Infrastructure Bill KO’s 4th Q ERTC Funding

Last week, the bi-partisan $1.2 trillion-dollar Infrastructure Bill (known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) was passed by House after passing the Senate in August, and it is now waiting for the President to sign. This provides much needed spending on America’s roads, railways, and other transportation systems.

Unfortunately, in order to pay for the Bill, some of the funds earmarked under the CARES Act and succeeding bills were redeployed to help cover the tab for the Infrastructure Bill, the most significant of which was the 4th quarter Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) funding. For many companies and organizations that are still experiencing revenue declines of 20% or more attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, this means an end to the ERTC funds that have been helping to stabilize their financial operations … and as we have seen a lot during the everchanging flow of CARES Act relief/support and COVID related regulations, the change is retroactive to October 1, 2021, the beginning of the quarter. While we have been warning businesses that this could happen, for those that have been relying on ERTC funding to help pay their staff, this will still have a sharp sting.

Please note that this bill is separate from the Build Back Better (BBB) Act which has gone through several revisions and still has yet to be introduced for a vote. The BBB Act is where the majority of the significant tax changes that have been proposed and discussed over the last month will be enacted. As part of passing this current Infrastructure Bill, the House agreed to a future vote on the BBB Act, which many wanted to pass in unison. The size of the BBB Act has significantly decreased from its original proposal and still does not yet have full democratic senate support; it will require all 50 democratic senators to pass. Until the negotiations have hit a point where the Democrats are confident it will pass, the changes in the BBB Act are still very fluid and could still change further. Once that bill becomes closer to enactment, we will share the impactful changes…whatever they may ultimately be.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us … Staying Connected.

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight

We were delighted to spend some time with Tara Zier CEO and Founder of the Stiff Person Syndrome Research Foundation. The Foundation is one of 50 patient-led organizations that are strengthening rare disease communities, improving diagnosis, accelerating research, and driving progress in the fight against rare diseases through the Rare As One Network. Tara’s story is eye-opening and inspiring. Her story is one that teaches us that will, determination, and tenacity are often the driving forces behind creating awareness and finding cures for these rare diseases.

NRH: Tara, can you tell us about yourself. How and why did you choose this organization to work with?

TZ: My motivation for creating this organization is two-fold. First, the need. Second, my kids. At an appointment with Dr. Newsome at Johns Hopkins he commented, “We applied for a grant from NIH but were denied because there wasn’t enough research to support getting the grant.” That was an epiphany for me. I was in a ton of pain, barely functioning with no good treatment options available. I couldn’t sit around waiting for a solution. I was the solution. That’s why I started The Stiff Person Syndrome Research Foundation to raise awareness and funds for better treatments and a cure.

Research for rare diseases is dependent on individual donations or grant opportunities. Even though I can’t work as a dentist anymore, I am focusing on what I can do. Leading this organization has become my new purpose. Even If I were cured tomorrow, I would continue to advocate for rare diseases. There is a dire need for support, research, and leadership in the rare disease space.

I want to be an example to my children and show them that no matter what hand you are dealt, you can still thrive, be happy, and make a difference in the world.

NRH: Tell us what your goals are for your organization this coming year?

TZ: Fundraising – We need the funds to support the research and the people conducting it. Rare diseases typically don’t get the funding that other diseases do. Some institutions are unable to get funding to hire fellows to pursue research, which is a recurring annual cost. Our organization currently funds research at a top institution (Johns Hopkins) that essentially had been unfunded

prior to our involvement. We want to be positioned to financially support the best research wherever it is conducted. Lack of awareness of SPS and our small but growing size hamper our ability to raise money. With more significant funding we can expedite research into biomarker discovery with SPS, in turn leading to better, targeted treatments and a cure.

Outreach – Even if we enlisted every patient with SPS around the world, we would still be a tiny network compared to many other well-known diseases. The more people know about our organization’s work, the more patients, physicians, researchers, and the general public will become aware of this disease, speeding diagnosis, accelerating the pace of treatment, and providing candidates and data for research. The medical research for SPS can also inform us about other autoimmune diseases processes, expanding the community that is affected.

NRH: Tell us about one success story you are really proud of.

TZ: The SPSRF applied to participate in the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative program “Rare As One” — and we got in! It offers incredible networking, organizational, and financial support for groups like ours in the rare disease space. We worked tirelessly over months to make this happen – and had tremendous support, generosity, and participation from friends of the foundation, like the doctor who told us about the grant,

a doctor with SPS who helped with some of the medical verbiage and my own neurologist who shared his medical expertise. This is just the beginning! We might be Rare As One but we are so much stronger together!

NRH: What is the biggest challenge to working in the nonprofit industry (or with your organization in particular) since the start of the pandemic?

TZ: Fundraising was, and still is, the biggest challenge for us as a nonprofit in a pandemic. In such an uncertain environment, you have to be sensitive to the fact that so many people lost jobs, or had uneven childcare, and were already possibly overwhelmed with their own health situation. We did our best to be a positive influence in the rare disease and SPS community, lifting people up and bringing people together (albeit virtually) until this passes or we all adjust to the new normal.

NRH: What’s the latest event you are promoting for your organization and how

can the community get involved to support you?

TZ: Like so many other nonprofits at this time of year, we are really coalescing our

efforts behind year-end fundraising, and being grateful for the robust community of support that will usher us in our two-year anniversary!

Last year, we rallied behind a patient with SPS who is an outlier – he can run for many miles every day. From December to January, he ran 547 miles across his home in southern Australia (twice!) to bring attention to SPS. Other supporters of The SPSRF adopted and adapted the feat, and created a “547 Challenge,” where participants do reps, steps, or miles while raising funds. 

We will be launching the 547 Challenge 2.0 this year!

NRH: What are you most looking forward to as a new Nonprofit Partner with the


TZ: Building a community with other nonprofits so we can offer each other

support and learn from each other.

NRH: What services would you love NRH to provide nonprofit organizations


Connection to other rare disease organizations, knowledge resources, message amplification, and possibly a virtual international conference.

NRH: How can we get in touch with you?

TZ: Visit, like and follow us on social (Facebook, Instagram,

LinkedIn, Twitter) or email us directly at

NRH: We want to thank Tara for sharing her story with us and for educating us about Stiff Person Syndrome and her plight to raise money and awareness to support the critical research needed to help people touched by rare diseases.

AM Member Spotlight: November Newsletter

The NRH would like to welcome one of our newest Associate Members, Jennifer C. Loftus, National Director at Astron Solutions. We sat down with Jennifer to find out more about her, her company, and how she helps serve the nonprofit industry.

NRH: Tell us about Astron Solutions and the services it provides.

JL:  Founded in 1999, Astron Solutions is a New York City-based consulting firm dedicated to the delivery of human resources consulting services and supportive technology. Astron’s focus is to develop and implement human resources programs that support the strategic direction of organizations through the creation of a positive employee relations environment.  

Throughout our 22 years of consulting under the Astron brand, our focus has been on the design and implementation of programs that impact an organization’s two most important human resources concerns: rising human resources costs and retaining qualified staff. Astron’s consulting services focus on the areas of total cash compensation, employee surveys, reward & recognition, performance management, and employee communication.  In addition, Astron Solutions offers organizations a complete, customized human resources package including advice, innovative program design, and user-friendly cloud-based software through our proprietary technology suite, Flare®.

The majority of our clients are non-profit organizations including healthcare, education, services, public sector, long-term care, and associations. Astron Solutions has primarily served these types of organizations since our founding. We are sensitive to this demographic’s unique fiscal and regulatory concerns, and develop Human Resource programs that address these specific needs.

Additionally, the majority of our clients are small- and mid-sized. We understand the difficulties organizations of these sizes may have recruiting and retaining employees when competing with larger organizations. We partner with our clients to understand their specific situations and develop final products that enable them to successfully recruit, retain, and motivate their most valuable asset – their people.

NRH: Can you tell us a little about your role at Astron Solutions?

JL: I am one of the Founding Partners of and a National Director for Astron Solutions.  Each day is different for me!  I spend a good amount of my time working directly with clients on market analyses, compensation strategies, and compensation system implementation plans.  I also work with Boards of Directors on nonprofit Executive Compensation analyses related to the IRS Intermediate Sanctions.  When I’m not working directly on client engagements, I focus on business development activities, including speaking engagements at conferences across the country.  My role also entails oversight of internal support activities, including Human Resources and Finance.

NRH: Can you tell us a little about your team at Astron Solutions?

JL:  With over a century of consulting and HR experience, our team is well versed in the nuances of compensation and HR technology.  While everyone works out of our New York City office, we come from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences.  Our team is diverse on multiple dimensions, underscoring our commitment to reflecting the reality of the clients we serve.  We’re currently growing our team as well!  Because of the strong demand for the services we provide, we will be adding one or two new team members in the coming weeks.  You can learn more about our core team at  

NRH: What is Astron Solutions’ motto?

JL:  Unique.  Affordable.  Friendly.  Our compensation solutions are uniquely tailored to each client, to reflect and support their specific needs, culture, strategy, and employee population.  Our fees are affordable for even the smallest nonprofits, providing value many times over.  In addition, we operate under a flat-fee billing model – no hourly charges or expenses here!  Individually and collectively, we are a friendly group.  We love what we do, and that joy permeates each of our client engagements.  We create a supportive environment for our clients, one where they can comfortably ask questions and learn from the consulting experience.

NRH: Jennifer, can you tell us what the three most important things are when determining an employee’s salary?

JL:  Absolutely!  First, what is your organization’s total rewards philosophy?  Knowing your relevant labor market is critical when making salary determinations.  That relevant labor market may include specific types of organizations, geographic region(s), and organizational sizes.  Compensation can vary greatly across all these factors.  Second, what does your organization value?  Some organizations value performance, while others focus on education and/or experience.  Still, others want to recognize employee tenure.  Compensation is both art and science – your organization’s values as expressed through compensation focuses on the art, so make sure that art reflects who your organization is.  And third, what impact does a salary change for this employee mean for others in the same job title, or others at the same level in the organization?  Employees talk.  Pay equity is a hot topic in today’s world.  A salary adjustment for one employee should not create inequities for others.

NRH: What would you say is the key to a nonprofit organization’s success?

JL: The key to a nonprofit’s success is its employees.  While it sounds clichéd, it’s true!  Nonprofits distinguish themselves from their competition by the services they provide, the knowledge they bring, and the relationships they build.  These all come from people.  As such, it’s essential that employers treat their employees fairly and in a manner that supports positive employee relations.  If employers don’t do these things, their employees will undoubtedly have little trouble finding work elsewhere.

NRH: What are the goals for Astron Solutions as you move forward into the future?

JL:   Looking to 2022 and beyond, here at Astron we plan on continuing to grow our practice!  Compensation has moved to the forefront of the national conversation thanks to initiatives such as minimum wage increases, the pay equity movement, and the social justice movement.  We are excited to share our knowledge and expertise in compensation with organizations that want to position themselves for success in the coming months and years.  We’re also exploring additional ways to give back to the HR profession and the nonprofit sector through new surveys, resources, and volunteer efforts.

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