The City of Austin is no longer accepting applications for the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant. The deadline for submission expired on October 9, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

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 City of Austin Economic Development Department is reopening the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant on September 21, 2020 to reach additional non-profits facing hardship due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have revised eligibility to ensure grant guidelines accommodate more non-profit organizations. The Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant has a remaining $2.4 million fund providing up to $20,000 grants to Austin’s non-profit community toward reimbursement of eligible expenses including rent, payroll, and other economic needs.

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.  

 

For Technical Support and Application Status:

Austin Better Business Bureau

Email: nonprofitreliefgrant@austin.bbb.org

Call: 512-318-2683

 

For Eligibility Questions and Application Assistance:

Mission Capital

Email: support@missioncapital.org

Call: 512-477-5955, ext. 251

Sign-up for Mission Capital Office Hours

 

Austin Revitalization Authority

Email: austinrevauthority@gmail.com 

Call: 512-469-1705 

 

Scoring

Every application will be evaluated against program criteria and eligibility. Applications submitted will be awarded against a scoring matrix that includes criteria for need, vulnerability, and equity. For distribution of funds, 100% of the program funding will be allocated to applicants that score the highest according to this matrix. Organizations with Executive Directors or those serving in a similar role and or 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
  • Race/Ethnicity of Executive Director or person serving in a leadership role
  • Gender of Executive Director or person serving in a leadership role
  • Service to vulnerable populations
25
Organization
  • Number of Employees (FTEs)
  • Annual Revenues
  • Years in Operation
  • Location
12
Urgency
  • COVID-19 Adaptation
  • Ability to operate during Stay at Home Orders
  • Working Reserves
  • Likely impact of not receiving grant 
20

 

Informational Webinars

Download the Informational Webinar Frequently Asked Questions PDF

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 as of March 1, 2020. 

  • Organizations under good standing with the Internal Revenue Service and classified as a “public charity” with tax-exempt status under Section 501c3 or 509a​  

  • Organizations able to demonstrate a direct financial loss associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic 

  • Must provide services to the populations within a City of Austin Council District, but not further than the regional MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties 

  • Non-profit organizations must meet ONE of the following location eligibility criteria:  
     

    • An office/headquarters street address physically located with a presence in a City of Austin Council District  

      OR

    • Non-Profits without a street address physically located in a City of Austin Council District, which includes Non-Profit organizations who do not have a brick and mortar office/headquarters location, or regularly operate as an at-home Non-Profit must provide demonstrated evidence via documentation that the organizations programming and service locations occur within a City of Austin Council district. A programming location cannot be a P.O. Box address including a UPS Box. 

  • Organizations with fewer than 75 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 counts as .5 FTE if they work between 20 hours per week and 40 hours per week, and .25 FTE if they work less than 20 hours per week. 

Ineligible Applicants 
  • Applicants who received funding from the Nonprofit Relief Grant Round One  

  • Entities organized as a 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6)

  • Fraternal, sectarian, and religious organization are not eligible organizations for funding 

  • Endowments or memorials   

  • Non-profit hospitals and higher education institutions   

  • Private foundations   

  • Organizations with over 75 full-time equivalent employees  

  • Full time, permanent City of Austin employees are ineligible to receive these funds   

  • Organizations that cannot meet one of the two location-based eligibility criteria (See Eligible Applicants section) 

  • P.O. Box or UPS Box accounts are not eligible and do not qualify as physical or programming addresses 

  • Organizations serving beyond the MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties are not eligible to apply

  • Nonprofit organizations serving Statewide or Nationwide populations 

  • Organizations not able to provide all required documentation 

  • Organizations not able to provide eligible receipts for reimbursement  

Required Documentation and Information Needed for Application

Descargue los requisitos para la documentación requerida e información necesaria para la solicitud

下载申请所需的文件和信息下載申請所需的文件和資訊

Tải Xuống Các Chứng Từ Bắt Buộc và Thông Tin Cần Thiết khi Nộp Đơn

قم بتنزيل المستندات والمعلومات المطلوبة للطلب

 

All documentation is required at the time the application is submitted. The Better Business Bureau may contact you after you have submitted your application for clarification on documents but you will not be able to submit outstanding documents after the deadline of October 9, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise requested by the City of Austin and the Better Business Bureau. All application questions must be answered and all required documentation must be completed for your application to be considered for eligibility. Acceptable file types: .csv, .doc, .docx, .odt, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .wpd, .wpf, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .svg, .tif, .tiff 

  • EIN Number (Application Question #18) 
  • Current Board Member List (Application Question #19) 
  • Populations and Geographies Served (Application Question #24 and #25) 
  • Nonprofit Mission Statement (Application Question #26) 
  • Other COVID-19 related assistance (Application Question #32) 
  • Impact receiving funds and support would have on the organizations viability to fulfill its mission (Application Question #34) 
  • Annual Operating Budget for FY19 - Required documentation to upload to review organization’s revenue. 
  • Non Profit Statement of Financial Position FY19 - Required documentation to upload to review organization's revenue (View the Non-Profit Statement of Financial Position Sample Document. It is to be used as a resource and is not the required format for an applicant’s statement of financial position).  
  • 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 - Required documentation to upload to review organization’s revenue. 
  • Payroll Record as of March 2020 - Required documentation to upload to verify organization’s employee total (View the Payroll Record Sample Document. It is to be used as a resource and is not the required format for an applicant’s statement of financial position). 
  • Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation - Required documentation to upload.  
  • Charitable Status Letter - Required documentation to upload. 
  • Nonprofit Bylaws - Required documentation upload (View the Non-Profit Bylaws Sample Document. It is to be used as a resource and is not the required format for an applicant’s statement of financial position).  
  • Board Support: Required documentation upload of support for the grant application is required at the time of application. This may include documentation (letter or email) from a Board Chair, or documentation of approval via action taken at a Board meeting, through Board Meeting minutes. A formal letter of support may also be supposed. (View the Letter of Support: Board of Directors Sample Document. It is to be used as a resource and is not the required format for the application.)  
  • 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 September 1, 2020.

  • Payroll, Employee Retention Expenses   

  • Non Profit Insurance    

  • Worker Training   

  • Technology and Software 

  • Programming   

  • Rent/ Mortgage for Organization Property incurred between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020.  

  • Operational Costs  

  • COVID-Compliance Facility Modifications  

  • Personal Protective Equipment Purchases and Rentals   

  • Sanitation and Cleaning Supplies or Services 

  • Utility Expenses 

  • Travel (within 100 miles) providing direct service to customers  

  

Ineligible Expenses

  • Taxes  

  • Residential rent and or mortgage payments 

  • Lost sales and revenue 

  • 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, donations, sponsorships or fundraising reimbursement 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Is a nonprofit organization eligible if it is a 501 C4 or C6A?

PER CITY COUNCIL DIRECTION 501 C4 and C6 organizations are not eligible. Eligible applicants must be non-profit organizations under good standing with the Internal Revenue Service and classified as a “public charity” with tax-exempt status under Section 501c3 or 509a.

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 September 1, 2020.  

Are eligible non-profits guaranteed to receive funds? 

No. Due to widespread need, the City anticipates requests for aid will surpass the $2.4 million allocated for the reopening of the Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant.  

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 October 9, 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 for October 9, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.  

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 October 9, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. by check Factors that might affect this timeline include the volume of grants being processed and the delivery timing of the United States Postal Service.    

How much time will I have to resolve any outstanding questions that the Better Business Bureau may have about my application if they contact me?  

If the Better Business Bureau contacts you for more information about your application, you will have three (3) business days to resolve all issues. If you do not do so during this time, your application will be reviewed with the information available. There are no extensions beyond the three business days to resolve application questions.

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 documentation may be receipts or other documentation demonstrating eligible expenses during March 1, 2020 through September 1, 2020.

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.

Am I eligible to apply if I have received funding from the first round of Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant in July 2020?  

No.

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 September 1, 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 75 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 – September 1, 2020

Are early applicants given any priority in allocations?

Early applicants are not given priority in allocations. We still encourage applicants to submit their completed applications before the final deadline of Friday, October 9, 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. 

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 September 1, 2020 has been deferred but is still due on a date after September 1, 2020, that rent or mortgage payment is eligible for reimbursement. Rent or mortgage payments from March 1 to September 1, 2020 that have been forgiven and are not required to be paid at a future date are not eligible for reimbursement. RESIDENTIAL RENT AND MORTGAGE ARE NOT ELIGIBLE EXPENSES.

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 and the applicants response to application questions. If additional information is needed the Better Business Bureau will contract the applicant.
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 October 9, 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 and providing services for up to two (2) years minimum to be eligible.

The application asks specific questions about the applicant's and the Executive Director and person in a leadership role demographics. Please provide clarity. 

Executive Director Demographics reported on the application will be used for identifying populations served by the grant, equity measures, and a scoring matrix for each application that including criteria for needs, vulnerability and equity.

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?

Organizations with fewer than 75 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 counts as .5 FTE if they work between 20 hours per week and 40 hours per week, and .25 FTE if they work less than 20 hours per week.

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 for no more than three (3) business days. 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

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 September 1, 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)?

Non-Profits without a street address physically located City of Austin Council District, which may include Nonprofits who do not have a brick and mortar office location, or operate as an at-home Non-Profit must provide demonstrated evidence via documentation that the organizations programming and services locations occur within a City of Austin Council district. A programming location cannot be a P.O. Box address. 

If a company’s two years of continuous operation falls within the timeline for reimbursement (March 1st – September 1, 2020), would they still qualify? Or would their two year “anniversary” have to be before March 1st? 

Non-Profits 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.

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.

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.