Representative Cleaver Leads Call for Congress to Support Nonprofits in Next Coronavirus Relief Proposal

Jul 30, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) led nearly 70 lawmakers in a bipartisan call for congressional leadership to provide relief to nonprofits devastated by the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.

In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Congressman Cleaver wrote:

“As you know, it is profoundly clear that more needs to be done to meet the evolving economic crisis. We request that any final legislative package include the meaningful relief for nonprofits expressed in the Heroes Act while going further to provide for loan forgiveness for these frontline service providers.”

Cleaver’s push to bring relief to nonprofits comes after the Federal Reserve released the terms of its Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) for nonprofits, which entail numerous financial restrictions that make the loan program unfeasible for most nonprofit organizations engaged in the fight against COVID-19. To ensure nonprofits are not left behind during the current economic crisis, Cleaver is calling on the next COVID-19 relief package to include a mandate that the Federal Reserve offer a low-cost loan option tailored to the unique needs of nonprofit organizations and backstopped by the Treasury Department to allow the loan to be forgiven solely for mid-sized nonprofits who have been eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.

According to a report released by Johns Hopkins University, an estimated 1.6 million job losses occurred at nonprofits between March and May of this year, representing roughly 13% of all nonprofit jobs in the United States. As the third-largest employer in the private sector, they are a vital component of the American economy. In Kansas City, nonprofits make up over 14% of the city’s GDP and 11.3% of the total workforce, making them a key economic driver in the Fifth District or Missouri in addition to their service to some of the most vulnerable communities in Missouri. Rep. Cleaver understands the dire need for Congress to assist these organizations as they seek to retain and rehire employees.

“While it is very disappointing the Main Street Lending Program, as implemented, will not be a helpful option for many nonprofits, Congress can still ensure these vital organizations are not left behind,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Nonprofits not only support the most underserved communities across the country, but they are critical to the economic recovery of the nation. As we face the largest economic contraction in our country’s history, Congress must support these organizations providing frontline assistance. I’m thankful to each and every one of my colleagues who have joined me in this bipartisan effort to protect American nonprofits, and, as Congress seeks to bring relief to the American people during this catastrophic crisis, we will keep fighting to ensure nonprofits are included.”

You can find the official letter from Rep. Cleaver with a list of co-signers here.

Organizations supporting the letter include: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities; Alzheimer's Association; American Alliance of Museums; American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; American Heart Association; American Lung Association; Americans for the Arts; The Arc of the United States; Association of Art Museum Directors; Association of Zoos and Aquariums; Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; Ducks Unlimited; ETS; Goodwill Industries International; Habitat for Humanity International; Independent Sector; JDRF; Jewish Federations of North America; League of American Orchestras; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Lutheran Services in America; Lyric Opera of Chicago; March of Dimes; National Council of Nonprofits; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; The Nonprofit Alliance; PATH; Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; United Way Worldwide; YMCA of the USA; and YWCA USA.


Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matt Helfant at 202-590-0175 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.