Policy Updates – July 2022

Laura Pierce
July 19, 2022

Important Updates

Public Service Loan Forgiveness – Individual nonprofit staff with student loans should take action now to see if you qualify for forgiveness under the temporarily PSLF waiver available now through October 31, 2022. This waiver expands eligibility for some payments and provides a pathway to consolidate your loan into the correct type to maintain eligibility. Tell your staff in case they can benefit!

Every nonprofit now needs a federal Employer Identification Number – Even if you have no employees, your nonprofit needs an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a requirement that is not new, however, one of the changes made to the Secretary of State annual report form this year is a new requirement to enter your EIN. So, for the first time, you will be unable to file your state registration renewal without an EIN. If you need one, apply for an Employer Identification Number directly through the IRS as avoid third-parties who “help” for a fee.

Working Washington 5 – This long awaiting state grant program is now happening! Arts, heritage, and scientific nonprofits with financial losses during COVID should definitely check this out, and we recommend reaching out to ArtsWA and Inspire Washington in addition to visiting the Working Washington 5 info posted by the Department of Commerce to ensure you are getting the best information about how to take advantage of this opportunity—they have great info.  For others, you may be eligible if you serve a distressed area of Washington State (Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, Mason, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Lewis, Cowlitz, Yakima, Grant, Franklin, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens & Pend Oreille counties) and/or your mission “provides support or services to underserved or underrepresented communities.” 

New Registration for Government grantees/contractors – Those of you who receive federal grants and state contracts have probably had a DUNS number for a long time. Now, DUNS is being replaced with a new system, the Unique Entity ID (UEI). Applicants will need this number in place (including folks applying for Working Washington 5 above), and you can get it here.

Issues we are watching

During this time of year, we are watching and seeking to understand all the policy issues facing nonprofits. This learning informs our policy priorities for the 2022-2023 season. Here are some of the issues we are watching, as well as action steps you can consider taking.

Pay Equity & Labor Shortage – Compensation is on everyone’s minds these days as nonprofits struggle to fill open positions. The National Council of Nonprofits just released Nonprofit Workforce Shortages: A Crisis That Affects Everyone. This report emphasizes that lost nonprofit jobs have an outsize impact on communities and proposes policy solutions to improve the situation. We are excited to support the Raising Wages for Changing Lives campaign of Seattle Human Services Coalition. King County nonprofits can sign on in support of the campaign, and they are conducting a pay equity study funded by the City of Seattle to assess how underpaid human service workers are in comparison to private sector counterparts.

Philanthropy Reform – We know that many of our members are concerned about the way philanthropy works. A new national survey reveals by the Institute for Policy Studies and Ipsos confirms that most Americans don’t understand how foundations and donor advised funds (DAFs) work, but when it is explained to them, they are concerned about the way in which donated funds can be parked indefinitely in these vehicles and not reach nonprofits on the ground in a timely way. The survey also shows that a majority of liberals and conservatives support changes to laws governing charitable giving to ensure that charitable tax benefits for donors also benefit actual charities.

Government Contract Reform – We plan to continue working to facilitate dialogue between public agencies and nonprofits to identify policy solutions to improve how government contract happens and make it more equitable. We are heartened by passage of a new law in North Carolina that addresses several pain points for DHHS contractors in that state—a minimum 10% indirect cost rate for contracts, requiring multi-year contracts, and providing 3-month contract extensions to ensure continuity of services while new contracts are completed. We can do something similar in Washington state—contact Laura with your stories or to express interest in advocating for change in this area.

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