Advocating for You

March 25, 2021

Advocating for You

Since the COVID-19 crisis led to our country’s shutdown and the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18, 2020, FNP has advocated for 100% relief of all COVID-19 related unemployment claims on behalf of reimbursable nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers across the country.

Remarkably, this pandemic resulted in the filing of more than 60 million claims across the country! To counteract the administrative crush of massive claim filings and ensure that qualified claimants could quickly apply and collect unemployment benefits, federal and state laws were swiftly modified. While these timely changes brought necessary relief to some individuals, it left many reimbursable employers with unprecedented, and unforeseen levels of unemployment benefit charges.

Subsequently, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, was signed into law on March 27, 2020 adding additional assistance for states, employers, and individuals. Helpfully, a feature of this economic stimulus provided 50% relief of COVID-19 related unemployment claims for reimbursable nonprofit employers BUT had problematic guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, by requiring nonprofits to fully reimburse states upfront for this overwhelming cost.

First Nonprofit responded immediately and began a grassroots lobbying effort engaging our members and partners to express concern regarding the burdensome and unintended harsh treatment of reimbursing nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers. We led the way to mobilize others in field and organizations serving nonprofits at the state and national level to create the Nonprofit Unemployment Insurance Relief Coalition (NUIRC) as an advocate for more equitable and consistent treatment of reimbursing employers, specifically asking for 100% relief of pandemic related charges and correction of the guidelines issued by the USDOL requiring full reimbursement of claims that were subject to 50% relief in the CARES Act. NUIRC, with participants that include many of our state association and national partners, engaged lobbyists and recruited other supporters to encourage Congress and individual state legislatures to consider a more just treatment of reimbursing nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers. Several members of FNP programs and members of our Advisory Board participated in delivering this message to both Congress and elected officials in their own states.

The unified effort had far reaching effects on behalf of reimbursable nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers across the country. With the hard work and support of many including NUIRC and the National Council of Nonprofits (NCN), Congress passed the “Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act” in July of 2020, providing cash flow assistance to reimbursable employers across the country and correcting the language that required state unemployment agencies to invoice reimbursing employers at 100% before receiving the 50% Federal relief payment. And subsequent extensions of the 50% relief and other relief measures in the CARES Act were passed. But it was not until 2021 that these advocacy efforts resulted in Congress increasing the amount of Federal relief for reimbursing employers.

The “American Rescue Plan Act”, signed into law on March 11, 2021, continues to provide 50% benefit charge relief through March 31, 2021 and then increases benefit charge relief from 50% to 75% from April 1 through September 6, 2021. It also extends other Federal relief for reimbursing employers that has been in place. More specific detail on the ARP Act can be found here.

Be assured that First Nonprofit continues to work to closely with our nationwide network of claims administration partners to ensure that our customers are:

  1. Receiving the appropriate relief on COVID-19 related unemployment charges
  2. Being credited for any benefit charges that should have been relieved
  3. NOT being billed for any fraudulent claims

We will also continue to advocate via NUIRC to encourage states to provide the additional relief needed to cover 100% of charges attributable to the pandemic from funds allocated to them for discretionary use by the ARP Act.

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CCSCT was approached by First NonProfit to discuss its Unemployment Savings Program and ways the program could significantly reduce the amount of unemployment taxes we were paying. At the time, our agency was paying approximately $80,000 per year. First NonProfit conducted an analysis to determine if making the switch would be in our best interest, and it clearly was based on our circumstances. The first year on the program, CCSCT saw a 70% reduction in its unemployment costs and each year, continues to experience further reductions as a result of having minimal claims. Some additional benefits of the program including having a fixed annual cost, an interest-baring reserve account, professional unemployment claims management and representation at all unemployment hearings. This has been one of the best decisions we have made.

Community Council of South Central Texas, Inc., Seguin, TX

We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ