Aid is available for some nonprofits suffering from the pandemic

Nonprofits who have been struggling since the pandemic began have some relief coming from CARES Act grants the state is giving out.

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services is offering $25 million in federal CARES Act grants to nonprofit organizations that serve low-income and at-risk Ohioans. The application deadline is Friday, Nov. 27.

Bret Crow, a spokesperson for ODJFS, said the organization has already received about 183 applications for the money in about four days since announcing the grant money was available, including five applications from the Dayton region.

He said the department’s latest statistics show that social services, a category that includes nonprofit and for-profit agencies, had about 5,000 fewer employees statewide in September versus January this year. September was the most recent data available.

Amy Radachi, President and CEO of Rebuilding Together Dayton, said her organization, which serves seniors who need help with housing in the Miami Valley, had applied for the grant money. She said the nonprofit is overwhelmed with low-income senior homeowners in Montgomery County who are living without heat, running water or hot water.

“While these funds have a very short turnaround time frame, we are hopeful that we can assist more homeowners in need before winter is upon us,” she said.

An Ohio State University survey of more than 7,500 Ohio nonprofits recently found a majority of nonprofits are operating below their normal budgets. The study found at least half of nonprofits in Ohio had experienced declines in donations. Some nonprofits surveyed said their budgets had been cut by just 10%, while others said they had no budget at all.

There are more than 40,000 public nonprofits in Ohio, according to federal tax data.

While the grant only applies to social nonprofits, there have been grants made available for arts organizations from Ohio. The Ohio Arts Council received about $20 million for arts organizations in Ohio who had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in October, and the grants are expected to be given out in late November.

Many of the charities most affected by COVID-19 in the Dayton region were in the arts, said Stephanie Llacuna, president of the greater Dayton regional chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and a Philanthropy Officer at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Llacuna said she’d heard from several arts charities that, given the hazards of putting on an event during the COVID-19 pandemic, have canceled events all together, and have suffered because their normal funding, like ticket sales, have decreased or disappeared.

Sue Stevens, a spokeswoman for Dayton Live, said the organization had posted a $2 million loss for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, which does not include any losses they would have incurred since then. She said they are grateful for those who have been able to donate during this time.

How to apply

Interested organizations should apply at nprofitgrants/.

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