Funding for Nonprofits in a Pandemic

In the last year, the world has seen a seismic shift in nearly every aspect of life, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. For those involved in the operation of nonprofit organizations carrying out important social and environmental work, sourcing much needed funding is a growing concern. As troubling as these times may seem, there are still avenues that a nonprofit  can take to secure the funds needed to keep their mission moving forward. Today we’ll take a look at three ways you can find funding for nonprofits in a pandemic.

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PPP – Second Draw Loans

At the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. government launched its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses keep their workforces employed. Though not without controversy, the PPP helped thousands of businesses stay afloat during the initial months of lockdown. A second round of PPP funds are being prepared by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury, and eligible nonprofits organizations would be wise to quickly apply. Organizations that received help during the first round of PPP loans, have no more than 300 employees, and have used the full amount only for authorized uses may qualify for the second draw loans. The second draw program has also specifically set aside $25 billion in funds for organizations with fewer than 10 employees. The funds can be used for expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities and certain operational expenses. While the funds are technically loans, organizations receiving funding can apply for forgiveness. Applications are being accepted from now through March 31st. To apply, vist the SBA website and download the application form.

New SBA Grant Opportunities

In addition to the second wave of PPP loans, there are a variety of new grant opportunities available that may help secure funding for nonprofits. One such program is the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program. These funds have been earmarked for struggling live arts venues, museums, zoos, aquariums and other similar operations that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. While the SBA is still in the process of setting up the program, first priority will be given to organizations that have seen a 90% or greater loss of revenue due to the pandemic. The funds given may be equal to 45% of their 2019 gross revenue, or $10 million dollars, whichever is less. Funds can be used for a variety of expenses including payroll, mortgage or rent payments, business expenses and administrative costs. There are also a variety of other grant programs that are becoming available, aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofits survive during these challenging times.

Loan and Donation Opportunities via LENDonate

At LENDonate, we are dedicated to helping nonprofits secure funding to help get through the pandemic. Our platform brings together lenders and philanthropists who are looking to provide funding for nonprofits and charitable organizations. Nonprofits using the site can create a profile that identifies the needs of your organization including the amount of funding desired. Using our platform, lenders can review the organizations and tailor bids via a combination of lending and traditional donations to the organizations whose missions align most with their personal values and interests. Framed as a bidding process, LENDonate matches nonprofit borrowers with the most generous offers. By securing strategic working capital via loans and donations through LENDonate, nonprofits will have access to funds with fewer restrictions than a SBA or government loan. A prime example of this is the success story of Vision y Compromiso, an organization that was able to secure a $100,000 12 month interest-only bridge loan through LENDonate. The funds they received allowed them to keep their work staff employed, catch up with accounts receivable and maintain breathing room as they applied for additional grants and contracts. After paying back the loan, VyC is now in a stronger, more stable position which enables them to continue to strengthen their community through their work.

The Final Thoughts

Despite the ongoing pandemic, there are a variety of ways funding for nonprofits in need can be achieved. Whether through the SBA’s PPP Second Draw loans, new grant opportunities or LENDonate’s growing network of lenders and philanthropists, there are multiple avenues available to help struggling or strategic organizations stay nimble during these uncertain times. As the pandemic continues to evolve, nonprofits should continue to think strategically about ways to sustain their organizations for long term success. We encourage you to leave no stone unturned when it comes to seeking the funding you need to continue your vital mission in your community.