Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major health, safety and economic crisis. Citizens and governments across the globe face dire circumstances to keep people safe and their economies stable. During this challenging time, ASAE is doing everything it can to help its members and association professionals continue their critical missions and navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as safely as possible.

ASAE Advocacy

On April 14, ASAE and more than 4,300 organizations across the country sent a letter to Congress and the Administration to once again call for critically needed support for associations amid COVID-19. On May 11, ASAE resent the sign-on letter along with a new cover letter ahead of a major House Democratic proposal.

ASAE, alongside countless industry and community partners, have strongly engaged policymakers to demonstrate COVID-19’s harmful impact on associations and nonprofits and to help ensure our members receive critically needed relief. On March 23, ASAE wrote Congress and the Trump Administration to once again urgently request that all Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) organizations, including Section 501(c)(6) organizations, such as trade, professional and membership associations, be included in emergency relief negotiations.

ASAE specifically calls on Congress to:

  1. Include 501(c)(6) organizations, such as trade, professional and membership associations, in the Paycheck Protection Program; and
  2. Create a pandemic risk insurance program with a federal backstop for prospective insurance claims related to a pandemic or epidemic.

Between March 20-24, association advocates answered ASAE’s calls to action and sent over 10,000 appeals to urge Congress for emergency relief.

Legislation and Policy

Updates: May 12April 27 I April 23 I April 16 I April 14 I April 9 I April 2

Get the latest on COVID-19 Advocacy from ASAE Public Policy

On March 25, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which would provide over $2 trillion for “emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.” On March 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CARES Act, which President Trump subsequently signed into law.

Some provisions in the nearly 900-page emergency aid package support Section 501(c)(6) organizations, but significant assistance would be available to Section 501(c)(3) organizations and certain other nonprofits. Additional relief packages are expected in the future, and ASAE continues to fight for the association and nonprofit communities in Congress. Read ASAE’s CARES Act one-pager.

Susan Robertson, ASAE’s President and CEO, said in a statement:

“ASAE applauds Congress for swiftly taking action to assist millions of Americans, corporations and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. At least one of the provisions in this economic stimulus package – an employee retention tax credit to assist businesses and 501(c) entities that have a furloughed or reduced workforce due to the coronavirus – will benefit some revenue-stricken associations along with other impacted segments of the economy. We need more, and we have made some very specific asks of Congress to assist associations suffering due to COVID-19-related event cancellations and other losses. We understand there is an additional relief package under consideration after the passage of this third stimulus package, and we will continue to make the case that associations need and deserve additional aid during this crisis.”

Congress signaled an additional relief package is already being discussed and ASAE remains steadfast in our advocacy to help ensure associations are included in legislation to come.


  1. ASAE sign-on letter: Associations Need More Federal Emergency Relief to Survive Coronavirus Impact
  2. ASAE’s Issue Roundup: COVID-19
  3. CARES Act Legislation
  4. ASAE’s One-pager: CARES Act
  5. U.S. Senate Small Business Committee CARES Act FAQ
  6. ASAE’s Urgent Appeals for Emergency Aid:
    March 23 letter to Congress and the Trump Administration
    March 19 letter to Congress
    March 10 letter to Congress
    March 6 letter to the Trump Administration
  7. Template Materials:
    Constituent letter to Congress
    Sample Social Media
  8. Webinars:
    – April 13: Congressional Town Hall: Association Advocacy on COVID-19
    – April 21: Association Advocacy in COVID-19: The CARES Act and Future Legislation
  9. Additional Information: Pandemic Risk Insurance Program

Questions or More Information?