Why All Foundations Should Support the Guardians of the Nonprofit World Now

Why All Foundations Should Support the Guardians of the Nonprofit World Now

One of the most important policies shaping the future of the nonprofit world was passed by Congress last month: the $2 trillion Cares Act.

Unlike legislation passed after the last economic crisis and bailout in 2007, this time the stimulus package includes money directly intended for nonprofit organizations, with the potential of tens of billions of dollars flowing to them in the months ahead. For many, these funds will be a lifeline during and in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. And today’s urgent needs are only the beginning. The tsunami of unemployment claims filed in recent weeks suggests that much greater federal action will be needed to steer the economy and country through these tough times.

To the extent nonprofit priorities are getting attention in the crisis, it is in large part due to the work of a small constellation of organizations that support the health and vitality of charities and foundations. These organizations include the group we represent, Independent Sector, but also many others that include the National Council of Nonprofits, Council on Foundations, and United Philanthropy Forum — often referred to as part of the nonprofit world’s “infrastructure.”

Of course, each of these organizations does more than the work we have seen them do in Washington, D.C., over the past several weeks. But if that were all they did — for this decade — it would be the best return on investment of a philanthropic dollar imaginable. Among the victories that will produce billions of dollars for nonprofits:  access to Small Business Administration loans that can be forgiven and creation of a charitable deduction for people who don’t itemize and who want to give generously to good causes nationwide.

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Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy


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