Information for Maine Nonprofits During COVID-19
Reopening to the Public and Restarting Maine's Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Maine’s economy. Like our peers in the corporate sector, nonprofit organizations are assessing when and how to safely reopen offices, resume or expand in-person services, and reimagine work.
One thing is clear: nonprofits are a vital part of Maine’s current and future economy.
Below we are compiling resources and tools to help nonprofits navigate “reopening” Maine’s economy during and after the coronavirus pandemic. If your organization is developing tools to support other nonprofit organizations, let us know!
Reopening with Purpose: Guidance for Maine Nonprofits Impacted by the Pandemic
MANP has developed a nonprofit-specific guidebook to assist nonprofits in shaping their plans to reopen offices and re-engage with the public. Learn more and download your free copy!
State + Federal Plans
- April 28th, Governor Mills outlined a phased plan to restart Maine’s economy
- May 8th, Governor Mills introduced a Rural Reopening Plan
- October 6th, Governor Mills Gov. Janet Mills announced the state will be entering Stage 4 of Reopening. Her Executive Order also expands the face covering mandate to more groups including private schools and municipalities. The order also expands enforcement to the whole state and not just coastal towns and cities.
- Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has created checklists of best practices for safely operating during COVID-19.
- There are also checklists for some specific industries, but they do not yet provide clear guidance to many nonprofit industries. MANP continues to advocate with state officials for more direction. As more nonprofit-related industries are addressed we will add them in the mission-area specific section below.
- In order to open, businesses must commit to complying with the requirements of these checklists by filling out the brief COVID-19 Checklist Compliance Form
- Weekly updates with MDECD Commissioner Heather Johnson, Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30pm (Zoom link & schedule at https://www.maine.gov/decd/home).
- CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2020.
Advice for Boards
- When to “Return”: Questions Nonprofit Executives Need to Think About (BoardSource)
- Find more about the board’s role and strategy development
- Recorded Webinar: Beyond the Curve: Preparing for Re-Entry to the Workplace (UST, June 11) – tips on preparing to welcome employees back to the office while maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations related to the Coronavirus (UST)
- Recorded Webinar: “What Does “Open” Look Like?“ (Mainebiz, May 21)
- Recorded Webinar: 1,2,3, Green Light? Critical Steps for Successful Workplace Re-Entry (Nonprofit HR)
- General Guidance (The general checklist has been translated into Arabic, French, Somali and Spanish.)
- Maine DCED guidance for indoor and outdoor gatherings
- Maine DCED guidance for Public and Community Buildings
- Getting It Right: Diversity and Equity in the Age of COVID-19 (NonprofitQuarterly) – includes important considerations for reopening
- Portland Regional Chamber’s Back to Business toolkit
- CDC guidance for communities, schools, workplaces and events
- OSHA guidance related to COVID-19
- Are Nonprofits Ready to Reopen? What Do We Need? (May 14, NonprofitQuarterly)
- A Common Sense Guide for Returning to the Post COVID-19 Workplace
- Take 10: Resume & Thrive Strategies (Nonprofit Risk Management Center)
- Managing Resumption Risks (Nonprofit Risk Management Center)
- Returning to the Workplace: Legal Obligations and Risks (ASAE)
- COVID-19: Best practice considerations for resuming work in an office setting (Norton Rose Fulbright)
- Back to Business After COVID-19: Legal Considerations When Rehiring Employees (Fox Rothschild, LLC)
- System Change: A Roundtable Discussion on COVID, Nonprofits & the Economy (May 26, NonprofitQuarterly)
Industry/Mission-Area Specific Tools
*Note – many of the MDCED lists are being regularly updated, so cross-check the MDCED website to see if there is more updated guidance than what is listed below
- Camps, Summer Education Programs & Outdoor Recreation
- MDCED Checklist: Day Camps and Summer Recreation
- MDCED Checklist: Community Sports
- MDCED Checklist: Summer Education Programming (DOE)
- MDCED Checklist: Overnight Summer Camps (updated 6/24/20)
- MDCED Checklist: Wilderness campsite guidance from DACF (PDF)
- MDECD indicates sporting camps should follow the guidance for restaurants and lodging.
- CDC info for childcare, schools and youth programs
- Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance (American Camp Association and YMCA of the USA) – in-depth advice expanding on the CDC’s one-page decision-making tool for youth programs and camps during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CDC guidance for parks and recreation (including graphics)
- Performing Arts:
- MDCED Checklist: Performing Arts Venues
- Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide
- Reopen Every Venue Safely
- 2020-21 Season Planning Guide for Community Choruses
- Performing Arts Center Consortium’s Guide to Reopening Theatrical Venues
- Museums + Libraries
- MDCED Checklist: Museums
- Maine Library Commission approved COVID-19 Prevention Checklist: Public Library Guidance (May 20, 2020)
- Reopening Plans: Resources for Libraries
- Re-opening Supplies Purchasing List (PDF with clickable links)
- Churches + Faith-Based Groups
- Health and Human Services:
- MDCED Checklist: Health care guidance from DHHS (PDF) (updated 5/12/20)
- CDC Checklist for Homeless Service Providers During Community Re-opening
- Tribal Communities
- The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) understands that not every sort of business is described in the phased outline set forth in the Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. To address this, DECD has established a way for individual businesses to submit a plan for reopening and request permission following that plan. If the function of your business is not listed in Phase I of Restarting Maine’s Economy, but you believe that it should be included, you may submit a request for consideration using this form. The portal asks for “a description of the service provided and details on how you would open safely.” I recommend that business owners filling out this form be very specific and detailed about what protective measures you will take to protect customers and staff.
Samples, Templates, Tools + Graphics
- CDC’s Cleaning & Disinfecting Decision Tool
- Return to Work Checklist (ThinkHR)
- Return to Work Considerations: Postings & Policies (ThinkHR)
- Employee Notice: Face Covering Policy (ThinkHR)
- Employee Furlough Recall Letter (ThinkHR)
- Employee Welcome Back Letter (ThinkHR)
- Graphic: Face Covering Do’s & Don’ts (CDC)
- Poster: Stay Home When Sick (CDC)
- Flyer/Handout: How to Protect Yourselves and Others (CDC)
- Many other graphics/flyers/signs (CDC)
- Maine DECD has created badges (for businesses that have used the checklist and filled out the compliance form) to voluntarily post on their doors, website or social media channels to help instill consumer confidence in their operations.
Input + Feedback
- U.S. Labor Department is inviting employers to provide input on “Opening America’s Workplaces Again National Online Dialogue.” The public – including employers, workers, local authorities and advocacy groups – is invited to share ideas on six topics: 1) Reopening businesses; 2) commuting safely; 3) working safely; 4) accommodating members of vulnerable populations; 5) supporting America’s families; and 6) reducing regulatory burdens. Please weigh in here.
- The Mills administration is using this comment form to collect input on their plans/approach to re-open the economy.
Maine’s Economic Recovery – The Big Picture
Planning for “reopening” is taking place within the broader context of conversations about Maine’s economic recovery and economic development. In May 2020, Governor Mills formed an Economic Recovery Committee to develop specific policy recommendations to stabilize the state’s economy and build a bridge to future prosperity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. MANP’s Executive Director, Jennifer Hutchins, serves on this committee. Learn more about the committee’s work.