In this alert, we cover what nonprofits need to know and do to prepare for a government shutdown.

What To Know:


If Congress Fails to Pass a Budget, There Will be a Government Shutdown. 

The federal government’s new fiscal year begins on October 1, but the necessary budget bills have not yet been passed by Congress. Members of the House and Senate are attempting to resolve the impasse, but even if they succeed, there may not be time to secure passage for the twelve different budget bills before the fiscal year ends on September 30.


Non-Essential Services Will Cease in a Shutdown.

Without appropriations in place, all non-essential government offices will be closed, and all non-essential personnel will be furloughed without pay. Essential services will continue, but even those staff members may not be paid during the shutdown.

A shutdown could have significant effects on your operations. First and foremost, you will likely not receive any payments on government grants and contracts. In addition, your nonprofit may collaborate with government personnel who won’t be available, or rely on use of government sites that won’t be accessible. Your staff and stakeholders may have travel delays, and so on.


What To Do:


Reach Out to Federal Agencies Today.

If your nonprofit has a current government contract or grant, it is urgent that you reach out to the relevant program officer ASAP to discuss your situation. Agency personnel may have the discretion to approve a disbursement before any shutdown begins, provide a no-cost extension, or even modify certain terms of the grant or contract. (Ask for written confirmation of any changes, and do not make modifications of your own.)


Make Your Contingency Plans.

If you need help with cash flow projections, please contact YPTC at If you won’t be able to bridge the gap between payments during a shutdown, prepare a contingency plan. If it will be necessary to tap a line of credit, talk to the lender now–and arrange for board approvals, too. If you plan to draw from a cash reserve instead, that may also require permission. Communicate with your board proactively about these possibilities now.


Let YPTC’s Government Funding Department Assist You.

YPTC’s Government Funding Department can help you! We can help clients reach out to their agency contacts, or even approach foundation funders for emergency support. The Department is also ready to assist you with your ongoing needs finding and applying for federal funding.