In response to the COVID-19 crisis that is crippling America, YMCA of the USA joined more than 100 leading nonprofit organizations in urging Congress to pass $60 billion to support nonprofits and to pass key policy recommendations to support the efforts of nonprofits that are working on the ground to meet community needs. These leading nonprofits stressed to Congress the urgency of taking dramatic and immediate action to support the nonprofit sector, as the sector’s service is needed like never before.
Nonprofits like the Y are frontline responders providing food, shelter, medical services and other critical services to those in need in America’s communities. However, the current economic downturn will undoubtedly result in a reduction of contributions and other sources of revenue that are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations.
“For nearly 170 years in our country, the YMCA has responded to the most pressing needs of our communities and the people who call them home,” said Kevin Washington, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to our organization and our service to communities. We are doing what we can right now, and we are committed to being here for communities as our country begins the tough work of recovery. However, like other nonprofit organizations, we will need significant support from the federal government to sustain our operations and care for our staff until that time comes. We can’t do this alone.”
In New Jersey, there are 35 YMCA associations and over 80 YMCA branches. Locally, the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA works every day to strengthen our community through programs and services that heal, educate, engage and empower.
Programs and services offered by the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA include: summer day camp, swim lessons, chronic disease prevention, health management, exercise programs for all ages, child care, sports lessons, and much more. The Y also partners with other local organizations to create a healthier, happier community, and is proud to offer financial assistance to those unable to afford its services, ensuring everyone has access to vital programs and services.
“We remain dedicated to helping our community succeed, especially during times of uncertainty and unease. And now, more than ever, we are relying on the help of others to allow us to continue our work in the community,” said Kim Decker, CEO of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA. “Our organization has accomplished so much over the past 170 years. We’d hate to see what our community would look like without the Y, and hope others feel the same.”
America’s nonprofits are requesting an immediate infusion of $60 billion to maintain operations, expand scope to address increasing demands and stabilize losses from closures throughout the country. Nonprofits also are making a series of priority policy recommendations to Congress that are needed to help the nonprofit sector continue to serve the American people. They include:
- As 10 percent of U.S. GDP, nonprofits employ 12 million workers and YMCAs employ 260,000 staff. We need policies in place to retain them.
- Nonprofits need business continuity relief as we are on the frontlines serving people, especially those in need.
- Payroll tax credit relief will help nonprofit organizations, as it is the most significant tax we pay.
- An “above-the-line” or universal charitable deduction for contributions should be enacted at least through the end of 2021.
“Across the country, YMCAs are working quickly to provide critical services that communities need right now, such as child care for the children of health care workers and first responders and food programs for young people who no longer have access to school meals,” said Washington. “We need Congress to act now to sustain this vital work and assure the nation’s nonprofits will be in a strong position to support communities through recovery.”
About the Y
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide.