University releases guide for nonprofits seeking public assistance


A new resource guide developed by the University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab offers timely information for Michigan nonprofits providing emergency response services as a result of COVID-19.

As the nation faces a public health crisis and prepares for the related economic downturn, many nonprofit organizations are on the front lines responding to basic community needs such as food and shelter. Like small businesses, they also face a challenging financial outlook.

To support nonprofits who have stepped up to respond to this national emergency, the federal government recently authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide funding under its public assistance program to help nonprofit organizations recoup some of the increased costs they’re incurring as a result of emergency response efforts.

The “Michigan Resource Guide for Nonprofits Seeking COVID-19 FEMA Public Assistance” was assembled by the Youth Policy Lab, a research partnership between the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research. It is committed to working with nonprofit and government agencies to improve outcomes for Michiganders.

The resource guide helps eligible nonprofit organizations understand the program requirements and application processes so communities don’t lose out on these critical resources. Nonprofits must send critical information to the Michigan State Police by April 30 to be included in the state’s application to FEMA.

“Nonprofits are busy keeping people safe, alive and fed right now, and many aren’t able to devote the substantial energy and time required to digest these dense, federal regulations,” said Andrea Plevek, executive director of the Youth Policy Lab.

“Helping nonprofits access FEMA public assistance resources is critical at this stage of the response because the demand for social services will only grow as we begin to feel the economic and social fallout from this crisis.”

The Youth Policy Lab has been developing a broader network of faculty, staff and students who are poised to respond to these types of needs from the government and nonprofit sectors in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

In close partnership with several other research centers at the Ford School, the Youth Policy Lab has launched the COVID-19 Consultant Corps to help respond to requests for assistance from public and nonprofit sector partners throughout Michigan.

The CCC will deploy interested students in service of emergent, COVID-19-related policy and research projects throughout the state of Michigan as the economic and social challenges related to COVID-19 mount.

“The CCC demonstrates the strong commitment of the Youth Policy Lab, the Ford School of Public Policy, and the broader University of Michigan community to public service,” Plevek said.


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