United Way of Pennsylvania
UWP Update - April 14, 2017
Staff from Sen. Toomey, Sen. Casey, and Rep. Barletta tour a VITA site with UWP and UW of the Capital Region
UWP talks VITA benefits, recommended changes to tax policy with staff for PA Senators
The United Way of the Capital Region partnered with United Way of Pennsylvania to host a VITA site visit which showcased the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and provided an opportunity to advocate for improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit programs. Staff from the offices of Senator Casey, Senator Toomey and Representative Barletta participated in the event. 

United Way of the Capital Region markets the VITA partnership as the "Money in your pocket" campaign. They serve as the lead agency for a collaboration which encompasses 23 partners, such as financial institutions, higher education and VITA tax site hosts. Free tax preparation by trained volunteers is available at 15 sites around the three county region. 

United Way is advocating for improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit, including expanding eligibility to working people in the 21-24 age range, and increasing the EITC benefit for childless adults. Among those who would benefit from these changes are 30,000 PA veterans, 166,000 young workers and 61,000 rural workers. The top 3 occupations that would benefit are cashiers, cooks and laborers/ freight, stock and material movers. Please watch for opportunities to lend a voice of support for EITC changes when Congress gears up to debate tax reform. 

PA House passes a spending plan which makes additional cuts to the Governor's proposal 

On April 4, the PA House voted 114-84 to send a new state budget to the Senate for consideration. It is a $31.52 billion dollar proposal which is contained in HB 218. The spreadsheets are available here. This proposal spends $850 million less than the Governor's proposed budget. 

Several United Way budget priorities sustained cuts from the funding levels proposed by the Governor. This includes a reduction in the investment for more Pre-K and Head Start classrooms, to a $25 million increase. The Governor proposed $75 million, and United Way joined with the Pre-K for PA campaign to support this request. Child care and the Nurse Family Partnership Program were both reduced substantially. 

The budget envisions a consolidated Department of Health and Human Services, although there have been no votes to approve merging four departments into one. Several funding streams for local human services were cut significantly, including: Human Services Development Fund dollars, the Behavioral Health Services Initiative which funds some mental health and drug and alcohol services, mental health base funding and homeless assistance services were all reduced in the House budget. 

United Way of Pennsylvania opposes additional cuts to human services, and we are advocating for an increased investment of $75 million for high quality Pre-K and Head Start. 
United Way of Pennsylvania hosting regional 2-1-1 meetings in May
United Way of Pennsylvania is hosting two-part meetings in each of the PA 2-1-1 regions except the Northwest. Please see below for a schedule of the meetings and locations. All United Ways are encouraged to invite current and potential partners to the morning portion of the regional meetings. They will have the opportunity to learn more about all the changes that are happening with 2-1-1, and also to provide input about how 2-1-1 can help address existing needs in the community. In the afternoon, local United Ways will meet with their 2-1-1 provider for goal-setting and strategizing how best to support each other's work. 

We hope at least one representative of every local United Way will attend the meeting held in your region, and participate in the morning meeting with partners as well as the afternoon meeting for United Ways and 2-1-1. Please mark your calendar for the following: 

May 1, 2017 - Southwest Region 
Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus 

May 2, 2017 - Central Region
Blair County Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Dr., Altoona PA

May 15, 2017 - Northeast Region
Misericordia University - 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA Insalaco Hall Rooms 216-219

May 16, 2017 - Southeast Region
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA

May 17, 2017 - East Region
Penn State Berks Campus Multi-purpose room, Perkins Student Center, 1801 Broadcasting Rd., Reading PA  

June 1, 2017 - Southcentral Region
LCBC Church, 4150 Chamber's Hill Road, Harrisburg PA

UWW Advocacy Forum and Hill Day registration open 
Registration is now open for UWW's Advocacy Forum and Hill Day, which will be taking place Tuesday June 13 - Thursday, June 15.  This is a great opportunity to meet with our congressional delegation and discuss federal issues of importance to the United Way network.   This Hill Day will be important with the current uncertain political atmosphere and a new administration with some ambitious policy goals.

UWP members are encouraged to attend the conference to help UWP staff advocate for the health, financial stability, and education in our communities. We expect to be advocating for many important issues, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, federal appropriations and the charitable giving incentives in the tax code. UWP staff will schedule meetings with our US Senators' offices, and can accompany members on visits to their Representatives.  

There will be many issues covered during the forum, including:
  1. The basics of getting started in policy and advocacy
  2. Real Talk: Navigating controversial politicial issues such as healthcare reform
  3. Messaging our issues in a conservative political environment
  4. Engaging donors and affinity groups in advocacy causes 
  5. Deepening Board engagement in advocacy 
  6. Digital advocacy and invidual engagemnt 
  7. Connecting advocacy to fundraising 
For more information on the forum and to register, please click here. Flex credits can be used for this meeting.  
UWW Training: Engaging volunteers in campaign fundraising
UWW has put together a webinar training and guide on how you can better engage volunteers in campaign fundraising.  The webinar will be taking place on Thursday, April 21st at 2:30PM.  You can register for the webinar here.

In addition to this webinar, UWW has developed a toolkit to help guide you in engaging volunteers in campaign fundraising.  The toolkit includes information on:
  • The importance of an effective Cabinet
  • Foundations for success
  • Staff roles
  • Steps to managing a Cabinet
  • Volunteer Management process
  • Readiness resources
  • Tips from United Ways
  • Case studies
  • Success measures
To learn more information about this training opportunity please click here.  

National grants chart new plans for hospital and 2-1-1 partnerships
The national Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services announced funding for a couple of projects that include partnerships between hospitals and 2-1-1s.  

United Way of Cleveland received a $4.1 million grant to establish an Accountable Health Communities model which will embed seven 2-1-1 resource specialists into seven healthcare sites to address health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries through assessment, referral, and community navigation services. Read more hereIn Connecticut, 2-1-1 will work with six hospitals on another Accountable Health Communities model.