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Using Remaining ARPA Funds to Build Nonprofit Capacity

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide have taken unprecedented measures to mitigate its economic impacts. In the United States, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has been a crucial lifeline, providing substantial financial aid to individuals, businesses, and communities. One key aspect of ARPA is its allocation of funds to support nonprofits and community organizations.


Even though it has been four years since the start of the pandemic, there are still ARPA dollars available, and leveraging these funds can significantly enhance the capacity of nonprofits to serve their communities effectively.


Understanding ARPA Funding

The American Rescue Plan Act was passed in March 2021 to provide economic relief to individuals, businesses, and communities impacted by the pandemic. It allotted substantial funds to state and local governments to address various needs, including aiding nonprofits. These funds are aimed at helping organizations recover from the economic downturn and continue serving communities effectively.


Utilizing ARPA Funds for Nonprofit Capacity Building

Nonprofits play a crucial role in addressing societal challenges, and enhancing their capacity can significantly amplify their impact. Remaining ARPA dollars present a unique opportunity for nonprofits to invest in their infrastructure and services. One effective way to do this is by increasing digital literacy within the organization.


In today’s digital age, proficiency in technology is essential for nonprofits to efficiently deliver services, reach stakeholders, and manage operations. ARPA funds can be allocated to provide staff training, upgrade technology infrastructure, and implement digital tools and platforms. By enhancing digital literacy, nonprofits can streamline processes, expand their reach, and adapt to evolving community needs.


Moreover, ARPA funds can be directed towards initiatives aimed at expanding service provision and outreach efforts. Whether it’s scaling up existing programs or launching new initiatives, nonprofits can use these funds to broaden their impact and reach underserved communities. By investing in staff training, infrastructure development, or program expansion, organizations can strengthen their capacity to address evolving community needs.


Investment in Impact Measurement Software

Moreover, nonprofits can utilize ARPA funds to invest in dedicated impact measurement software. These tools enable organizations to track and evaluate the effectiveness of their programs, demonstrate accountability to stakeholders, and make data-informed decisions. By implementing an impact measurement system, nonprofits can enhance their operational efficiency, improve program outcomes, and better allocate resources.


Not only are funders eager to have these metrics available, it’s not uncommon that they provide funds for the express purpose of collecting impact data. Here is a template you can use to include language for impact management software in your grant proposal.


Key Dates and How to Apply

With the deadline for allocating ARPA funds fast approaching, it is imperative for nonprofits to take action promptly. The legislature is expected to convene a special session to address remaining funding allocations. Organizations should proactively reach out to their local governments and funding agencies to inquire about available fund and application processes. By staying informed and actively engaging with relevant authorities, nonprofits can secure the necessary resources to support their capacity-building initiatives.


It's important to note that the timeline and key dates associated with utilizing ARPA funds effectively. By December 31, 2024, all funds need to be “obligated,” even if related projects have not been fully implemented. This means that nonprofits need to have concrete plans in place for how they intend to utilize the allocated funds. Additionally, by December 31, 2026, all projects must be completed, marketing the end of the “period of performance.” Nonprofits should adhere to these deadlines to ensure compliance with ARPA guidelines.


For nonprofits seeking to access remaining ARPA funds, it’s essential to engage with their local communities and government agencies. Many local governments still have unallocated funds that need to be disbursed by the deadline. By proactively reaching out and expressing their funding needs, nonprofits can increase their chances of securing additional support.


In conclusion, leveraging remaining ARPA funds presents a valuable opportunity for nonprofits to enhance their capacity and better serve their communities. By investing in digital infrastructure, operational efficiency, and service expansion, organizations can maximize their impact and address pressing societal challenges. As the deadline for fund allocation approaches, nonprofits must act swiftly to access these resources and continue their vital work in building a stronger, more resilient society.


To learn more about how SureImpact can help enable your staff to track and measure activities and outcomes of the people you serve, watch our quick product tour here >>

 

 

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