Action Alert: SOWA And Paid Family Leave

September 22, 2020

Youth development funding opportunity and paid family leave update

Dear Colleague,

September 23 marks six months since Gov. Inslee issued a stay-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Washington. 

In six months, we’ve adjusted to wearing masks and social distancing. We’ve hosted work meetings and birthday parties online. We’ve completed home improvement projects, come together for outdoor picnics, and cheered for healthcare workers from our front porches. We’ve grieved the loss of loved ones, jobs, homes, and canceled plans. We’ve found new ways to support each other and our communities through this crisis — and you’ve led the way.  

September is also back-to-school season. Faced with extended school closures, unaffordable childcare, and unreliable internet, families are turning to nonprofits for support. We have heard stories of how you have stepped-up to fill the gaps and combat educational inequity. Now, schools having started, we know that work continues with greater urgency.


Youth development programs play a critical role in communities, especially amid the pandemic. The Washington State Department of Commerce has partnered with School’s Out Washington to implement the Washington Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund. This one-time investment will provide $9.3 million in unrestricted funds to youth development programs that have “stretched to support young people most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and furthest from educational justice.” PROPOSALS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR FUNDINGThe deadline to apply is October 6.


Applicants must be Washington-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3)

Applicants must have provided youth development services (ages 5 to 24) prior to March 2020; and are currently providing or plan to provide services to youth through in-person, virtual, or direct support through December 2020.

Applicants must be experiencing a negative fiscal impact as a result of COVID-19.


School’s Out Washington will host two online information sessions on September 24 and September 29.


Earlier this year, Congress passed new regulations surrounding paid family leave.

It’s a lot and a little confusing, which is why the National Council of Nonprofits broke down what it means for you and your nonprofit with additional information on changes and provisions to programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child and Senior Food and Nutrition, Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act and Coronavirus testing.

The National Council of Nonprofits is also offering a special webinar on September 24 to answer any questions about how the law applies to nonprofits. During the webinar hosted Thursday, September 24 at 12:00 pm Pacific, speakers from the U.S. Department of Labor will:

Walk you through the requirements of the laws.

Explain which employees and employers are and are not covered.

Discuss the concept of intermittent family leave in the context of school reopening.

Address the recent federal court decision and changes to Labor Department regulations effective September 16.

We know the start of the school year brings organizational and personal challenges. Please let us know how we can best support you during this time.

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