The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on the not-for-profit and charitable sectors, and no doubt the aftershocks will be continue to be felt for some time to come. The PAN team would like to share our latest understanding of some of the government supports that have been created for community-based organizations and the charitable sector, and how best to navigate the various streams of funding and benefits coming from the Government – with much appreciation to the folks at Vantage Point. In times of crisis, new information arrives almost daily.
NEW Funding – the Emergency Community Support Fund
On April 21, the Government of Canada announced a $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund to help community organizations adapt frontline services for vulnerable Canadians – such as seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, newcomers, women, children and youth, LGBTQ2 people, Indigenous people and racialized people – to the challenges of COVID-19. Among other things, community organizations may use the funds to: expand home deliveries of groceries or medication; transport seniors or people with disabilities to appointments; and widen the reach of help lines that give information and link people to services. Funds will be disbursed through national partners, such as the United Way, and the Red Cross and Community Foundations of Canada (and their local offices). Learn more about how and when to apply here:
Great Resources from Vantage Point on Navigating Government Support
Webinar & Related Information
At a time when our agencies and organizations are already stretched and stressed, it can be hard to unravel all the supports and benefits coming from the federal and provincial level. Vantage Point is a not-for-profit dedicated to supporting the not-for-profit sector in BC – and they just delivered and excellent webinar on the subject, with an accompanying presentation that sets out all the opportunities, links and recent developments. Whether you are an employer, worker or recently unemployed, we highly recommend checking this webinar out, that is now available “on demand”. See:
- Webinar recording
- Webinar slides
- Information guide – more in-depth information on what was presented
- These form part of the COVID-19 resources on Vantage Point’s website
Some Tips for Accessing Government Support that we gleaned from the webinar
- The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a 75% wage subsidy for employers who have impacted by COVID-19 (for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020) – the intention of which is to “enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis). The CEWS application is coming on April 27, but TODAY you can go to the NEW online calculator to get prepared.
- Agencies will need a MyBusiness Account to access federal programs.
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit – Check out the NEW eligibility clarifications on the CERB benefit website (the provides up to $2000/m for individuals out of work due to COVID-19).
- Provincial emergency fund ($1000) for those out of work will be available in May. Subscribe to stay updated.
- Consider if your organization has essential staff who can work-share and get paid by employer AND EI.
Connect 1:1 with a team of Information Navigators or Advisors
Need help and organizational supports to navigate through this crisis? In response to COVID-19, Vantage Point is supporting BC’s not-for-profit sector by offering new short-term services through their COVID-19 Response Team of skilled volunteers. All organizations (not just members) can start with up to 2 hours of 1:1 virtual support from:
- Information Navigators – navigating government support for not-for-profit organizations
- Governance Advisors – support and resources for not-for-profit organizations around equipping the board to assess risks, formulate a plan and be innovative in these times.
- Fundraising Advisors – help to restructure fundraising calendar; create a new fundraising plan; or suggest ways to conduct major gifts fundraising without face-to-face interaction.
- Financial Management Advisors – help with a wide variety of financial management strategies and their effective implementation, to reduce financial risk now and take on new opportunities to financially stabilize after the crisis has passed.
Other Vantage Point resources:
Upcoming Fund Development webinar on April 28: Learn best practices and concrete ideas to support your organization’s fundraising efforts.
Vantage Point membership is free right now.
We hope that you find some of the information above to be helpful and we deeply appreciate VantagePoint’s work on this front. Meanwhile, the PAN team will continue to do all that we can to support our members during this unprecedented time. We have been holding weekly virtual meetings with Executive Directors and program leads to listen to common issues, share ideas for action and opportunities for collective advocacy; we have built an extensive COVID-19 resource that is regularly updated; and we are hosting online workshop sessions for frontline service providers at our member groups on the importance of belonging, solidarity and connection during this crisis. Learn
Our staff are connecting with other groups around the province on different advocacy and policy fronts and listening to feedback about we can best support the efforts and leadership of members and allied organizations. We also hope to continue to create opportunities with the health authorities, the province and other decision and policy makers, to relay the shared concerns of our members and allies regarding COVID-19 and particularly the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable populations.
To that end, don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself, or other members of the staff or board.
Jennifer (Evin) Jones, Executive Director, [email protected]