Page 19 - Scene Magazine 45-05 May 2020
P. 19

Local Interest
BY SHERII SHERBAN
    The Battle Creek Community Foundation (BCCF) has worked diligently for more than 45 years to support our community’s nonprofits while also addressing our community’s most urgent needs. The challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic are no different. The staff has worked with community partners, area nonprofits, lenders, and donors to creatively evaluate the emerging needs and to develop a proactive approach
to connect those needs with resources. The BCCF directives are aimed at what will be needed to help the nonprofits to reopen, to potentially establish a new operating model, and to develop new methods to engage participants and donors.
The Recover and Re-Engage initiative is designed with that in
mind and seeks to meet the emerging needs of area nonprofits resulting from the impact of COVID-19, including
the implementation of technology, changes in operations, the potential need for PPE, and even the connection with funding. Solutions range from grantmaking and short-term changes in grant expenditure requirements, to low- interest loans and sharing how donors can support nonprofits at this time.
The new funding assistance plan supports nonprofits in the areas that they need it the most. It can ease the loss
of revenue from events or fundraisers while allowing them to still meet the most significant community needs. Ultimately, it seems that the Recover and Re-Engage program can also provide a great sense of comfort to the nonprofits that are suffering during this time that previously were questioning whether they would be able to continue the work of their mission once we are all able to return to work.
Key elements of the BCCF Recover and Re-Engage Initiative include: allowing programming grants that
had been previously awarded to be restructured with approval to meet new operating challenges related to the pandemic. Furthermore, the most recent grant deadline was extended to
allow for a transition in requests from programming to operations as well. Grant requests were expedited both in review and response. If awarded, funds were transferred electronically.
Additionally, annual releases from organizational endowments could be requested for an early disbursement for those that needed funds now. And if so, were expedited.
Greater Battle Creek Recover
and Re-Engage Grant Funds are
now available in amounts of $5,000- $20,000. To meet the need, $100,000 has been budgeted from the Fund for Battle Creek to provide short-term, unrestricted funding to support the operation of organizations that are struggling with immediate lost revenue and non-recoverable expenses due
to COVID-19 and the Stay Home,
Stay Safe executive order 2020-
21. Eligible nonprofits must have
an operating budget of less than $750,000. Preference will be given
to organizations in the health care
field. Grant requests will be reviewed virtually and the anticipated turnaround time could be as quick as two weeks.
In addition, the Greater Battle Creek Recover and Re-Engage Nonprofit Relief Loan Fund is in partnership
with Old National Bank. $1 million
has been placed into a loan fund for nonprofits to receive low-interest loans that will be customized to the needs
of each nonprofit. To apply for a loan, your organization must be a nonprofit within the greater Battle Creek area
and in good standing with BCCF. The organization shall have determined there are long-term losses exceeding $20,000 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an added benefit, the Gingras Global’s suite of services will be available to assist with new strategies to develop greater strength and stability for nonprofits receiving loans. The goal is to have an efficient and expedited review process so that nonprofit organizations receive funds in a timely fashion.
It is possible that a nonprofit might be eligible for both a grant and a loan.
When asked, Annette Chapman, senior vice president, said, “The opportunity for these nonprofits to receive technical assistance from Gingras Global is very exciting. They can help the nonprofit look at their organization differently and become stronger and even better at what they do in the process.” Additionally, “Our Board of Trustees has been very supportive through this entire process in establishing a strategy and response to the pandemic.”
If you would like to assist with the Recover and Re-Engage effort, your gift to the Fund for Battle Creek will allow BCCF to continue to respond to the ever-changing community needs in order to enhance the quality of life in our community. The only restriction is the geographic area. “It is the power of philanthropy,” according to Elizabeth Schultheiss, director of regional fund development.
Charitable giving as identified in
the CARES Act can also benefit the donor to a 501(c)(3). The CARES Act created a new temporary deduction for charitable donors who do not itemize when filing their tax returns. If you do not itemize, but make a gift to charity, you will be allowed to take a special
tax deduction, up to $300, to reduce your tax liability in 2020. The CARES Act also lifts an existing cap on annual contributions of 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI) to 100%. Corporations can deduct charitable contributions up to 25% of taxable income, up from 10% previously. Both incentives exclude gifts into donor-advised funds and 509(a)(3) supporting organizations. Your donations do not have to be in one lump sum but can be multiple donations over the course of the year.
“When people are in need and in crisis they turn to nonprofits. When developing the Recover and Re-Engage Initiative it was important to examine how BCCF could be a part of making sure that nonprofits would be equipped to be able to do that work into the future,” added Schultheiss.
For more information visit https://reopenbc.bccfoundation.org.
Recover and Re-Engage Launched by BCCF
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