Economic Stimulus and WORK NOW Act
The Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofit Organizations Well (WORK NOW) Act (S. 740 and H.R. 1987) is a straight-forward solution that builds on the inherent strengths of the nonprofit community to secure employment for hundreds of thousands of our fellow residents in meaningful jobs. The legislation would create a new grant program to help nonprofit organizations retain their employees, scale their service delivery, and create new job opportunities for unemployed persons to serve within their own communities. The WORK NOW Act would inject $50 billion into frontline nonprofits – with most of the funds allocated through states, Tribal governments, and localities – to enable them to pay the wages, salaries, and benefits of returning or newly hired employees.
The need for this support for charitable organizations cannot be denied. Pre-pandemic, charitable nonprofits employed more than 12.5 million people, nearly 65% of whom were women and almost a third of whom were people of color. Charitable nonprofits make up the third largest industry in the country, employing more people than the construction, finance, and manufacturing industries. As of March 2021, however, well more than 800,000 nonprofit jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, creating undue challenges particularly for women and communities of color disproportionately pushed out of the workforce as a result of the pandemic.
Further, our nation’s charitable organizations have struggled to do everything possible to meet the increased demands for their services. Those increased needs and changes in service models due to the pandemic, have come with dramatically increased costs. Yet, charitable giving to the frontline nonprofits in local communities upon whom people rely every day has not kept up; according to a recent report charitable giving to smaller nonprofits declined by over 7% last year.