resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

How we can help

CLA has a team of experienced professionals who can help you navigate the complexities of COVID-19 funding opportunities. Whether you need assistance understanding what funding opportunities exist, navigating the grant application process, or developing effective strategies for implementing grant management policies and procedures, we can help you through the process now and as you look to a future beyond COVID-19. Visit our grant compliance resources page for additional information.

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