Though businesses are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit organizations are also facing major challenges.

In response, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is pushing for a bill to set up a grant program to keep them afloat.

Many of the nonprofits are providing a lifeline during this crisis, whether it’s Meals On Wheels, Second Harvest, or a shelter for abused women. One of the nonprofits, Catholic Charities, is facing extra costs of $1 million per month due to the safety measures it has to implement during the pandemic.

The proposed bill would set up a $50 billion grant fund so nonprofits across the country can afford to pay their staff and continue provided services.

“A lot of this is making sure that we have workers that can do the work and we have strong nonprofits. That’s why we’ve put together this bill that has growing support, and we’re pretty excited about the work that can be done because the people need the help, and we need to get Minnesota working again,” Sen. Klobuchar said.

According to Tim Marx with Catholic Charities, about 85% of the nonprofit’s budget goes to the approximately 550 employees.

“We’re under financial pressure, and the extent to which we get the resources that allows us to continue to pay them so that they are intended to stay and return to work each day, that is a critical need for us and all our other nonprofit colleagues,” he said.  

Marx said costs will increase even more as the pandemic moves forward. So far, they have not had to lay off any staff.