Press Releases

COVID-19 Stimulus Must Include Nonprofits

New York, March 24, 2020 – The New York City Bar Association joins the call of the nonprofit community in urging Congress to comprehensively include nonprofits in its COVID-19 stimulus package. The bill that Congress is working on aims to relieve the burden that has been placed on the American economy through pandemic-relief efforts. Nonprofits are a significant portion of that economy. They employ 12.3 million people[1] and contribute approximately $900 billion to GDP[2].  The services that nonprofits provide are fundamental. Many are critical lifelines for food, shelter, health and mental health assistance, legal services, and much more to the millions across the country who rely on them. Institutions of faith, culture, and community anchor the emotional and mental well-being of our citizens while acting as conduits for still more critical material services.

The final stimulus package must afford a proportionate share of relief to the nonprofit sector. This important sector of our economy employs more people than do the transportation, construction, and even manufacturing industries.[3]  Nonprofits are as worthy of receiving assistance and access to loan and grant opportunities as for-profit entities given their indispensable contributions to society. Moreover, nonprofits are not eligible for tax credits in the way that for-profit entities are; thus, to the extent the bill includes tax relief for the latter, it should include commensurate relief for nonprofits.

Nonprofits face stark and drastic choices as the pandemic recession sinks in. Many won’t be able to pay the employees they need to provide services. Funding and revenue streams are already rapidly declining, but need certainly has not. In order for nonprofits to continue to serve their communities; in order for nonprofits to support the millions of workers who rely on them; and in order for nonprofits to act as community lifelines, which are certain to become all the more necessary as events unfold, Congress must act to extend as proportionate a share of aid to nonprofits as it will to businesses.


[1] National Council of Nonprofits, Economic Impact (2020),

[2] Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2018: Public Charites, Giving, and Volunteering, (

[3] Supra, n. 1.