Oklahoma Department of Commerce Announces ARPA for Nonprofits Relief Program

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (Commerce), in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, announced availability of grant funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for Nonprofits Relief program. For the program, $25 million was allotted by the Oklahoma Legislature from the state’s ARPA allocation to provide financial relief to nonprofit organizations in the state. Commerce was selected to administer the funds.  

“Oklahoma’s valuable nonprofit organizations support some of our most at-risk communities, and the pandemic placed an increased burden on their operations and funding sources,” said Brent Kisling, Commerce Executive Director. “This program has the potential to make a generational impact on our state, and I encourage organizations to get registered in preparation for the upcoming application process.” 

Beginning December 1, Commerce will begin accepting applications for the program. Applications must be submitted through grants.ok.gov. Organizations are required to pre-register through the portal before applying. Registration takes approximately five minutes, but approval may take up to two business days after the registration is submitted. Entities that are already registered through OKGrants do not need to register again. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, December 15. 

To qualify, nonprofit organizations must dedicate annual financial resources to one or more of the following activities: 

  • Providing food and shelter; 
  • Addressing and preventing homelessness; 
  • Providing certified behavioral health services; 
  • Addressing and preventing domestic violence; 
  • Addressing and preventing human trafficking. 

Additionally, the organizations must be: 

  • 501c3;
  • Operating in Oklahoma, serving Oklahomans;
  • Compliant with the Internal Revenue Service and the Oklahoma Tax Commission;
  • In good standing with the Oklahoma Secretary of State (must be either registered with the SOS or exempt from doing so);
  • Nonpartisan;
  • Able to document at least $1,000 in negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • And willing to enter into an agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

“For the nonprofit sector, COVID-19 is not over. We continue to see its impact on most organizations – their fundraising and financial strength, workforce and program stability and growth, among other areas,” said Marnie Taylor, President and CEO, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. “This relief funding will go a long way to help nonprofits address the ongoing needs of Oklahomans and hopefully be a catalyst for renewed sustainability within the sector.” 

Details on program eligibility, administrative processes and rules can be found at okcommerce.gov/arpa

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