Nonprofits’ Rapid Response to COVID-19 Part 4: Special Considerations for the Nonprofit Sector

PBO Advisory Group has been posting about the various rapid responses that organizations can take to help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis. Today, we are focusing on nonprofits and the specific things our friends working for nonprofits organizations should consider.

PPP Loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is available to nonprofits. The funds are designated specifically for keeping your employees on payroll.

One of our nonprofit clients, Torrie Dunlap of Kids Included Together (KIT) recently spoke with 10 News in San Diego about her experience when applying for a PPP loan.

While some of the problems that Torrie encountered have been resolved, the process can vary from bank to bank. Many businesses and nonprofits are being waitlisted for PPP funds. We are currently watching what Washington leadership’s response to lack of funding will be, in the hopes that more funds will soon become available.

If you have not already applied, we urge you to do so immediately. The way the PPP loans are structured, you must apply now, even if you do not currently need the funds. PBO Advisory Group team members are available to explain the process and help you with the application.

Two recent PBO Advisory Group blog posts about understanding your numerator and denominator when calculating  your PPP loan to maximize your loan forgiveness are also available.

SBA Economic Disaster Funds

In addition to PPP loans, the SBA is offering other funding programs. Please contact the PBO Advisory team if you need help in locating, understanding and applying for these programs.

San Diego Funding & Resources

The San Diego community moved quickly to establish the San Diego Foundation’s Community Response Fund. To date, the fund has made nearly $3 million in grants to nonprofits.

The United Way of San Diego County has established a San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative that may be a source of funds for your lower wage workers whom your organization has laid off or reduced hours.

PBO Advisory’s client, 2-1-1 San Diego, has extensive information that can be of assistance to your employees and the people that your organization serves.

For those outside the San Diego area, we encourage you to research what programs your local communities are offering.

Current Grants – If your organization is receiving government or private grants, you should contact your grantor immediately.  Due to the pandemic, processes and procedures may have changed and expectations may have shifted.


Now, more than ever, you must communicate regularly with your donors. As a great number of nonprofits are currently seeing their donations decrease, it is important to keep your donors informed about how your organization is responding to the needs and challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis. Outline specifically what your needs are and how additional donations will help you meet these needs.

We suggest weekly group calls with your board members. Keeping your leadership in the know is important and their combined connections could provide the additional resources you may require. Board duties are still intact during the crisis as are your bylaws. Work with your board to follow these closely. Avoid all financial penalties – payroll, non-filing, etc. – as these are the personal responsibility of the board. You do not want to create any additional burdens for your board members.

Keep in touch with your employees on a very regular basis. Working from home may be new to many of them and your leadership and support will help get them through this crisis.

Also, remember that cyber security is of extra importance in these times as scammers are working hard to take advantage of distracted employees. Be sure your organization’s cyber security policies are shared and enforced.

Other Financial Responses

Nonprofits are currently facing unprecedented challenges and while some are unique, many are shared by businesses and corporations.

Our recent blog posts on rapidly responding to various aspects of your finances apply to nonprofits and the private sector:

We’re here to help

These are trying times and while we are physically distancing, we must all stay emotionally connected. PBO Advisory Group is here to help you. Please contact us with any questions you may have. We are all in this together.