COVID-19 Finance Resources for Congregations

April 16, 2020Moriah Benjoseph Nassau and Allison Gelman

We know that, right now, one of the primary concerns of many congregations is financial decision-making in the face of unprecedented financial realities. We’ve rounded up resources to help you find the most up-to-date recommendations, information, and support. 

1. Access savings and grants.

  • The Reform Movement Marketplace: We've recently launched this platform, which offers discounted personal protective equipment (PPE); licenses for livestreaming and virtual meetings; and other vital services to URJ member congregations.
  • Receive assistance when applying for a Federal grant to cover congregational salaries: The Small Business Administration is making $30 billion in loans available to small businesses, including synagogues. These loans cover salaries – including benefits, paid leave, severance, and more – up to $100,000 per employee, with a maximum loan amount of $10 million. In most cases, they can turn from loans to grants. The loans are offered on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, so you need to act immediately. The URJ has trained volunteers to help Reform congregations navigate the application process. 
  • [Webinar] The Payroll Protection Program and Your Congregation: We are partnering with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to offer this upcoming webinar (date and link TBD). Experts from the JFNA will discuss the unique questions synagogues have about the new guidance issued by the Small Business Administration regarding the Payroll Protection Program loan forgiveness application.

2. Navigate financial decisions.

3. Learn about fundraising during this moment in time.

Fundraising is already a challenging endeavor, but pile on our current state of affairs and the future feels daunting. We recently partnered with Amy Schiffman, consultant and coach from Giving Tree Associates, to provide a webinar on fundraising in the face of COVID-19Together, we uncovered strategies to continue building relationships with members and donors in a crisis environment. Topics included virtual galas, mailings, special campaigns, and solicitations during a time of extreme uncertainty, as well as how to develop a plan of action.

4. Connect with other leaders and experts across the Reform Movement.

Want to ask a specific question or access a myriad of finance-related resources? Join the conversation in the Finances group in The Tent.

At this moment, please remember the URJ is here to help and support you. We hope these resources help you make it through these difficult times with strength and hope. 

Looking for something more specific or want to review everything we have to offer? Check out the URJ’s COVID-19 Resources for Congregations landing page.


Moriah Benjoseph Nassau is an associate of the URJ Leadership Institute. Allison Gelman is a manager of the URJ Leadership Institute.

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the communications and collaboration network for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

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