The City of Austin is no longer accepting applications for the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant. The deadline for submission expired on July 24, 2020 at 8:00pm. 

We are in the process of reviewing all applications submitted, and are exploring how we can use additional federal and local funds to offer assistance for non-profit organizations, small businesses, start-up companies, entrepreneurs, and creatives.  

Find helpful resources:  

  • City of Austin's ATXRecovers.com - A one-stop resource to help non-profits, businesses and individuals recover from the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find resources related to funding, unemployment assistance, legal aid, consulting help, and more.  

  • Economic Development Department’s Small Business Resources Directory - Database of local, state, federal, and community resources. Filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

View larger version of Program Metrics

 


The Austin City Council approved Resolution No. 20200507-023 on May 7, 2020 to provide $6 million for the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant (ANCHOR – Austin Nonprofit and Civic Health Organizations Relief). The City Council approved an additional $350,000 for the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant in Resolution No. 20200604-040 on June 4, 2020.  

Applicants may apply for one-time grants up to $20,000 toward reimbursement of eligible expenses including rent, payroll, and other economic needs. The Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant application will be live and accepting eligible submissions through the Austin Better Business Bureau.

Eligible non-profits must be able to demonstrate an economic loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic and must be headquartered in a City of Austin Council district

The City Council approved the distribution of funds into the following focus areas:  

  • Health & Human Services - $2,000,000 

  • Workforce Development & Social/Legal Services - $1,250,000 

  • Education - $1,250,000 

  • Arts & Culture - $1,000,000 

  • Environment & Animals - $500,000 

  • Other - $350,000 

 

Contact Information

Email: nonprofitreliefgrant@austin.bbb.org

Call: 512-318-2683

 

Scoring

Every application will be evaluated against a scoring matrix that includes criteria for need, vulnerability, and equity. For distribution of funds, 50% of the program funding will be allocated to applicants that score the highest according to this matrix. The remaining 50% of funds will be awarded by random lottery among eligible applicants. Organizations with board members of historically marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Application Scoring Matrix

Category
Criteria
Available Points
Equity
  • Race/Ethnicity of Board
  • Gender of Board
  • Service to vulnerable populations
15
Organization
  • Number of Employees (FTEs)
  • Annual Revenues
  • Years in Operation
15
Urgency
  • COVID-19 Adaptation
  • Ability to operate during Stay at Home Orders
  • Working Reserves
  • Likely impact of not receiving grant 
20

 

Application Assistance

The Economic Development Department has partnered with additional local community organizations to help promote and provide technical assistance to potential applicants of the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant and assist applicants with their applications. These efforts will ensure the most vulnerable businesses and non-profit organizations are aware of the grant opportunities and receive assistance to apply. 

Community Champions to support Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant include:  

Recorded Informational Webinar

A summary of applicant questions from webinars has been complied into a Question Summary. Additional questions not addressed in the summary can be found in the FAQ section of this webpage. For immediate questions specific to your application please contact the Better Business by email at nonprofitreliefgrant@austin.bbb.org  or by phone at 512-318-2683

Focus Area Categories   

The Austin City Council identified the following focus areas for non-profit grant assistance. It is important to select the category that best represents your organization’s mission and program(s). If your organization falls into more than one category, please select only one.  

  • Health and Human Services  
    Health non-profits cover a broad range of organizations concerned with the body or mind. Substance abuse and additional treatment programs, disease prevention and treatment, and mental health and crisis services all fall into this category.  
    Human Services organizations provide services such as distributing food to those in need, assisting crime victims and offenders, providing job training, developing and operating affordable housing, helping people prepare for and recover from disasters, and acting as advocates for children.  

  • Workforce Development & Social/Legal Services 
    Organizations providing services that help people find, get, and keep employment, as well as organizations providing information, services, and advocacy on legal matters. Social activities also include programs to help youth mature into adults who contribute to society.  

  • Education 
    Organizations with missions primarily dedicated to promoting learning and intellectual development in individuals or groups. Activities may include tutoring, mentorship, classes, meet-ups, camps, etc. Entities may take the form of schools for students with special needs, organizations offering vocational and technical training, libraries, literacy programs, scholarships, student organizations, and parent-teacher groups.  

  • Arts and Culture  
    Organizations with programming that promotes or develops art in any medium (visual, performing, music, etc.), preserves or commemorates historical events and local cultures, or promotes the distribution of ideas. Examples include art museums, historical societies, theaters, local-access radio and television, and festivals.  

  • Environment and Animals   
    Environmental organizations are dedicated to reclaiming and preserving natural resources. They include organizations providing services such as recycling programs, wetlands management, and garden clubs. Animal non-profits include humane societies, shelters and SPCAs, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, fisheries, veterinary organizations, zoos, and animal-training nonprofits.  

Eligible Applicants 

Eligible Non-Profit Organizations must meet the following conditions:   

  • Organizations able to provide a 2018 and/or 2019 federal income tax return (990s).
     
  • Organizations who have been in operations providing services for two years minimum.
     
  • Non-Profit Organizations under good standing with the Internal Revenue Service and classified as a “public charity” with a tax-exempt status under Section 501c3 or 509a​ 
     
  • Organizations able to demonstrate a direct financial loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic​ 
     
  • Organizations registered and headquartered in a City of Austin City Council District ​ 
     
  • Non-profit operations occur primarily in Austin, Texas (75% minimum)​ 
     
  • Organizations with 25 full-time equivalent employees or fewer

 

Updated Ineligibility for Clarification on July 7, 2020

Ineligible Applicants 
  • Endowments or memorials  
     
  • Non-profit hospitals and higher education institutions  
     
  • Fraternal, sectarian, and religious organizations where the funding is intended to principally benefit members/adherents and to fund inherently religious activities  
     
  • Private foundations  
     
  • Litigation/legal expenses in actions by or against the organization  
     
  • General capital campaigns  
     
  • Support benefitting primarily for-profit members  
     
  • Organizations with over 25 full-time equivalent employees or fewer
     
  • Full time, permanent City of Austin employees are ineligible to receive these funds  

 

Updated Ineligibility for Clarification on July 7, 2020

Required Documentation

Required Documentation

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Austin非营利救灾拨款 所需文件清单Austin非營利救災撥款 所需文件清單

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القائمة المرجعية للمستندات المطلوبة

 

  • EIN Number 
     
  • Annual Operating Budget for FY19 
     
  • Non Profit Statement of Financial Position FY19 (Sample)
     
  • Organization’s 2019 Tax Returns (990s). If you have not filed your 2019 tax returns, please provide your 2018 tax returns with proof of extension for 2019 returns 
     
  • Payroll Record as of March 2020 (Sample)
     
  • Size of Staff 
     
  • Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation
     
  • Charitable Status Letter 
     
  • Nonprofit Bylaws (Sample)
     
  • Board Member List and Biographies (Sample)
     
  • Nonprofit Mission Statement 
     
  • Programmatic Priorities (Application Question #22)
     
  • Letter of Support for the grant application from Board of Directors (Sample)
     
  • Strengths and Challenges to staff retention (Application Question #35)
     
  • Populations and Geographies Served (Application Question #20)
     
  • Impact receiving funds and support would have on the organizations viability to fulfill its mission (Application Question #31
     
  • Other COVID-19 related assistance (Application Question #29)
     
  • Documentation of eligible expenses for reimbursement (receipts) 
Expenses: Eligible and Ineligible

 

Eligible Expenses  

These funds are a reimbursement for eligible expenses made between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020:

  • Payroll, Employee Retention  
     
  • Nonprofit Insurance   
     
  • Worker Training  
     
  • Technology  
     
  • Programming  
     
  • Rent/ Mortgage for Organization Property incurred between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020
     
  • Operational Costs 
     
  • COVID-Compliance Facility Modifications 
     
  • Personal Protective Equipment Purchases and Rentals  
     
  • Sanitation and Cleaning  

  

Ineligible Expenses

  • Lost sales, donations or sponsorships 
     
  • Merchandise for sale 
     
  • Costs incurred prior to March 1, 2020  
     
  • Costs that have also been paid for by other COVID-19 grants/loans     
     
  • Litigation/legal expenses in actions by or against the organization 
     
  • General capital campaigns or support benefiting primarily for-profit members  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

A summary of applicant questions from webinars has been complied into a Question Summary. Additional questions not addressed in the summary can be found in the FAQ section of this webpage. For immediate questions specific to your application please contact the Better Business by email at nonprofitreliefgrant@austin.bbb.org  or by phone at 512-318-2683

Do I need to repay the dollars received through the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant? 

No. You do not need to repay dollars received from the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant. 

How much funding can I request?

Applicants can request up to $20,000 per organization. Grant funding total is subject to eligible receipts submitted by the organization for expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020.  

Are eligible non-profits guaranteed to receive funds? 

No. Due to widespread need, the City anticipates requests for aid will surpass the $6.35 million allocated to the program.  

What are my next steps after I submit my grant application?  

The Austin Better Business Bureau will contact all applicants and notify them if they are or are not approved for funding within ten (10) business days following July 24, 2020. Those approved will receive funds directly.  

How can I check my application status? 

The Better Business Bureau will contact applicants within ten (10) business days of the application closing date. 

Will I get confirmation that my application has been received? 

Applicants will receive a confirmation email at the email address provided in the application. The confirmation email will include additional information about next steps.

How will my organization receive funds from the City of Austin if approved for the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant program? 

The Austin Better Business Bureau will make all efforts to send funds within ten (10) business days following the grant application closing date of July 24, 2020 by check or electronic transfers. Factors that might affect this timeline include the volume of grants being processed and the delivery timing of the United States Postal Service.   

What should I do if I am having technical difficulties with the application?  

Please contact the Austin Better Business Bureau directly at  nonprofitreliefgrant@austin.bbb.org or by phone at 512-318-2683.

Do I need to attend a pre-application meeting before applying?   

No. You are eligible to apply directly. You may seek assistance with a grant application from the Austin Better Business Bureau directly or with one of our Technical Assistance Community Champions.

What are the reporting requirements for Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant? 

The application requires organizations to document eligible expenses for reimbursement. This provision of this documentation satisfies the reporting requirements for this grant.  

Am I eligible to apply if I receive Cultural Funding from the City of Austin?  

 Yes, you are eligible because they are different funding sources.

Am I eligible to apply if I received funding from other City of Austin COVID-19 programs?

Yes.

Does this City of Austin grant or loan affect forgivability of any federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds that were received from the U.S. Small Business Administration? 

No, receiving a City of Austin grant or loan will not affect the forgivability of Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.

Is this application available in multiple languages?

Yes. This application is available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic. If you need the application in another language, please contact
nonprofitreliefgrant@austin.bbb.org or by phone at 512-318-2683

Is this a one-time payment or are there various milestones that need to be met? 

One-time payment 

What restrictions will be placed on the funds granted? 

These funds are a reimbursement for eligible expenses made between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020.

If I had full-time and part-time employees on March 1, 2020, how should I calculate the total number of employees? 

Organizations with fewer than 25 full time equivalents (FTEs) are eligible to apply for the program. For the purposes of this program, a full-time employee counts as 1 FTE. A part-time employee, regardless of the typical number of hours worked, counts as .5 FTE. Independent contractors are not counted toward an organization’s FTE total.

What are the date ranges for eligible expenses?

March 1, 2020 - July 7, 2020

Are early applicants given any priority in allocations?

Early applicants are not given priority in allocations, for either scoring or lottery purposes. We still encourage applicants to submit their completed applications before the final deadline of July 24th, 2020. This will allow additional time for follow-up if the Better Business Bureau needs additional documentation or has additional questions about your application.

Can reimbursements be submitted for non-profit taxes?

CARES funding cannot be used to reimburse taxes. Applicants cannot reimburse their property taxes, mixed beverage taxes, or sales taxes.

If I received Federal support through the Paycheck Protection Program am I still eligible to apply for the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant?  

Yes. Recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) are still eligible to apply. However, because the source of funds for the Austin Small Business Relief Grant is the Federal CARES Act, any expenses paid for with PPP or EIDL funds are not eligible for reimbursement under the Austin Small Business Relief Grant. 

Can expenditures paid by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) be reimbursed?

It is essential that nonprofits do not “double-dip” between this fund and the Paycheck Protection Program reimbursement. Any expenditure covered by PPP cannot be paid for again through this program. 

Can I still request reimbursement for rent or mortgage payments if they were deferred?

If a Non Profit can document that a rent or mortgage payment that would have been due between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020 has been deferred but is still due on a date after July 7, that rent or mortgage payment is eligible for reimbursement. Rent or mortgage payments from March 1 to July 7 that have been forgiven and are not required to be paid at a future date are not eligible for reimbursement.

What are eligible expenses under technology?

Eligible technology expenses may include any technology purchases as a result of COVID 19 to retain or modify operations. Additionally items such as  software, subscriptions, personal property and technology equipment are eligible expenses.

Is a narrative required by the applicant to document and describe losses?
A narrative to describe losses is not a required piece of documentation.Documentation of eligible expenses for reimbursement will be evaluated based on eligible receipts. If additional information is needed the Better Business Bureau will contract the applicant within 10 business days of application submission.
What will the Better Business Bureau do with my information?

The City of Austin contract with Better Business Bureau requires not to disclose or use application data and retain confidentiality of the application data.

When will an applicant receive an approval or denial letter of grant funds?
 

All applicants will receive approval or denial correspondence after July 24, 2020. During the application period, if more information is needed from an applicant the BBB will contact an application within 10 business days to retrieve more information.

Should the non-profit or the fiscal agent for the non-profit apply?

The Non Profit that meets the eligibility requirements should be the grant applicant. This does not restrict the fiscal agent from being able to assist the applicant.

If an organization has a pending 501(c)3 status, but has submitted all required documentation and has received documentation that their application is approved but not yet finalized, does this disqualify them?

An organization must be a 501(c)3 as of March 1, 2020 to be eligible.

The application asks specific questions about the applicant's demographics. Please provide clarity.

Demographics reported on the application should be for the person completing the application for the non profit.

Is my nonprofit eligible if we have offices in various locations in Texas?

Organizations must be registered and headquartered in a City of Austin City Council District ​and their non profit operations must occur primarily in Austin, Texas (75% minimum) to be eligible. See program eligibility requirements.

Is interest accrued on loan payments an eligible reimbursable expense?

Interest as a component of a mortgage payment is an eligible expense for reimbursement. Interest payments on general debt is not an allowable expense.

What defines a Full Time Employee?

Businesses with 25 full-time equivalent employees or fewer as of March 1, 2020 are eligible.  A full-time employee counts as 1 FTE. A part-time employee, regardless of the typical number of hours worked, counts as .5 FTE. Independent contractors are not counted toward an organization’s FTE total.

Is it necessary to register as a women owned business for eligibility requirements or prioritization of scoring?

It is not required to register as a woman- or minority-owned business.

Can an application be resubmitted via the online portal or through BBB?

Once an application is submitted, Better Business Bureau will review the application documentation for completeness and notify the applicant within 10 business days if additional information is needed. If additional documentation is required, BBB will re-open the application and allow an applicant to edit. In all other cases, submitted applications can not be edited.

What category should utilities fall into with regards to the eligible expense worksheet?
  • Non Profit: Operational Costs
What documentation to demonstrate COVID-19 economic losses are eligible to submit (#19).

 

The following are examples of eligible documents, other items may apply for your organization:

  • Monthly loss of revenue  
  • Employee termination or pay reduction  
  • Inability to pay rent or commercial mortgage  
  • Cancellation of events 
  •  COVID 19 compliance documentation 
  • Other

 

 

If a Non Profit does not have an office space, and is a home-based Non Profit, is the residential rent or mortgage an eligible expense?

A home based Non Profit is eligible to apply, but residential rent and mortgages are not eligible expenses for reimbursement.

 If an organization’s event was scheduled between March 1, 2020 and July 7, 2020, what documentation may be submitted for reimbursement?
Such expenses may include, but not be limited to, the following:
  • Deposits on venue or equipment rental
  • Wages, salaries, or contractor fees
  • Inventory, merchandise, or services purchased in association with events

 

 

What documentation can an organization provide to document payroll?

Please refer to the Payroll Record Sample linked above.

Due to COVID, I didn’t renew my lease, can I use my P. O. Box hard address?  (i.e. UPS location address)?

Home-based nonprofits are eligible to apply if the residential address is located within one of the City of Austin Council Districts. However, residential rent or mortgage payments are not eligible for reimbursement.

If a company’s two years of continuous operation falls within the timeline for reimbursement (March 1st – July 24th), would they still qualify? Or would their two year “anniversary” have to be before March 1st?

Nonprofit must have been in operations providing services for two years minimum as of March 1, 2020.

The State of Texas does not require Articles of Incorporation for 501(c)3 status. What other documentation is acceptable to provide?

Applicants can provide their DBA, their Articles of Incorporation, or their Certificate of Formation.

Can an application be resubmitted via the online portal or through BBB?

Once an application is submitted, Better Business Bureau will review the application documentation for completeness and notify the applicant within 10 business days if additional information is needed. If additional documentation is required, BBB will re-open the application and allow an applicant to edit. In all other cases, submitted applications can not be edited.

Are lost donations considered ineligible, though, when in reference to loss of event revenue?

Lost donations are not eligible for reimbursement. Donations that were given and then refunded may count as eligible expenses from nonprofit operations.