MACC Members: Get expert help on-demand to answer your people, financial, and operational COVID related questions. Click here:


Ask MACC: MACC Network members - ask us your thorny, confusing, pandemic-related questions and get a direct, personal answer from expert MACC staff. Also check out the "FAQs" below for some of the frequent questions (and their anonymized answers) we're hearing from our network.

During this rapidly evolving crisis our MACC network members need the right expertise to help them make the best decisions for organizational responsiveness and resilience. We know that human resources, financial, and operational questions are popping up a mile a minute and we're here to help you answer them. 

Thank you to our partners for their support - through philanthropic partnership we're able to bring these expanded technical assistance resources to our MACC network!



Jump to a specific section:

1. Human Resources FAQs
2. Finance FAQs
3. Operational FAQs


Human Resources FAQs

A furlough: is a mandatory temporary leave of absence intended to be finite. The employee is expected to return to work or be restored from a reduced work schedule. A furlough may require employees to take a certain number of unpaid hours off over a period of time, take a specific number of unpaid days or hours throughout the year, or take a continuous block of unpaid time off. Furloughed employees may be able to continue benefits coverage if their employer offers, and may be eligible to collect unemployment insurance for the reduction in time worked.

A layoff is a separation from employment due to lack of work available, and is mostly a description of a type of termination in which the employee holds no blame. An employer may hope they will be able to recall workers back from a layoff, but the situation may become permanent.

A reduction in force (RIF) is when a position is eliminated with no intention of replacing it and results in a permanent reduction in headcount at the organization. A layoff may turn into a RIF when a final decision is made not to recall employees.


Yes. Nonprofit employers with less than 500 employees are included as covered employers under the FFCRA.

For more information on the FFCRA and how it might impact your organization and employees check out the Department of Labor's FAQ page!


Yes. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.


The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Please see this poster that lists the qualifying reasons for leave related to COVID-19.


If an employee needs intermittent leave (partial weeks or partial days off) to care for their child whose school or place of care is unavailable because of COVID-19, the employer must allow it. You may take intermittent leave in any increment, provided that you and your employer agree.

For example: Your child has a break of unsupervised/occupied time in the afternoon: if you and your employer agree on a 90-minute increment you could telework from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, take leave from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM, and then return to teleworking.


No. An employee’s concern for contracting the virus is not included within the six allowable reasons for leave. The employee may be eligible for leave under another employer policy (such as a leave of absence, accrued vacation, etc.) as per the requirements of that policy.

Note: If an employee’s fear is related to a serious health condition, they may be eligible for traditional FMLA leave. Normal notice and certification procedures would be followed for that determination.


No. FFCRA leave would not apply if the school is physically open the employee is choosing virtual learning for their child. If the school is using a hybrid model (open certain days and closed other days at the physical location), then the employee would be eligible for FFCRA leave on the days that the school is physically closed. You may want to offer employees options outside of the FFCRA if your organization is able, such as flex time (working outside of normal business hours), reduced hours, or the use of PTO or vacation time.


The FFCRA provides businesses with tax credits to cover certain costs of providing employees with required paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19, from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Eligible Employers may claim tax credits for qualified leave wages paid to employees on leave due to paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19 for leave taken beginning on April 1, 2020, and ending on December 31, 2020.

To learn more about these tax credits and how to apply click here.


Financial FAQs


Many organizations - foundations, government agencies, private institutions are offering grants to support organizations impacted by COVID-19.

Check out the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits 2020 Grants Directory - Special COVID Edition for a list of grant opportunities!


Fiscal Strength for Nonprofits has a great toolbox with great resources for nonprofits managing their PPP loans. The toolbox is updated regularly to adhere to the most recent SBA guidance.

Click here to check out their toolbox!


Paycheck Protection Program loans are designed to be fully forgivable as long as they are used in accordance with the SBA guidance requirements. Under the Paycheck Protection Program the amount of the loan eligible for forgiveness is equal to:

  • Payroll expenses, including salaries paid to employees and contractors of $100K or less (and as long as compensation and employee levels are maintained)
  • Benefits (healthcare, non-COVID-19 sick/family leave)
  • Rent and/or mortgage interest (over the 8-week period after the loan is made)
  • Utilities (over the 8-week period after the loan is made)
  • Debt service (over the 8-week period after the loan is made)


Click here to check out their toolbox!


Loan forgiveness is not available for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, however, the loan advance of $10,000 is considered a grant if it is used to cover:

  • Payroll expenses, including salaries paid to employees and contractors
  • Benefits (healthcare, non-COVID-19 sick/family leave)
  • Paid sick leave due to COVID-19
  • Increases in supply costs due to supply chain interruptions
  • Debt service




Operational FAQs


There are a number of great resources to keep on top of the changing coronavirus situation:

MACC's COVID-19 Nonprofit Response Page: Check out MACC's COVID-19 response page for up to date legislative, funding, equity, return to work, and other resource hubs as well as upcoming virtual COVID-19 related events.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Get the facts about the coronavirus and the most up to date health and safety information relating to COVID-19.

CDC Business and Workplace Resources: resources to help employers and employees plan, prepare, and respond to the pandemic.

The State of Minnesota's COVID-19 Response Hub: a central resource for everything related to MN's pandemic response.

Testing Locations: a resource to look up testing locations in MN.

Business & Organization Resources: resources for businesses and organizations to adapt to the changes mandated by the pandemic

Guidance & Resources for Employers: resources for employers and guidance for responding to and interpreting pandemic related rules and regulations

The World Health Organization: for a global perspective and updates on what is going on with COVID-19 worldwide.


LegalCorps is a local organization that specializes in connecting volunteer lawyers with nonprofits and small businesses. Their COVID-19 information hub has many great resources to help organizations untangle the legal questions brought up by COVID-19 legislation.

Click here to learn more about LegalCorps








Ask MACC is made possible by funding support from:

Otto Bremer Trust
Minnesota Council on Foundations' Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund (MDRF) for Coronavirus
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
James B. Linsmayer Foundation, managed by Wells Fargo


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