We understand that there is a great deal of uncertainty on how you can continue your operations with as minimal disruption as possible. The following programs are available to help you.

CARES Act Funding for Non-Profits

The CARES Act provides significant funding for 501(c)3 entities. Listed below is a summary:

Payroll Protection Program Loans (Emergency SBA 7(a) Loans): This $349B emergency loan program provides loans of equal to the lesser of 2 and ½ months of average payroll or $10 million for eligible nonprofits. To be eligible, non-profits must be designated as 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) entities only. The loans will cover costs of payroll, operations, and debt service and will be forgiven in whole or in part under certain circumstances. These loans will be made by local and national lenders and can be covered to grants equal to the amount spent on payroll, rent, interest on mortgage, and utilities for the 8 weeks after origination. Loan forgiveness will be reduced proportionally if the employer reduces the number of full-time employees. Loan forgiveness will also be reduced if the employer reduces wages by more than 25%. Employers can avoid reductions in loan forgiveness if they bring back employees and restore wages generally within 30 days and maintain through June 30. Participants in this program cannot defer payroll taxes or claim the employee retention tax credit discussed in the regulatory blog. More information on the Payroll Protection Program is available online (under assistance for small businesses).

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): This program creates emergency grants for eligible nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees enabling them to receive checks for up to $10,000 within three days. These loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to non-profits to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. You can obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by e-mailing Applicants may apply online. Completed applications should be returned to the local DLOC or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Economic Stabilization Fund
: This Fund sets aside $454 billion for “eligible business” which is defined as “a United States business that has not otherwise received economic relief in the form of loans or loan guarantees provided under” the legislation. It is expected, but unclear, whether charitable nonprofits qualify under that definition for stabilization loans. Mid-sized nonprofits between 500 and 10,000 employees are expressly eligible for loans under this provision. Although there is no loan forgiveness provision in this section, the loans would be charged an interest rate of no higher than 2% and would not accrue interest or require repayments for the first six months. Nonprofits accepting these loans must retain at least 90% of their staff at full compensation and benefits until September 30.

Please refer to the SBA website for additional information on these programs.

Emergency Action Fund in Western Pennsylvania for Non-Profits

With other regional foundations, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and civic-government partners, the Pittsburgh Foundation has established an Emergency Action Fund. It will serve as a hub for accepting donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses and distributing those funds rapidly to nonprofits on the front lines of COVID-19 response. More details on the grant-making process and other guidelines are posted on The Pittsburgh Foundation website.

Funding Assistance for Erie Non-Profits

Philanthropic leaders in Erie have launched the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund in which non-profits in Erie can submit applications for emergency grant support in response to COVID-19 needs and hardships. Grant funds will be prioritized to provide food to those in need, care for children, serving the elderly, who are the most vulnerable population to COVID-19, and assistance to those suffering from hardships and job loss as a result of COVID-19. Organizations can apply here.

The Erie County Gaming and Revenue Authority has established a COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund will include one new grant program and two new loan programs created to help meet rapidly rising needs. The three emergency programs include: Immediate Human Relief Fund, Civic Institution Deferred Income Loans, and Small Business Loan Program. Read more about this program and apply here.

Lancaster Cares COVID-19 Response Fund

Organized by the Lancaster County Community Foundation and the United Way of Lancaster County, this fund will support Lancaster residents with food, housing, and rapid response dollars to address emerging issues. Money from this fund will be granted to trusted local community benefit (nonprofit) organizations to help them expand their capacity to reach more people more quickly. Key partners to deliver these services will include organizations involved in food security, housing support, and emerging community needs. There will not be a formal application process at this time as fund partners have been identified for the initial phase of funding. More information on this program is online.

Funding Assistance for Central Pennsylvania Non-Profits

Administered by The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, the COVID-19 Community Response Fund will provide emergency funds to long-standing nonprofit organizations in Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Perry and Northern York Counties that are responding to the spread of COVID-19 and experiencing financial challenges by doing so. The Foundation in partnership with the United Way of the Capital Region, will proactively identify potential grant recipients, solicit guidance on potential recipients from community advisers, and recommend final awards. Funds will be released on a rolling basis. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to donate online. More information is available by contacting Jennifer Strechay, Program Officer for Community Investment, at, or 717.236.5040.

The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation which serves residents of Columbia, Lower-Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Union, and Snyder Counties is using its Disaster Relief Fund to coordinate initiatives through a streamlined grant process. Funding priority areas are: human services and emergency assistance, organizations serving vulnerable populations, and nonprofits facing extreme difficulty because of lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. More information on the program and application process is online.

The First Community Foundation is partnering with the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, Lycoming County United Way, and the United Way for Columbia and Montour Counties to provide a streamlined process for offering and receiving charitable support for those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The applications for organizations to apply for funding will be available on April 6th. Funding will support agencies serving residents in Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union Counties. Refer to the foundation website for more details.

Greater Lehigh Valley COVID-19 Community Response Fund

The Greater Lehigh Valley COVID-19 Community Response Fund aims to strengthen safety-net services for community members who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties. Pooled funds will be used to respond to emerging needs and be implemented in phases with support to organizations providing: food access, housing, income supports, services for un-sheltered residents and those at risk of homelessness, and supports for those who are economically vulnerable to mitigate the effects of reduced hours or lost jobs. For general questions and inquiries about the Fund, please contact Erin Connelly at 610-807-5723 or