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Press Release

United Way Worldwide Urges Congress to Approve COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

Alexandria, Va. (March 18, 2020) – United Way Worldwide, along with more than 50 major charities,  called on Congress today to approve a $60 billion economic relief and stimulus package to help with economic recovery efforts related to COVID-19. The global pandemic is having a profound impact on the economy and it has greatly expanded the need for the charitable sector to respond in an unprecedented manner.

“America’s charities are the frontline responders in times of need,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide. “In the weeks and months to come, there will be greater dependency on the services that nonprofits provide, such as food, housing, utility, health care resources and more. This stimulus package is critical for America’s charities to address increasing demands, stabilize losses from closures, and expand the scope of services available to the public.”

United Way Worldwide is calling on Congress to approve the following solutions:

  • $60 Billion Emergency Stimulus: America’s charitable nonprofits request $60 billion in emergency stimulus funding aimed at helping adversely affected national and local organizations. These funds can be distributed quickly through multiple funding streams, including, but not limited to, expansion of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for nonprofit employers, emergency grants to nonprofits operating under grants from federal, state, local, or other pass-through entities, and others to ensure the continued flow of charitable donations.
  • Nonprofit Payroll Tax Credit Relief: As is done in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), any additional employment-focused relief or stimulus legislation must expressly apply to employment at tax-exempt organizations by making tax credits and deductions applicable to the taxes nonprofits pay, such as payroll taxes. Further, Congress should also ensure that relief and stimulus legislation designed to assist for-profit businesses in the areas of unemployment insurance, employee retention, and risk insurance must also address the unique challenges and realities that nonprofits face.
  • Universal Charitable Deduction for Contributions: To incentivize all Americans to support the vital work of America’s charities, United Way Worldwide calls on Congress to enact an “above-the-line” or universal charitable deduction for contributions through the end of 2021. Further, to help those who step forward to help America’s charitable organizations immediately assist the most vulnerable, Congress should permit taxpayers to donate today – at the height of the pandemic – and claim the benefit from these deductions on 2019 tax returns.
  • Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave: Every charity in America, regardless of size, that provides paid family and medical leave should receive a tax credit the organization can use. Congress should provide payroll tax credits to all charities, regardless of size, that provide such paid family leave and sick time pay as a result of the coronavirus.

Charities are the backbone of our communities when crisis strikes. The nonprofit industry alone employs 12 million workers, representing 10 percent of the U.S. GDP. It is imperative that Congress fund these solutions to ensure nonprofits can retain their staff, expand services, and provide effective relief as COVID-19 continues to impact our communities.

About United Way
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

Media Contact

United Way Worldwide 
Southerlyn Reisig 

Director of Public Relations 
(703) 836-7100 ext. 321