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The Impact Of COVID-19 On Non-profit Organizations

By Philip J. Curtis
Managing Principal of the law firm of Curtis, Curtis & Brelinski, P.C.

(April 27, 2020 3:56 PM) During these difficult and challenging times when all of us are focusing on the amazing work being done by our health care providers, our first responders, our police and fire, our food pantries and shelters, and all of our other essential services, we often fail to think about the other non-profit organizations in our community that have been shuttered temporarily but continue to need our ongoing support. Although certainly not exclusive, my focus has always been on the impactful arts and children’s organizations in our community and surrounding areas including but not limited to the Michigan Theatre of Jackson, the Jackson School of the Arts, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, the Jackson YMCA, the Ella Sharp Museum and the Purple Rose Theatre Company.

Regretfully, all of these organizations, like many other businesses in our community, have been forced to close their doors as a result of the Covid-19 virus. As pointed out by Shawna Tello, CEO of the Jackson YMCA, in this column on April 21st, many organizations are creatively diversifying to continue to support the community and their base. Unfortunately, for all of these organizations, the result is zero operating income and ongoing operational expenses that continue whether the doors are open or not, such as rent, utilities and other expenses including, to a lesser or greater extent, payroll costs to keep the organization afloat if only on a minimal basis.

Although many of these organizations have been able to take advantage of loans available through the Paycheck Protection Program which is part of the CARES Act, the reduced amount of ongoing payroll limits the amount of these loan funds available and increases the amount that may ultimately have to be paid back to the Federal government. All this leads to the main theme of this column which is the need for all of you who are able to join me in the continuing financial support of these very worthwhile organizations. For the most part, this will be the only operational income these organizations will have until they can return to normal business operations. I appreciate your generosity and altruism in advance during this challenging and unprecedented time.

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