ASAE delivered a letter to congressional leaders yesterday requesting emergency financial support for associations and other nonprofit groups experiencing significant revenue losses from event cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress is currently working on a $1 trillion economic stimulus package to blunt the financial fallout from the coronavirus. While the airlines and other industries have been obviously impacted by Americans sheltering at home, associations and other sponsors of in-person events are also projecting huge revenue losses from canceled meetings, conventions and trade shows. In its letter, ASAE asks Congress for $25 billion in immediate relief for associations and nonprofits so that they can continue to fulfill their vital missions.

“It is not news that associations and nonprofits are suffering major financial harm due to the unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Without swift action, harm will be irreparable, and many associations and nonprofits will shutter permanently and be unable to provide essential services to members during this time of immense tribulation,” ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE, said in the letter.

ASAE has also asked Congress to pass legislation creating a federal backstop for insurance claims related to a pandemic or epidemic. The specific purpose of pandemic risk insurance would be to provide for a federal loss-sharing program for certain insured losses resulting from a certified pandemic/epidemic. The measure would be similar to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) enacted in 2002 after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“Together, these imperative policy solutions will not merely help associations and nonprofits nationwide keep their doors open. They are utterly necessary to protect employees’ wellbeing and enable associations and nonprofits to continue to pursue essential missions in the interest of the economy, the public and society as a whole,” ASAE’s Robertson said.

ASAE is asking its grassroots network to send their own messages of support for this ask to members of Congress. Click here to write your elected officials with this urgent request.