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Sánchez Introduces Bill to Boost Nonprofit Workforce During Pandemic

July 6, 2020
Press Release
House version of the WORK NOW Act helps nonprofits meet demand and newly unemployed to work serving their communities

Washington, DC—Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, along with Reps. Nydia Velázquez (NY-7), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Don Beyer (VA-8), Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Lucy McBath (GA-6) today introduced legislation to help nonprofit organizations meet an increase in demand for their services due to the coronavirus pandemic while helping newly unemployed Americans get back to work. The Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofit Organizations Well (WORK NOW) Act will create a major new grant program to help nonprofit organizations retain their employees, scale their service delivery, and provide unemployed Americans with new jobs serving their communities.

The Senate version of the bill was introduced in May by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and six other Senators.

“Since the pandemic began, nonprofits and frontline organizations catering to vulnerable populations like homeless shelters, food banks, and domestic violence shelters, have seen declines in revenue and volunteers,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez. “At the same time, these nonprofits are trying to adhere to social health guidelines while trying to stay afloat. This bill will provide new grants to allow nonprofits to retain their workforce or provide jobs for newly unemployed people.”

The program will be administered by the Treasury Department and allocations will be made to states and local governments—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 nonprofit organizations will be invited to apply directly to the Treasury Department on behalf of their local chapters across the nation. The bulk of federal funding must be used for employee compensation—paying the wages, salaries, and benefits of either existing employees or new employees. Some funding may also be used to help nonprofits innovate in delivering services in new ways to meet the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

The legislation is endorsed by many, including the following groups: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Child Welfare League of America; Girls Inc.; Goodwill Industries; Habitat for Humanity; Independent Sector; Jewish Federations of North America; Lutheran Services in America; March of Dimes; MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership; Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; National Community Action Foundation; National Council of Nonprofits; Spina Bifida Association; Union of Orthodox Jewish; United Way; YMCA; YWCA USA; After-School All-Stars Hawai'i; Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai'i; Ceeds of Peace; Hawai'i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations; Hawai'i Children's Action Network; Maui Economic Opportunity; Parents and Children Together; Aspire Minnesota; Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota; The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits; Momentum Nonprofit Partners; St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development; Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis; and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.