SC Legislature Directs $25M CARES Act Funds to Nonprofits

Posted By: Madeleine McGee Covid-19 Response, Speaking Together,

UPDATE:  September 23rd, the Legislature adopted H.3210, the state’s CARES Act Phase 2 funding allocation that includes a fund for grants to Nonprofits and the Governor signed. See this blog for application process.

In the Bill:

  • $25 million - Total Nonprofit Grant Program

  • Grant Range: $2,500 - $50,000
    Full application details have not been set, however a deadline to apply of November 1 is in the bill.

  • Eligibility
    We think all nonprofits are eligible, though the bill sets a certain number of priority areas who move to the front of the line for support. These are service areas that have either been hit hardest (arts), and others who have seen demand increase dramatically.

  • Grants Panel
    A panel of Agency heads or their designees will review all grant applications. The Department of Administration (DOA) will staff the grant program and most likely manage all final application details and further guidance.

  • Eligible Expenses: COVID-Related Costs
    If you were awarded a PPP loan, or other CARES Act support, you cannot use those same expenses for this grant. There is still some guidance needed on exactly how that will be determined by the state. Look for more guidance once the Grant Panel and the Department of Administration get working on the application process.

What’s Next?

The Governor is expected to sign this bill into law. Then, the grant application and process will be established (led by the Department of Administration). Together SC will of course help share all information as we receive it. 

We encourage every nonprofit to apply for this funding when it becomes available.

We also need everyone to send a note of “Thanks” to their legislator. Write a note or if easier use the SCAA link below.

Media links 

The State's coverage  

Let Your Legislators Know Governmental Support is Needed.

The state has $670 million in remaining CARES Act funding from the federal government that it is allocating this week.

This money must be spent by December 30, or be returned to the federal government. These funds have federal restrictions on what they can be used for - COVID-related expenses (not loss of revenue, general operating, etc).

Both the House and Senate have adopted their versions of H.3210, CARES Act Phase 2 funding.

Both versions include a Nonprofit Grant Program - The House version is $25 million; the Senate version is $20 million.

Here's the step-by-step of action taken to-date.

Read SC Arts Alliance's breakdown of the differences between the two versions here.


The House and Senate Conference Committee members met Tuesday, September 22 and developed a compromise version which should be posted here by Sept. 23: H.3210

A final vote will be held tomorrow.  

House Conferees:

  • Rep. Bill Clyburn (Aiken, Edgefield & Saluda)
  • Rep. Murrell Smith (Sumter)
  • Rep. Kirkman Finlay (Richland)

Senate Conferees:

  • Sen. Vincent Sheheen (Kershaw, Chesterfield, Lancaster)
  • Sen. Thomas Alexander (Pickens, Oconee)
  • Sen. Tom Davis (Beaufort, Jasper)


Contact your legislators and thank them for their hard work!