United Way of Pennsylvania
UWP Update - February 17, 2017
Rep. Stephen Bloom (Cumberland-R) speaking during UWP's PA 2-1-1 Day press conference at the State Capitol.
Local United Ways, 2-1-1s and legislators helped UWP celebrate 2-1-1 day

PA 2-1-1 Day was celebrated last Saturday, February 11th across the state by local United Ways and some of our state legislators! 

UWP participated in a press conference with Rep. Stephen Bloom (Cumberland-R) on Thursday, February 9th, to bring more awareness to 2-1-1 and the potential partnerships we can establish with the state to help implement 2-1-1 statewide. To view the press conference place click here

Take a look at some of the other 2-1-1 coverage we got across the state:

In addition to all of this media coverage, we saw a lot of #PA211Day tweets and Facebook posts.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's PA 2-1-1 Day celebrations great!

UWP's Public Policy Committee sets priorities for 2017-2018 PA budget 

United Way of Pennsylvania previously provided our members with analysis of the Governor's proposed budget and reaction from the legislature. Members who did not receive this information can find it on UWP's members only site. 

Overall, the Governor's budget address was received with some optimism due to the tone he struck about achieving cost savings and avoiding broad-based tax increases. There is still a significant gap between the Governor and the House and Senate majority over the issue of public employee pensions, and Republican legislators are also focused on "bending the cost curve" of health care and human services in the PA budget. Meanwhile, the task of balancing the state budget has not gotten easier, with January revenue collections coming in $50 million less than anticipated. This increases the 2016-2017 budget shortfall to $417 million on paper, but there are additional shortages stemming from gaming revenues which have not been implemented, as well as mandated costs which were not budgeted in the enacted agreement. 

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will begin holding budget hearings on February 21. These will continue through the rest of February and mid-March. At these hearings, legislators will ask questions of all state agency heads, as well as state related agencies and institutions of higher education, in order to gain a stronger understanding of the Governor's budget proposal. 

The United Way of Pennsylvania public policy committee established United Way's budget priorities for the 2017-2018 state budget. United Way is supporting increased state funding in strategic areas which will result in short or long-term cost savings to state government. United Way has not taken a position on revenue. These priorities will be communicated to the House and Senate leadership, as well as members of the Appropriations committees in each chamber, as the budget hearings get underway. 

United Way of Pennsylvania and our member organizations will advocate for the following: 

1) UWP supports a first-time appropriation of $1.5 million in state funding to begin implementing a public/private partnership between United Way and 2-1-1 to develop a statewide 2-1-1 system which adheres to national 2-1-1 quality standards. This will achieve additional cost savings for the state budget by:
  • breaking down information and referral silos of information
  • allowing multi-channel (including text and web access) to I and R services 24/7
  • providing one stop for constituents to find state and locally delivered services, funded through public or private sources, to help with their needs
  • Reducing redundancy currently caused by developing and maintaining multiple information and referral databases
  • Providing comprehensive referrals provided by trained call specialists who are accessing a complete and up to date database of public and private services available in a community
  • Using 2-1-1 data to measure the greatest unmet needs in our state so that all funders can make decisions about how to invest in services that achieve outcomes.
2) UWP supports an increased investment of $75 million in high quality early childhood education programs Pre-K for PA and Head Start. Studies show these investments benefit kids and will help reduce special education and corrections costs in future budgets.

3) UWP urges the Governor and the General Assembly to avoid additional cuts to human services.

4) UWP supports the consolidation of four independent state agencies into the new Department of Health and Human Services while maintaining current funding for services. Through this consolidation, we believe it is important that the following be achieved:
  • Streamlining of licensure requirements and single point of contact for all licensure requirements
  • Development of an organizational structure in which services are aligned by key populations and needs in PA: seniors, children, adults and children with disabilities, adult and child protective services. Basic needs supports (Food, housing/shelter, domestic violence) for all populations should be coordinated under one deputate.
  • Increased coordination of physical and behavioral health care
  • Coordinated case management for families who are receiving multiple services and supports
  • Increased focus on home and community based services for Pennsylvania's growing senior population
5) UWP asks the General Assembly and the Governor to make it a priority that the commonwealth budget be passed by July 1 so nonprofit service providers are not devastated by another state budget impasse. 

Last chance to register for UWP Hill Day on March 21
UWP's Hill Day registration will be ending next Friday, February 24th! If you have not yet registered, please make sure you do so by the deadline! 

Our Hill Day will be taking place on Tuesday, March 21st.  Below is a tentative schedule of the day: 

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.- Pick up leave-behind packets, light breakfast refreshments available

9:00 a.m.-4 p.m.- Meetings with various legislators

Lunch is on your own

5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.- Legislative Reception at Capital Gastropub (optional but encouraged)

We hope you will consider joining us as we advocate for issues of great importance to our communities.  You are encouraged to ask your boards, public policy committees, and connected volunteers to join in on the day also.  

For any questions on Hill Day, please email Maggie (maggie@uwp.org) 
United Way released federal policy agenda for the 2017-2018 Congress
The United Way Worldwide Policy Team consults with local United Ways, the United Way U.S. Board, national partners and thought-leaders every two years to develop our policy priorities for the new Congress. United Way's Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress helps fulfill our obligation to assist policy-makers in crafting the best possible governmental policies in the areas of education, financial stability and health, while also tackling important policies that strengthen communities at-large.

More information about the new, streamlined agenda is available here. The web page also provides more information about opportunities to engage in the federal advocacy work. 

Several of the priorities align closely with UWP's state agenda, and we will be supporting our members' local advocacy on federal topics, including improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, strengthening 2-1-1, early childhood education and healthcare. 

EFSP phase 34 allocations

Emergency Food and Shelter Program allocations have been released for local boards who receive a direct allocation, along with the state set-aside allocation.  You can view the information here

Twenty-one Pennsylvania counties received direct allocations, including all who received the funding last year plus one more - Potter County.  The state set-aside committee will have $597,102 to award to the remaining Pennsylvania jurisdictions in Phase 34. This is an increase of slightly less than $35,000 over what was available to the state set-aside committee to allocate in Phase 33. 

Once the National Board staff has finished updating materials, including the Certification Forms to account for new grant requirements and new program policies and procedures, the official award announcement will be sent by email to all qualifying jurisdictions and SSAs. 

Upcoming Constant Contact Marketing Webinars 

In case you didn't know, Constant Contact offers numerous webinars to help with your marketing skills. Email marketing is a great way to connect with donors, volunteers, and the community, but technology and interests change frequently.  Keeping up-to-date on the latest marketing tools will help you continue making connections through your email marketing.  Please take a look at the marketing webinars coming up to learn more:

What to Say and How to Say It
Monday, Feb. 20th 11a.m-12p.m. 
Register here

Crafting an Online Presence with Email Marketing, Facebook and LinkedIn
Tuesday, Feb. 21st 9a.m-10a.m. 
Register here

Standout Subject Lines: Get Open, Get Read, Get Results 
Wednesday, Feb. 22nd 10a.m.-10:30a.m.
Register here

Find some more webinars in the coming weeks, here