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.

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ASAE Advocacy

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

WEBINAR ALERT: Review the slides and watch the Recording of Paycheck Protection Program 2.0: Lessons Learned So Far and Considerations for Associations

NEW: Thousands of 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations and others can now access the PPP! Read ASAE’s issue brief on 2020 year-end legislation that provides critically needed relief for many in our community.

Important Resources

Starting January 19, 2021, all approved lenders will gain access to both first and second PPP loans.

For detailed information about 501(c)(6) eligibility in the PPP, review this resource guide from the Tenenbaum Law Group.

On January 11, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a notice to resume applications for the PPP. Until further notice, however, SBA will initially accept applications only from “participating CFIs, which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries.”

Regulators also released an Interim Final Rule as guidance for first-time PPP applicants and others. IMPORTANT: This guidance does not clarify 501(c)(6) eligibility as it relates to “receipts from lobbying” or “lobbying activities.” On December 22, 2020, ASAE delivered a letter to regulators to help determine exactly what these terms mean and how SBA and the Department of the Treasury plan to implement 501(c)(6) eligibility criteria.

Email us with questions and visit and for more information.

Congressional Outreach

Since March 2020, ASAE and its members actively urged Congress to expand the PPP – the flagship COVID-19 relief program – to include 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations. Across three sign-on letters in 2020, ASAE joined with 8,700 signatories to urge Congress to provide deserving members of our community PPP access.

On September 28, 2020 ASAE delivered another letter to Capitol Hill with more than 2,300 signatories requesting access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for Section 501(c)(6) organizations.

“For many 501(c)(6)s, prospective access to PPP funds is the singular option to avoid bankruptcy, sustain employee welfare and continue to provide resources, education and support for America’s industries and professions,” the ASAE letter states. Read ASAE’s press release for more information.

On July 1, 2020 ASAE and more than 2,200 organizations across the country sent a letter to Congress that continues our urgent requests to expand eligibility under the PPP. The letter also call on congress to pass the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act and the Skills Renewal Act (more information below).

On April 14, 2020 ASAE and more than 4,300 organizations across the country sent a letter to Congress and the Administration to 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.

Policy Updates and Additional Priorities

Pandemic Risk Insurance Act

On May 27, 2020, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) introduced the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (H.R. 7011), which would establish a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses and event cancellations resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies. ASAE has called for such a proposal since its March 19 appeal to Congress and played a major role to ensure that H.R. 7011 would support associations – particularly through coverage for event cancellations. If enacted, associations and others would have access to this insurance beginning on January 1, 2021.

ASAE supports H.R. 7011 and continues to build support in Congress, as expressed in Congresswoman Maloney’s press release:

“The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act offers a critical solution for associations and others devastated by event cancellations, slashed reserves and sharp membership declines amid COVID-19,” said Susan Robertson, CAE; American Society of Association Executives President and CEO. “ASAE thanks and applauds Congresswoman Maloney for introducing this important bill, which will no doubt help provide America’s 62,000 associations the security they need to fully reignite our community’s far-reaching economic impact through industry-focused conferences, workforce development and educational programming, among other critical services.”

The Skills Renewal Act

Introduced in the House by Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Terri Sewell (D-AL) and G.T. Thompson (R-PA), and in the Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC), the Skills Renewal Act would serve as a boon for American workers hit hard by the financial reality of COVID-19. This important bill would provide Americans who have been laid-off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19 a $4,000 tax credit to pursue post-secondary skills training and credentials and thereby help reestablish their welfare and wellbeing.

If amended, as proposed by the Professional Certification Coalition (co-lead by ASAE), Americans could use the credit to pursue and obtain industry certifications and other professional credentials that would help them more fully access the economy and contribute to a dynamic marketplace through increased competition and consumer choice.

Advocacy Materials

The Essential Pillars and Purpose of American Associations

On July 21, 2020, ASAE announced a new, mainstay messaging piece to support our members and the nonprofit association community: The Essential Pillars and Purpose of American Associations. This document is intended to correct misconceptions about nonprofit associations and their purpose and function in the economy and society at large. Please feel free to share broadly.

American Associations Week 2020

American Associations Week (AAW), June 15-June 18, 2020 was a free, week-long virtual education and advocacy event to help inform policymakers and urge Congress to support the association community. AAW highlighted meaningful ways that associations strengthen society, and provided programming and resources to amplify these messages and mobilize stakeholders to help inform members of Congress. Check out more ASAE resources:

  1. Download ASAE’s Advocacy Handbook, which was developed for American Associations Week 2020 and details ASAE’s main policy priorities.
  2. Download ASAE’s infographic on the Association Impact on the American Economy and Society, which demonstrates nonprofit associations’ presence and contribution across the economy and society.
  3. Visit our American Associations Week 2020 Downloadable Resources page for more advocacy materials, such as program recordings, social media support and template communications to legislators.

Questions or More Information?

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