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Cambridge Non-Profit Recovery Fund

The Cambridge Non-profit Recovery Fund (the “Program”) is a special grant program providing relief to local eligible non-profit organizations that have experienced negative economic impacts due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible non-profits can receive up to $150,000 for their organization.

The application deadline was July 7, 2023. The City of Cambridge is no longer accepting applications.


If you need assistance completing this application or have questions, please email NPRF@cambridgema.gov and someone will assist you.

Tips and FAQs

My Organization serves primarily within Cambridge, however our offices are located outside of the city. Are we Eligible for the grant?

Unfortunately the Program is limited to those non-profits located WITHIN Cambridge city limits, AND serving Cambridge residents.

My Organization was smaller prior to the Pandemic but grew to meet the demands of the Community due to the Pandemic. Do we qualify, even if we did not have financial losses due to funding?

Yes, because you have an increased operating cost, directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Because the range of what can be allocated is up to $150,000, how will the amount awarded for successful candidates be determined?

Amounts awarded will be based on verified loss. Conduit will make recommendations to the City who will have the final decision. 

Can this include demonstrating cutbacks/loss in staffing? What if an organization didn’t experience revenue loss, but only because they worked with a more skeletal staff and operated on a shoestring budget?

Yes, funds can be used to restore prepandemic employment. In response to comments and recognizing underinvestment in public sector employment, the final rule expands the ability to use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) funds to restore prepandemic employment. Treasury is also clarifying how, and the extent to which, recipients may use SLFRF funds to rehire public employees. The final rule provides two options to restore prepandemic employment, depending on recipient’s needs. Under the first and simpler option, recipients may use SLFRF funds to rehire staff for prepandemic positions that were unfilled or were eliminated due the pandemic without undergoing further analysis. Under the second option, the final rule provides recipients an option to hire above the prepandemic baseline, by adjusting the prepandemic baseline for historical growth in public sector employment over time, as well as flexibility on roles for hire. Recipients may choose between these options but cannot use both.

Do you prioritize one category of funding vs another: in other words, do you prioritize social justice nonprofits vs arts/culture organizations?

No. The only prioritization is for organizations who have not received any other grant/funding previously.

What is the designation of grantees (sub-recipient, vendor) and what are the reporting requirements for grant recipients?

A recipient (City of Cambridge) can provide funds to an entity, including a nonprofit organization, for the purpose of directly benefiting the entity as a result of the entity experiencing a public health impact or negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this instance, these entities will be considered beneficiaries, not subrecipients, and will not be expected to comply with subrecipient reporting requirements. Beneficiary reporting requirements will apply.

What paperwork is required to show a loss? Statement of Operations, Statement of Financial Position, Audited financials?

Applicants are required to submit a Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet) and a Statement of Financial Position (Profit and Loss Statement), along with Federal Form 990.  

Where audited data is not available, recipients are not required to obtain audited data. The Department of Treasury expects all information submitted to be complete and accurate.

How many years of financial documentation are we required to submit?

All applicants are required to submit financial documents to demonstrate their loss, however due to the unique situations faced by all organizations, further discussion with Conduit will possibly be needed.

What budget year should I utilize when applying for a grant? What if our organization was not in business in 2019 or 2020, but planned to open in 2020, but ended up opening in January 2021 due to loss of funders, etc.…?

Page 10 Final Rule Overview states “Calculate revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the public health emergency (i.e., last full fiscal year before January 27, 2020), called the base year Revenue.” If an applicant did not open until after January 27, 2020, the applicant will need to further discuss with Conduit, and may  need to provide additional documentation in order to determine the applicant’s eligibility.

Can a non-profit apply to more than one City grant and/or loan program?

Yes, a non-profit could apply to multiple CDBG-CARES ACT and/or ARPA grant programs and others as long as there is/was no duplication of benefits. Duplication of benefits means that a non-profit did not use two different grants for the same expense. For federal funded grants, non-profits will need to show they used the previous round of funds correctly before they were eligible to apply for this Program. 

Will there be any priority funding criteria given to applicants in grant funding for the new program?

Yes, in order to ensure that as many Cambridge nonprofits receive funding, all grant applicants who have not received any past funding from any ARPA/CDBG/Cares Act funding from the City will be considered first for funding, if the number of requests are more than the total funding available.

Are recipients expected to demonstrate that reduction in revenue is due to the COVID-19 public health emergency?

Under the final rule, any diminution in actual revenue calculated would be presumed to have been “due to” the COVID-19 public health emergency. Beneficiaries of funds under this Program are eligible for funds up to  $150,000, contingent on the applicant providing documentation is support of their loss.

Would investments in improving outdoor spaces (e.g., parks) be an eligible use of funds as a response to the public health emergency and/or its negative economic impacts?

There are multiple ways that investments in improving outdoor spaces could qualify as eligible uses; several are highlighted below, though there may be other ways that a specific investment in outdoor spaces would meet eligible use criteria.

First, in recognition of the disproportionate negative economic impacts on certain communities and populations, the final rule includes enumerated eligible uses in disproportionately impacted communities for developing neighborhood features that promote improved health and safety outcomes, such as parks, green spaces, recreational facilities, sidewalks, pedestrian safety features like crosswalks, projects that increase access to healthy foods, streetlights, neighborhood cleanup, and other projects to revitalize public spaces.

Second, recipients may provide assistance to disproportionately impacted small businesses. The final rule included rehabilitation of commercial properties, storefront improvements, and façade improvements as enumerated eligible assistance to these small businesses.

Third, recipients can assist small businesses, nonprofits, or other entities to create or enhance outdoor spaces to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., restaurant patios).
Recipients pursuing many of these uses should also note the eligibility standards for capital expenditures in the final rule, which are summarized on pages 30-31 of the Overview of the Final Rule.

May recipients use funds to replenish a budget stabilization fund, rainy day fund, or similar reserve account?

No. Funds made available to respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts are intended to help meet pandemic response needs and provide immediate stabilization for households and businesses. Contributions to rainy day funds and similar reserve funds would not address these needs or respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency but would rather be savings for future spending needs.

Similarly, funds made available for the provision of governmental services (to the extent of reduction in revenue) are intended to support direct provision of services to citizens. Contributions to rainy day funds are not considered provision of government services, since such expenses do not directly relate to the provision of government services.

May recipients use funds to pay interest or principal on outstanding debt?

No. Expenses related to financing, including servicing or redeeming notes, would not address the needs of pandemic response or its negative economic impacts. Such expenses would also not be considered provision of government services, as these financing expenses do not directly provide services or aid to citizens. This applies to paying interest or principal on any outstanding debt instrument, including, for example, short-term revenue or tax anticipation notes, or paying fees or issuance costs associated with the issuance of new debt. 

Additionally, a recipient can provide funds to an entity, including a nonprofit organization, for the purpose of directly benefiting the entity as a result of the entity experiencing a public health impact or negative economic impact of the pandemic. In this instance, these entities will be considered beneficiaries, not subrecipients, and will not be expected to comply with subrecipient reporting requirements. Beneficiary reporting requirements will apply.

Recipients should also be aware of the difference between “beneficiaries” and “sub-recipients.” Beneficiaries are households, small businesses, or nonprofits that can receive assistance based on impacts of the pandemic that they experienced.

Eligible Costs Timeframe

Your organization, as a beneficiary of an SLFRF award, may use SLFRF funds to cover eligible costs that your organization incurred during the period that begins on March 3, 2021 and ends on December 31, 2024, as long as the award funds for the obligations incurred by December 31, 2024 are expended by December 31, 2026. 

Costs for projects incurred by the recipient State, territorial, local, or Tribal government prior to March 3, 2021 are not eligible, as provided for in Treasury’s final rule. 

Recipients may, in certain circumstances, use SLFRF award funds for the eligible use categories described in Treasury’s final rule for costs incurred prior to March 3, 2021. 
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