Kentucky Nonprofits & COVID-19/Coronavirus

Last updated April 8, 2020

KNN is actively monitoring recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are in frequent communication with colleagues in Kentucky, at the National Council of Nonprofits, and other state nonprofit associations across the country. During this challenging time, nonprofits have an important leadership role: you are tasked with your personal health, the health of your team, and your role in serving the community effectively. We are all in uncharted territory, but KNN is committed to continuing to curate the latest resources to help you stay safe and meet your mission. 
Stay connected with KNN and your colleagues

We need to hear from YOU!

Kentucky Nonprofit NetworkGrantmakers of Kentucky, and regional partners are gathering needed information from Kentucky’s nonprofits about the impact of COVID-19. We have developed a rapid response poll that will take roughly 10-12 minutes to complete. Your responses are critical and will enable KNN, GOK and other partners to determine the resources needed. The inital survey deadline was Thursday, March 19, however we encourage one representative from your organizaiton to complete the survey if you haven't, and you are welcome to revisit the survey to share information as your circumstances change (please have the same person update the survey). Click the button below to take the survey. 


      Relief/Loans Available for Nonprofits


      • Governor Beshear has issued policy changes that make unemployment insurance more available to people who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus, including waiving the one-week waiting period for receiving benefits and the requirement that recipients prove they are actively looking for work. Click here for more information (Kentucky Career Center).
      • Unemployment Insurance & How it Works (WFPL)
      • More on Self-Insured Nonprofits and Unemployment Insurance from National Council of Nonprofits and NC Center for Nonprofits
      • Note: even if individuals are unsure if they will qualify, they are urged to apply.

      Medicaid & Other Assistance

      Important Information about COVID-19/Coronavirus

      • For the latest information on the Coronavirus in Kentucky, including community guidance, please visit
      • KY COVID-19 Hotline (800) 722-5725
      • To view a list of COVID-19 symptoms from the CDC, click here.
      • For tips from the CDC on how to protect yourself from COVID-19, click here

      How might nonprofits be affected?

      With the news changing rapidly and the number of cases in Kentucky growing, nonprofits should prepare for a wide range of impacts, including:
      • staff and volunteer absences,
      • disruption of services to your clients and communities,
      • disruption of supplies or services provided by your partners,
      • cancellation of programs or events offered for your clients and communities,
      • cancellation of fundraising events and corresponding reduced revenue,
      • increased demand for services/support from your clients and communities,
      • budgetary implications related to strains on the economy. Since nonprofits often operate in a marginal financial position, these sorts of impacts are difficult to absorb.

      Policies & Procedures

        • The policies you have in place may depend on the nature of your work, but everyone can benefit from planning a response. This should include having the right supplies, training, and procedures in place to protect your employees and clients.
        • Review your policies related to illness and sick leave to ensure your policies and practices are consistent with public health recommendations, as well as existing state and federal workplace laws and pandemic recommendations. Prepare for the possibility of increased numbers of employee absences due to illness, caregiving responsibilities, school closures, etc. Is there documentation that could be updated or cross-training that could be done in the event of key staff members being absent? Consider offering paid sick leave if at all possible. 
        • As of March 16, Governor Beshear recommends that businesses utitilize telecommuting and allow employees to work from home if possibleDoes your nonprofit have the policies (and technology) in place to support remote work so that when appropriate, employees can get what they need done at home? See more telecommuting tips below. If staff must be present at the office, allow and encourage staff to spread out as space permits.
        • Develop a plan for communicating with your employees in a rapidly changing environment. For example, how will employees be updated if a policy is revised to align with new recommendations?
        • Consider whether you can continue paying employees if you are closed, or if they are quarantined. Communicate this information with staff clearly and frequently.
        • If your building is open to staff and/or clients, become familiar with your building management cleaning protocols. Share with any impacted staff.
        • Update your staff emergency information. Store that data in secure, easily-accessible (cloud-based) locations. 
        • If your organization doesn’t have a business continuity plan or hasn’t revisited it in a while, now is a good time to do so.  Here are a couple of samples for starters:


        Event & Program Planning

            • As of March 16, Governor Beshear advised that all community gatherings be canceled. There is no recommended end date for this. Here are some issues to consider when cancelling upcoming events and when planning for future events:
              • What additional steps need to be factored in to your event planning timeline? What’s your deadline for making a decision about cancelling an event?
              • When and how will you communicate with attendees and partners? Who needs to be involved in decision-making and how will you keep stakeholders informed? Do you need to consult with experts to help you evaluate risks?
              • What is the impact of cancelling an event or program on your revenue (from sponsors or attendees)? How can you plan for or mitigate this risk? Are there conversations you can be having with partners up front so there are no unpleasant surprises? Consider reaching out to your insurance broker to explore event insurance to mitigate impact in the case you need to cancel something important to your bottom line.
            • Coronavirus: What You Need to Know About Cancelling an Event and Liability RisksEvent (Feb. 21, 2020)
            • ​For future event planning, consider going online. Host a virtual conference, live-stream your speakers, and use social media to provide video content and other programming.


            Financial Management & Risk Management


            Human Resources


            Comprehensive Resources for Nonprofits

            Issues to consider when managing your workplace, both in-house and remotely:

            • Talk with your team at regular staff meetings. Reassure your team that you care about their health and safety, and listen to their concerns. Let them know that you will continue to watch for recommendations from public health officials about whether you need to make any changes to how you do your work or deliver programs. Remind employees of your organization's policies related to illness and sick leave. Consider offering paid sick leave if at all possible. 
            • If at all possible, allow and arrange for employees to work from home. As of March 16, Governor Beshear recommends that businesses utitilize telecommuting and allow employees to work from home if possibleMany, but not all, workplaces have arranged for this. If staff must be present at the office, allow and encourage staff to spread out as space permits.
            • Review and update policies and procedures (see below).
            • Be proactive when considering event and program planning (see below). 
            • Hang posters with important safety information. If your office is open to staff and/or clients, make sure you have posters in visible locations throughout your building. These posters encourage staying home when sickcough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene. This “Stop the Spread of Germs” poster from the CDC is available in EnglishSpanish, and/or Simplified Chinese. Share and post trusted infographics like this one from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
            • Share these 30-second PSAs with your staff and community (Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky). PSA topics are: Mental Health, Call First, and Stay Home.
            • Be a voice for civility & healing. Be aware that some Asian Americans have been experiencing increased racism. Leaders should be prepared to recognize, respond to and prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin. Maintain confidentiality regarding the health of specific employees or clients. Speak out if you see this happening. (Seattle & King County Public Health in Washington developed a great infographic.)
            • Encourage workplace destressing activities. Whether employees are working from home or office, it's important to remember the importance of mental health. Combating stress is important under even normal conditions, but even more so in times like this. Encourage staff and volunteers to engage in workplace destressing activities. Click here for simple ideas from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, and click here for more information from the CDC.
            • Even if employees are working from home, encourage a regular schedule as much as possible. Be flexible, especially knowing that some employees may have children home from school and other special circumstances, but try to keep your organization operating as you would in-person. This sense of normalcy and routine has been seen to be helpful in times of stress, for both employers and employees. 
            • Know your rights as an employer. Keeping your workforce healthy is likely top of mind. Still, you may worry about the risks of approaching health-related issues with your employees. The EEOC reminds employers that it is well within their rights to encourage or require employees who are experiencing flu-like symptoms during a pandemic to leave the workplace.

              General COVID-19 Information

              Help us help you!

              How is the pandemic affecting your nonprofit and the people you serve? Share your stories and questions to help KNN identify and develop resources and continue to be your advocate with our state and federal officials and our colleagues in philanthropy. If you would like to see other resources on this page, please click here to let us know.