Last week, CWLA endorsed the Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofits Organizations Well, the WORK NOW Act. The legislation, S 3747 is sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Brian Schatz (D-HA), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) would provide a relief fund that states could use to fortify vital nonprofit human service organizations. The Treasury Department would administer the program, and allocations would be made to applying states and localities—with all funding being channeled to eligible nonprofits meeting needs that have increased as a result of the pandemic and the attendant economic crisis. National and regional nonprofit organizations will be able to apply directly to the Treasury Department for grants on behalf of themselves and their chapters across the nation.

The majority of federal funding must be used for employee compensation—paying the wages, salaries, and benefits of either existing employees or new employees. Funding may also be used to develop innovative service delivery methods to respond to the pandemic. There would be a two percent set aside for Indian Tribes by a formula based on the Indian Community Development Block Grant in the Housing Department. The total amount available for the various parts of the legislation for grants through states, local governments, Tribes, and some direct grants is $50 billion.

The legislation has been endorsed by National Council of Nonprofits; United Way; Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Goodwill Industries; YMCA, Habitat for Humanity; Jewish Federations of North America; Mentor, Orthodox Union; Lutheran Services in America; Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis; Minnesota Council of Nonprofits; Lutheran Social Services Minnesota; Aspire Minnesota; St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development; Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota; and Hawai’i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations.

The CWLA April recommendations for the next COVID-19 relief legislation are included in the CWLA’s letter along with this descriptive letter of child welfare needs.