Elected official represent the community they serve. It is important that nonprofits and their interests are known to elected officials. The Kansas Nonprofit Chamber encourage nonprofits to know, and write, their state and federal representatives.
The Kansas Legislature includes 125-members of the Kansas House of Representatives and 40 members of the Senate. Representatives are elected in two-year terms and Senators in four-year terms.
Each session begins the second Monday in January and ends in early May. Currently, the Kansas Legislature is out of session. Session is set to resume January 10th, 2022 at 2:00pm.
Senator Jerry Moran
Senator Roger Marshall
Kansas 1st: Congressman Tracey Mann
Kansas 2nd: Congressman Jake LaTurner
Kansas 3rd: Congresswoman Sharice Davids
Kansas 4th: Congressman Ron Estes
Updated March 14th, 2022
Dear President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Leaders Schumer, McCarthy, and McConnell:
The COVID-19 pandemic – extended and exacerbated by the Delta and Omicron variants of the disease – has ravaged our Nation’s health and economy far beyond anyone’s expectations. For every major natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina, Congress has approved relief packages – and extended additional relief – as the needs of the residents required. At this stage in the pandemic, more assistance is clearly needed, both to continue expired and expiring supports and incentives, and to address emerging challenges. One such new challenge, the nonprofit workforce shortage, demands your immediate attention. The undersigned organizations are united in our call for prompt legislative action to address the hardships of these dual problems charitable organizations are facing – the persistent pandemic and the community adversities caused by staffing shortages at charitable organizations.
Throughout this global crisis, the public and policymakers at all levels have relied on the commitment, compassion, and endurance of charitable nonprofits to provide direct, immediate relief in communities throughout the country. By all accounts, the pandemic continues to disrupt lives and the economy, factors that normally and rightly motivate Congress to enact disaster relief that provides direct funding and tax relief to those most directly affected. Charitable organizations and the people we serve have utilized many forms of relief. While certainly appreciated, most of these policy supports crafted to help nonprofits help others have expired; yet the needs remain great as charitable organizations struggle to provide pandemic relief in the face of continuing health risks, lost revenues, and the lack of available staff.
Further, once the pandemic is defeated and other sectors of the economy return to “normalcy,” the public will still turn to charitable organizations to help them recover through education and healthcare, social services designed to help rebuild lives and careers, and cultural and faith engagements dedicated to restoring hope, inspiration, and trust. Yet, many charitable entities are experiencing unprecedented workforce shortages that prevent them from addressing the current relief and future recovery functions they are called on to perform. Charitable organizations are also dealing with a drastic decline in volunteers who are unable or hesitant to provide their usual level of support for the missions they care about.
We trust you and your members will agree with the opening sentence from a new report on the American Rescue Plan funds made available to state, local, Tribal and territorial governments: "The COVID-19 pandemic resurfaced an undeniable truth; charitable nonprofits and governments are natural partners, serving the same constituents in the same communities." We write to share this vital resource from our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits because of its timeliness and to strengthen the partnership between our organizations. Read the report: "Strengthening State and Local Economies in Partnership with Nonprofits: Principles, Recommendations, and Models for Investing Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
As you know, Congress allocated $2.6 billion in COVID relief funds for governments in Kansas for use in providing "assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or to aid impacted industries." The federal government showed tremendous trust that governments closest to the people and their problems are best positioned to decide the best ways to spend their allocated resources to meet local needs.
We believe nonprofits and governments are natural partners, serving the same constituents in the same communities. Partnership between our sectors allow for leveraging of resources, relationships, and strengths to serve those communities even better. The new report, Strengthening State and Local Economies with Nonprofits, shares the perspective the nonprofits have close relationships and high levels of trust with those we both serve. We are perfectly positioned to maximize public benefits flowing from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds due to our deep knowledge of community needs, reach, and existing relationships, particularly in low-income and underserved or hard to reach populations. We are stronger when we invest together.
Three components of the report that were drafted to assist you and other government officials understand an operationalize the opportunities afforded by these ARPA funds:
Authorized Recipients and Uses of ARPA Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds- Addressing questions about whether and how governments can invest ARPA funds through charitable nonprofits.
Guiding Principles for Identifying High-Impact Programs to Fund- overarching principles to help prioritize funding decisions.
Recommendations for Designing and Managing Programs with Impact- eight recommendations, based on experience and lessons learned from successful as well as underperforming programs created and funded under the 2020 CARES Act, offered to assist in designing and managing relief and grant programs.
The report also provides nearly four dozen examples of successful partnerships using COVID-related funds and extensive resources to further analysis.
We encourage you to share Strengthening State and Local Economies in Partnership with Nonprofits with your members.
The Kansas Nonprofit Chamber
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McCarthy, and Leader McConnell:
As you negotiate legislation to rebuild our nation's infrastructure and the economy as a whole, we ask that you continue to keep in mind the wellbeing of our residents, our communities, and all of us taking action to promote full recovery from the pandemic. Specifically, we ask that you do no harm to existing programs and expectations as you advance new spending and taxing priorities. Most notably, we share the concerns expressed in a recent letter to you from national associations representing local governments strongly opposing any proposal to claw back or repurpose funds allocated to governments from the American Rescue Plan Act. The recovery is not assured; many people, communities, and the organizations that support them continue to suffer from the pandemic's aftermath. The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds must be used for their intended purpose of securing a full and complete recovery.
Charitable nonprofits have been at the forefront of providing both relief and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While other organizations shut down and waited out the virus, charitable nonprofits stepped forward in this time to great need to provide essential services to tens of millions more people than usual. Nonprofits struggled to meet those historically high needs, and they strained to carry the burdens of unexpected expenses. Nonprofits answered the call when American needed them, but they also suffered immense losses doing so.
The full and rapid restoration of the charitable sector should be of great concern to all policymakers. Prior to the pandemic, charitable organizations employed more than 12.5 million people, making nonprofits the third largest industry in the country, employing more people than the construction, finance, and manufacturing industries. The pandemic has eliminated 733,00 nonprofit jobs and full recovery is not likely until the fall of 2022, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Further complicating the recovery of frontline nonprofits, charitable giving to smaller organizations has not kept up, declining 7% last year.
The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are unique in the federal response to the COVID crisis because they empower state and local decisionmakers to partner with nonprofits and businesses to target and solve specific challenges in communities. The same cannot be said for many of the other relief programs enacted in 2020 and so far this year. While supportive in many ways, federal relief for charitable organizations often has been less robust than for other segments of the economy. This has occurred in part because those running federal programs often lack basic knowledge about charitable operations. Too often, this unfamiliarity has resulted in eligibility terms, interpretations, and application forms that, having been designed for for-profit businesses, discriminate against charitable nonprofits. In short, there have been well-documented shortcomings in the COVID relief response as applied to charitable nonprofits.
The express declaration in ARPA 9901 that state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments may use their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to provide "assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or to aid impacted industries" was a welcome acknowledgment of the challenges that nonprofits and others continue to face. Clawing back those funds would deny nonprofits their best and likely last chance to achieve any degree of parity and fairness.
It has been written before that charitable nonprofits are, and will continue to be, the foundation of every community in America, ministering to the spiritual and cultural wellbeing of our residents, improving their mental and physical health, upholding community values, and strengthening local economies in partnership with governments and businesses. That is why elected officials from all political perspectives turn to charitable organizations in their communities to deliver essential, cost-effective results.
None of the "hard" infrastructure proposals currently under discussion address the unmet needs of charitable nonprofits and the people they serve; only the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide the potential for that relief. Therefore, it is imperative that you reject any attempt to claw back or reclaim ARPA funds at the devastating expense of charitable nonprofits serving your constituents and all Americans, every day.
The Kansas Nonprofit Chamber