Welcome to our free resource center for nonprofits – staff, volunteers, board members, and donors – as we collectively navigate the COVID-19 crisis. We share key information and free resources on organizational continuity and fundraising, communications, human resources, and more. The Donorbox resource center features a number of links to outside resources (and a few of our own) – like information about laws, articles, webinars, free templates, and more – to help your organization cope with the current situation, plan ahead, and emerge as strong as possible in the next few months.
It’s impossible to predict the full scale of the impact that the coronavirus pandemic will have on nonprofit organizations around the world.
This is why it’s more important than ever for nonprofits to calmly, yet with zest and conviction, find creative ways to sustain their work and further their missions.
As nonprofits scramble to devise new strategic and operating plans, meet the increasing demand for services or overcome hurdles to delivering them and support their employees — the need for accessible, trusted resources to support them in meeting today’s challenges is greater than ever.
In the resource center below, our team here at Donorbox shares resources that nonprofits may find useful as they navigate the implications of the unfolding public health crisis.
Page Last Updated: 4-17-2020
Resources Center Index
- Public Health Information
- COVID-19 Information for Nonprofits
- Nonprofit Fundraising
- Nonprofit Communications
- Webinars and Podcasts
- COVID-19 Laws and Acts
- Nonprofit Leadership & Management
- Remote Working Tools
- Online Events
- Other Information and Resources
1. Public Health Information
- CDC Coronavirus Information
- WHO Information
- Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map
- Public Health On-Call Podcast
Please follow your local and national public health department websites for up-to-date guidance.
2. COVID-19 Information for Nonprofits
- CDC Foundation Advice for Nonprofits
- Running a Nonprofit in the Time of COVID-19
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s ongoing coverage
- PhilanTopic PND Blog Roundups
- Coronavirus Information and FAQs
- COVID-19 Current News and Information and Frequently Asked Questions
- COVID-19: Five Things to Know and Do
- CDC Foundation Has COVID-19 Guidelines for Nonprofits
- Nonprofits and Coronavirus, COVID-19
- Stay at Home – What it Means for Nonprofits
3. Nonprofit Fundraising
3.1. Relief Funding & Grants (USA)
Nonprofits of any size that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may qualify. These loans have interest rates of 2.75% for nonprofits for up to a 30 year period. The first $25k can be loaned without collateral, so paid out immediately, and there is a 4-month deferment.
This fund will support a strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic including immediate unrestricted grants, strategic grants, and support for local emergency funds.
Granite United Way has launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund to help its partner organizations in their response to the virus.
Established by United Way of Greater Nashua, this fund provides financial support to local nonprofits for their extraordinary and unprecedented expenses related to COVID-19.
United Way has established the COVID-19 Family Support Fund, a dedicated resource for working families affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Monadnock United Way has established a COVID Relief Fund with 100% of all dollars raised going directly to agencies to provide relief to the region’s families.
More Relief Funding and Grants
In 2020, the Foundation’s Express Grants program will be dedicated exclusively to meeting urgent needs related to the COVID-19 crisis. Unrestricted grants of up to $5,000 will be available through open application and will prioritize nonprofits assisting the most vulnerable.
A grant program available to grassroots groups responding to local needs and building resilience in their community in response to COVID-19. The Seed Grant program has a brief online application and requests can be up to $1,000.
The Response Fund will prioritize community-based organizations at the front lines of the outbreak and nonprofits supporting the most vulnerable individuals and families directly impacted. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as funds are raised.
Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that help students who are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs, purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives, and purchasing books, materials, or software for literacy programs.
The Fuller Foundation supports nonprofit agencies that improve the quality of life for people, animals, and the environment.
Grants are provided to nonprofit organizations that serve specific states and regions, including New Hampshire. The Economic Mobility and Social Progress Focused on the Needs of the Community category provides support for affordable housing, community revitalization, arts, and the environment.
Some More Relief Funding and Grant Resources
The Donley Foundation’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency and achievement for disadvantaged children, individuals, and families through the support of education, literacy, and other means. The Foundation primarily provides support to nonprofit organizations in Western Cook County, IL.
The Hesed Foundation is dedicated to the improvement and enhancement of human life and the strengthening of communities. Specifically, they fund programs relating to youth and education, health, and community building. The Foundation primarily supports nonprofit organizations in the state of New Hampshire and New York City.
The GKV Foundation supports nonprofit organizations located within a 4-5-hour drive of the New York City metropolitan area interested in developing new programs that will impact the community through the use of a range of artistic media such as the visual arts, music, and dance.
The Clowes Fund supports social services for populations of immigrants, refugees, and asylees, as well as workforce development in the form of job skills training and preventing students from dropping out of school. Priority will be given to applications serving Grafton, Sullivan, and Cheshire counties as well as other areas with significant populations of immigrants, refugees, and asylees.
NH Community Development Finance Authority has financing available for nonprofit energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through their Clean Energy Fund.
The Westinghouse Electric Company Charitable Giving Program provides support to nonprofit organizations in communities with company facilities (within 50 miles of Portsmouth and Newington, NH). The company’s areas of emphasis include the following: STEM Education, Environmental Sustainability, and Community Safety and Vitality.
3.2. Other Funding Opportunities
- Here’s a list of US government relief programs for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
- A list of community foundations that launched nationwide coronavirus relief efforts.
- Here’s a round-up of funding opportunities compiled by Candid.org.
- Artwork Archive shares a great list of emergency funds for museums and arts nonprofits during Covid19.
3.3. Fundraising Insights
- Make the Most out of #GivingTuesdayNow – Donorbox
- 8 Steps for Successful Fundraising During the Coronavirus Crisis – Amy Eisenstein
- How Nonprofits Can Connect Virtually During Trying Times – Clarification
- Coronavirus Fundraising & Donor Relations Tactics – Bloomerang
- Fundraising in Tough Times – Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Coronavirus Appeal Templates – Mark Phillips
- COVID-19 and Your Fundraising Cheat-Sheet – Sean Triner
- How to continue fundraising for non-pandemic causes – Care2
- From Sustainability to Survivability: How Nonprofits Can Manage Uncertainty Amid Crisis – Steve Zimmerman
- COVID-19 Tools and Resources for Nonprofits – Insights on how to recover financially, financial resources, SBA Resources
- 5 Nonprofit Finance Must-Do’s – Nonprofit Quarterly
- Cashflow and Scenario Planning Tools – Nonprofit Finance Fund
- Fundraising and Donor Tactics – First Things First
3.4. Three Quick Money Tips for Nonprofits during COVID-19
1. Ask for deferrals
To conserve cash, consider asking your higher-paid staff to take reduced/deferred pay.
Review your leases to understand grace periods and your landlord’s ability to tap the security deposit for rent in arrears, and any force majeure clauses allowing for nonpayment. Don’t pay the rent before asking your landlord what type of program they are offering for reduction or deferral.
Ask for a deferral of any cash interest or principal payments that would otherwise be due over the next few months.
2. Accelerate incoming revenue
Ask your core donors for their gifts and grants early, to accelerate your incoming revenue during this time. Inform them that your organization needs early donations in order to get through these times. Make sure to keep the fundraising appeal urgent and clear. It is important to convey your appreciation for their support.
This will bring in cash while also giving your organization important information about how your fundraising prospects and donors have likely been affected by the crisis. You can also ask funders to ease restrictions on grants to allow for more flexibility.
Example of a letter to your donors:
[Organization] needs your crucial support early in these trying times.
We at [Organization] are striving hard to continue our work amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the setbacks due to the current climate, our team is relentlessly working toward [our mission], dedicated to delivering an uninterrupted impact on the ground.
We need your help now. We would really appreciate your [frequency] gift of [amount] to help sustain us in these challenging times.
Please stay safe and quarantined.
Explore all possible government and philanthropic initiatives offering grants or loans. It is better to raise more cash than needed than to risk running short on funds.
Look into your local government, community, or institution fundraising opportunities — it is possible that a program brings you the aid that you need immediately. Read the fine print since some programs provide reimbursement for certain costs, which may not help with immediate cash flow.
Lastly, go all-in with raising funds online.
4. Nonprofit Communications
- A public Google Drive folder of examples – Julia Campbell
- A Crisis Communications Checklist for COVID-19 – MRSS
- Free Resources for Creating a Coronavirus Appeal – Mark Philips
- During COVID-19: The Supporter Experience is More Important than Ever – Pamela Grow
- A Dozen COVID-19 Donor Communications Tips – Lynne M. Wester
- 10 Important Donor Types To Communicate To During the Coronavirus Outbreak – Bloomerang
- Donor Communications During a Crisis News Cycle – Bloomerang
- Coronavirus Crisis Comms Triage Kit – The Communications Network
- Funders – The Time is Now to Talk About Recession Planning with Grantees – Center for Effective Philanthropy
- Guidance for Philanthropic Communications in a Pandemic – Northern California Grantmakers
- Tips to manage your nonprofit’s communications during the COVID-19 crisis – Big Duck
5. Webinars and Podcasts
- #GivingTuesdayNow: Social Media Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Success
- Federal Coronavirus Relief Bills: What Do They Mean for Nonprofits?
- [WEBINAR] Nonprofits and the CARES Act
- [WEBINAR] Briefing on Emergency Coronavirus Funding for 501(c)(3) Nonprofits
- Managing and Supporting Remote Workers
- Virtual Bookkeeping Solutions for Nonprofits
- Donor Love and Vulnerability in the Era of COVID-19
- Donor Communication In The Wake of COVID-19
- How Nonprofits Can Navigate COVID-19
- Prepare for Remote Work
6. COVID-19 Laws and Acts (USA)
6.1. CARES Act
On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), aimed at providing financial relief to the American people and businesses in response to the economic fallout from the fast-developing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Below are a few highlights of the bill’s direct impact on nonprofits:
- Allows nonprofit organizations (including foundations) to access $350B in loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). To be eligible, nonprofits or for-profits must have been in existence on March 1, 2020 or earlier, and have 500 or fewer employees. An important provision: Under this new program, loans are forgivable if the nonprofit or for-profit keeps staff on the payroll between March 1 and June 30, 2020.
- If a nonprofit is subject to a shut-down order and has lost 50% of revenue compared with last year, they can receive up to $5,000 per eligible employee. Tax credits could be applied against payroll taxes, so it is an immediate benefit.
- For 2020, it creates an above-the-line charitable deduction for non-itemizers, for cash gifts only, capped at $300, excluding gifts into donor-advised funds.
- The SBA currently has Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The existing program provides loans of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 2.75% for nonprofits. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Read more about the CARES act:
- CARES Act: How Can Your Nonprofit Take Advantage?
- CARES Act: How to Apply for Nonprofit Relief Funds
- COVID-19 Relief Bill Passed – What Does It Mean for Nonprofits?
- The Skinny on What You Need to Get a Small Business (under 500 employees) Forgivable Loan
- Cutting Through the Jargon: How the CARES Act Works for Nonprofits
- How Nonprofits Can Utilize the New Federal Laws Dealing with COVID-19
- SBA loans and related relief under the CARES Act
- Nonprofit Provisions in the CARES Act
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act CARES Act
- Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act (Public Law 116-136)
6.2. Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On March 19, 2020, the President signed into law H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill includes a complex set of temporary paid leave mandates and employer reimbursement provisions, as well as funding for free coronavirus testing, food nutrition security, and unemployment extension.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act imposes new job protections for workers, paid leave mandates on employers, and a generous reimbursement scheme for employers that are designed to hold nonprofit and for-profit employers. The law provides two weeks of paid sick leave, a subsequent ten weeks of partially paid family leave for the care of a child, and refundable tax credits that in many cases will result in the Treasury Department writing checks to employers to cover some of the costs of the mandates.
6.3. More on Government Response and Guidelines
- Coronavirus Tax Relief – Internal Revenue Service
- Payroll Tax Credits – U.S. Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor
- Paycheck Protection Program Information, Updated FAQs, and Application Form – U.S. Department of the Treasury (see additional financial resources below)
- Unemployment Benefits – NC Division of Employment Security
- Unemployment Benefits Application – NC Division of Employment Security
- NC Tax Relief – NC Department of Revenue
- Coronavirus Response: Guide to New Federal Resources – Office of Representative David Price
- COVID-19 Resource Guide – Office of Representative David Price
- Coronavirus Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist for Small Businesses and Nonprofits – U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
- COVID-19 and Public Charge Rule – NC Justice Center
7. Nonprofit Leadership & Management
7.1. Managing People in the Times of COVID-19
- Build Your Team’s Resilience – From Home – Harvard Business Review
- Remote Workplace Equality – Kindred Consulting
- What’s Your Company’s Emergency Remote-Work Plan? – Harvard Business Review
- Lead Your Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis – Harvard Business Review
- 10 Questions to Guide Boards Through the Pandemic – Harvard Business Review
- Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success – LinkedIn Learning
- The Remote Option: Smart Technology for Creating Virtual Teams – Idealware
- FREE ebook: What You Need to Know about Hosting Effective Virtual Meetings – Boardable
- 6 Tips for Managing a Virtual Workforce – npengage
- How to Lead Through Rapid, Unexpected Change – Carey Nieuwhof
- Managing Through Tough Times – The Bridgespan Group
- Legal Alert: Recommended Practices for Employers in Response to Coronavirus – Communities Rise
- Personnel Strategies in the Face of Impossible Choices – Nonprofit Innovation
- Best Practices for Managing Opportunity Talent Remotely – Year Up (online training)
- Tough Times Call for Tough Action: A PDF decision framework for nonprofit leaders and boards
- A CEO Plan for Coronavirus: Actions to Take Now – Bain & Company
7.2. Stress, Coping & Mental Health
- CDC Advice on How to Cope With Stress During COVID-19
- What Your Brain Needs from You to Successfully Navigate All of this Uncertainty
- Crisis Text Line – Text “CRISIS” to 741741 for free 24/7 support
- 9 Ways To Avoid Panicking About COVID-19
- Gretchen Rubin’s List of Podcasts That Can Help You Cope with COVID Anxiety
- Reducing COVID-19 Anxiety
- Virus Anxiety
- Managing the Stress and Uncertainty of Coronavirus (Podcast from HBR)
- Being Well Podcast: Fear in the Time of Coronavirus
- Compassion and the Coronavirus
- Why Pandemics Kills Compassion
- Coronavirus Sanity Guide (Free)
- Anxiety is Also Contagious. Here’s How to Calm Down
- How to Keep Remote Worker Wellbeing High
- Coping With Anxiety Over COVID-19
- Sacred Anxiety and the Silver Lining of COVID-19
8. Remote Working Tools
TeamViewer lets you remotely manage devices (whether laptops or IoT devices) and it can be used by your staff to collaborate using video conferencing and online collaboration features.
8.1 Online fundraising
Donorbox’s fundraising software integrates seamlessly with your website and allows you to create simple donations forms. The platform allows uninterrupted recurring donations and will help you bolster your ongoing fundraising efforts amid the COVID-19 setback. Currently, Donorbox is supporting many nonprofits by offering fiscally friendly options.
8.2 Video calls/meetings
Zoom is great for video meetings or conference calls. It helps run smooth virtual meetings, from one-on-one to the entire team, and keeps glitches to a minimum.
Google Hangouts — comprising Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet — is part of Google’s G Suite. Hangouts Meet is the videoconferencing element. It’s fully integrated with G Suite and requires no extra plug-ins, so everyone can easily join simply by clicking a link. Meetings can include up to 30 people, who can join through any device, from a mobile phone to a conference room system.
Quick Resources – How to Work Remotely:
- How to Facilitate Effective Virtual Meetings – Beth’s Blog
- Show & Tell: Remote Work Tips for Collaboration and Generosity – Edith Asibey
- Virtual Meetings Guide – Deloitte
- Future of Remote Work – Deloitte
8.3 Synchronous communication
Slack is a great tool for communication – both formal and informal. Slack is a real-time messaging platform that lets you chat in pairs, small groups, or as an entire team.
Pro tip: Oskar is a Slackbot that tracks your team’s happiness by encouraging them to share how they feel. This could be especially helpful in these times of isolation.
Workplace from Facebook is another great option that’s free to nonprofits. It’s like an internal Facebook just for you and your employees and volunteers, but it’s on a separate application from your personal Facebook accounts.
For both G Suite users and those not using G Suite, the free Google for Nonprofits offer includes Google Drive Basic, a business version of Google Drive that allows you to set sharing and access permissions.
Use the same calendar tool to make scheduling meetings immensely easier within a team. Google Calendar is a great one, but there are other tools as well. Team members must have equal access to the calendar. This will put a stop to endless email threads discussing schedules and time zones.
Calendly lets people book virtual meetings with you, with meeting times automatically shown in their time zone.
8.6 Shared plan
Trello is a great app for keeping track of projects and assigning tasks to team members.
Toggl lets you break your day into smaller, more digestible tasks and keep track of time spent on each task.
Asana is another popular project and task management tool. Asana helps plan projects, assign tasks, and see what everyone on the team has on their plate.
Mural is an online brainstorming tool that lets teams collaborate and share their brilliant ideas in real-time through virtual sticky notes, images, text, shapes, and so much more.
9. Online Events
You can use Zoom for meeting with donors, volunteers, and partners as well as people within your organization. Additionally, optional Zoom add-ons also make Zoom a good solution for running online events because they allow you to:
- Hold webinars with up to 50 panelists
- Conduct meetings in hardware-equipped conference rooms
- Use Zoom Rooms software for one-touch meeting and calendar integration
- Hold meetings of up to 500 people
You can record your meetings in video, audio, and text formats and share your screen with others in a meeting. You can also use a free plug-in for Chrome and Outlook to schedule Zoom meetings easily.
- How to salvage your fundraising event during the COVID-19 crisis – Sandy Rees
- What to Do If You Have to Cancel Your Event Because of COVID-19 – Qgiv
- 4 Tips for Hosting a Virtual Peer-to-Peer Event – Qgiv
- 4 Tips to Turn a Silent Auction into a Virtual Party – Qgiv
Virtual Conference Tech Tools Comparison – Google Spreadsheet comparing key features of the main virtual conference tech tools available.
10. Other Information and Resources
- IRS Form 990 Filing Extension. The Internal Revenue Service stated it would give nonprofits more time to file their informational tax returns due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, nonprofits facing tax deadlines of April 1 to July 14 now have an automatic extension until July 15, 2020.
- Jitasa, a nonprofit accounting and bookkeeping service that works exclusively with nonprofits, is offering free one-on-one consultations with experts about the SBA loan options for nonprofits. You can schedule your 15- or 30-minute consultation through Jitasa’s online calendar.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boardable is offering nonprofits free access to their platform for 90 days. Offer good for new accounts now through April 2020.
- Loom, a video recording and sharing service, is offering boosts to their free service plan, discounted prices on LoomPro, and free access for educational institutions through July 1, 2020.
- Microsoft 365 is offering a free 6-month trial of Microsoft 365 E1, with web-based Office apps and business services including email, file storage, and sharing, meetings, and instant messaging.
- QuickBooks is offering accounting and budgeting software at a discount for nonprofits through TechSoup (desktop and online platforms available).
- LinkedIn makes ‘LinkedIn Learning’ courses on working from home available for free amid coronavirus changes.
- Cisco and Google Hangouts follow Zoom’s lead in offering free video conferencing features amid coronavirus outbreak.
- Facebook: COVID 19 Charity Preparedness Group is a private Facebook group of nonprofit organizations around the world.
- Racial Equity Tools shares an extensive list of racial equity and social justice resources to inform COVID-19 responses.
Nonprofits under stress can suffer from “magical thinking”, letting too much time pass before taking action. Given that most nonprofits have almost no ‘safety net’ even in a non-crisis time, this delayed or missing decision-making can often be detrimental or fatal.
Organizations that weather the crisis still run the risk of faltering later, given that city and state budgets (as well as budgets of individual donors) for the next fiscal year are going to be significantly lower given the reduction in tax revenues and the enormous deficits associated with the COVID-19 response.
This situation is novel and unexpected and as such needs to be approached with care. This way your nonprofit organization will remain nimble in a fast-moving crisis while keeping all stakeholders appropriately involved.
That being said, resources are plenty (most of them completely free), the community is stronger than ever, and compassion and help are overflowing!
Donorbox is reducing its platform fee to 0.5% for nonprofits working directly in relief for those affected by a coronavirus for the next 2 months. Please reach out to our Donorbox team if you have any questions or concerns that we might help you with!