In March 2021, President Biden approved one of the largest federal aid packages in United States history. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has allocated $350 billion for states, municipalities, counties, tribes, and territories to use for economic recovery and development. Some of this money will be available to nonprofits through government grants in the coming months. In the meantime, here’s what our team recommends so you can make the most of this opportunity.
- Take care of the basics. While researching and waiting for grant opportunities, register your organization in Grants.gov and in the System for Award Management well before the application deadline. This can take several days, so get started early to avoid last-minute panic.
- Research and apply for other relief opportunities. A range of COVID-19 relief is available, from loans and tax credits to special grants for shuttered venues. Check out the National Council for Nonprofits’ list here.
- Pay attention: Follow relevant funding bodies on Facebook and Twitter, such as National Endowment for the Arts and your city, county, and state governments. Sign up for listservs and other alerts.
- Reach out: Get in touch with your contact or representative for government funding about relevant opportunities.
- Connect with other nonprofits and local government: Advocate that governments use these funds to establish grants programs for nonprofits, reduce unemployment costs, and fulfill contracts with nonprofits for services. Engage with your state association of nonprofits for greater effectiveness.
- Strategize: Make a COVID recovery plan with your team. Think about how you will build your case for support—did you have to make cuts to programming and staff? Did you cancel events or programs due to the pandemic? Now is a perfect time to take stock of how COVID has impacted your organization, and how you would like to move forward in the post-pandemic era.