NSPE President Lobbies Congress for Relief Funding

May/June 2020

NSPE Today
NSPE President Lobbies Congress for Relief Funding

When the CARES Act was signed into law, it provided $2.3 trillion in economic relief to individuals and businesses, including $350 billion to protect small businesses with less than 500 employees. Certain nonprofit organizations like NSPE were left out, however.

In an April letter to the House and Senate, NSPE President David Martini, P.E., F.NSPE, urged lawmakers to include professional associations in relief funding for small businesses. Currently, Section 501(c)(6) organizations, which include trade associations and professional associations, are ineligible for economic relief opportunities under the CARES Act, such as the Paycheck Protection Program.

Professional associations are not immune to financial hardships created by the coronavirus pandemic, Martini wrote, and should be eligible for this aid. NSPE finds itself in serious jeopardy, including loss of revenue, pay reductions, and layoffs.

NSPE is hardly alone. On April 2, 2020, NSPE, along with thousands of other associations, signed on to a letter sent by the American Society of Association Executives to congressional leaders. The letter advocated for $25 billion in aid for associations that face financial losses from cancelled conferences and events, the inclusion of associations in access to small business interruption loans, and a pandemic risk insurance program.

According to an ASAE survey of associations:

  • 29% of respondents face $100,001-$500,000 in current and projected losses due to cancellations;
  • 16% face $501,000-$1,000,000 in current and projected losses;
  • 10% face more than $1,000,000 in current and projected losses;
  • 12% have partial insurance coverage for cancellations; and
  • 52% have zero insurance coverage 
for cancellations.

There are more than 62,000 associations across the United States.