United Way of Pennsylvania
UWP Update - January 5, 2018
Volunteers teamed up with Erie County and Northwest PA 
2-1-1 to provide assistance with snow removal. Erie received over six feet of snow since Christmas Eve. 2-1-1 was instrumental in providing relief for residents. 
Erie county partners with northwest 
2-1-1 to provide snow removal assistance during winter storm
Erie has had nearly six feet of snow since Christmas Eve and ended the year with a storm that left another 17 inches behind. When the storm finally cleared, residents were left with the daunting task of clearing their driveways, sidewalk, gutters, roofs, and roads. 

Clearing snow can be dangerous for many. Local hospitals reported treating people for snow removal ailments such as chest pains, fall injuries, and lacerations from snow blowers. Senior citizens or people with disabilities or medical conditions can find themselves trapped in their homes because they are unable to remove the snow themselves safely. 

Erie County Government requested the services of Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon is a volunteer organization specializing in disaster response. They unite military veterans with first responders and deploy emergency teams free of charge to communities who require aid. Volunteers were also recruited from the  Pennsylvania Wing Civil Air Patrol.  The Erie County Department of Public Safety coordinated volunteer efforts.

Residents that weren't able to remove snow themselves were directed to dial 2-1-1 to ask for the assistance of volunteers. 1,315 contacts were made to 2-1-1 for snow-related needs, most frequently via phone calls. Less than a hundred of the contacts were made via internet-based chats or text messages.The extreme call volume meant that some residents had to make multiple calls or leave a voicemail. Erie County Government and United Way of Erie worked hard to get out the word that 2-1-1 was experiencing high call volumes and that voicemail would be answered by 2-1-1 staff. Northwest 2-1-1 worked hard to respond to residents and prioritize people who needed help the most for the volunteers. 2-1-1 screened the calls for people most at risk and sent their information to the Department of Public Safety for the volunteers. 

When volunteers arrived, they were greeted warmly as lifesavers for many residents. Volunteers are slated to stay until January 12th and have already cleared out more than 100 properties. 

For more information regarding Team Rubicon, click here. For more information about the Pennsylvania Wing Civil Air Patrol, click here

At midpoint of state's fiscal year, PA revenues are tracking to expectation and unemployment is down

Halfway through the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Pennsylvania revenue collections are tracking with expectations. It is currently estimated that the fiscal year will end with a total of 34.75 billion in General Fund revenue. 

According to the PA Department of Revenue, the personal income tax (PIT) is $64 million (1.1%) ahead of estimates;  gross receipts-generated revenue is up $12 million (45.7%); the Inheritance Tax produced $24 million (5.4%) more than expected) and a tax on insurance premiums generated $11 million (188.2%) more than estimated.

Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) revenues were $42 million (3.3%) less than expected and escheats remittances came up $29 million (133.2%) short of anticipated. 

For additional information about revenue numbers, please click here.

This is complimented by a press release stating that unemployment in PA is the lowest since September 2007. In November the unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.6%. 

This is the fourth consecutive month that the uemployment rate has gone down in Pennsylvania, however, the PA rate is still above the total rate of the United States, which is 4.1%.

Industry sectors have shown significant growth. Professional and business services and education and health services both reached new record highs for number of jobs added. Total non-farm jobs are up 1.1% as of November, comparable to the total US rate of 1.4%. For additional information about unemployment and job growth statistics, please visit the PA Department of Labor and Industry Website here

New state law changes nonprofit audit/ financial review standards

Act 71 and 72 of Pennsylvania were signed into law just before the holidays, and change the auditing threshold requirements for nonprofits in the PA Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act. 

Act 71 ( HB 1420) states that organizations with $750,000 or more in annual contributions must be audited by an independent CPA or public accountant. Organizations between $250,000 and $750,000 must have a review of their financial statements by an independent CPA or auditor. For organizations between $100,00 and $250,000, a compilation, review or audit of their financial statements performed by an independent certified public accountant or public accountant is required. For organizations with annual revenues of less than $100,000, an audit/ review is optional. The increased threshold for audits does comport with United Way Worldwide's recent change to membership standards. 

Act 72 ( HB 1421) clarifies that annual registration statements by charitable organizations must be filed by the 15th day of the 5th month following the close of the organization's fiscal year. The Department of State will be required to give notice within 15 days (previously 10) for any statements deemed unsatisfactory. Entities will be given 15 days to request a hearing after this notice is received. 

PA 2-1-1 Day press conference registration open - attend to show your support!  

UWP is hosting a press conference to celebrate PA 2-1-1 Day and we hope you will be able to join us! The event will take place on Monday, February 5th at 10 a.m. in the Main Rotunda of the state capitol. We will be highlighting the accomplishments we have made with the PA 2-1-1 service over the past year and work to bring more awareness to the services available to Pennsylvanians through 2-1-1.

In addition to UWP and PA 2-1-1 staff and board members, we will have our legislative champions in attendance discussing their involvement and support with PA 2-1-1.  It is important to have a strong United Way showing of support for 2-1-1 at this press conference. Please consider joining us to encourage all Pennsylvanians to utilize the services available through 2-1-1, and to call upon the Governor and the General Assembly to include funding for 2-1-1 in the next state budget. 

Currently, registration for the event is open. We encourage you to invite your board members, volunteers, community partners and 2-1-1 affiliates to attend.  Registration will close on Friday, February 2nd, so please be sure to sign-up to attend before the cut-off.  We look forward to seeing you all there!

If you have any questions on the event, please contact Maggie ( maggie@uwp.org).  

REMINDER: UWP hosting 2nd annual Hill Day April 17 

As a reminder, UWP will be hosting our 2nd annual Hill Day on April 17 at the state Capitol building! This is a great event to get in front of your local Representatives and Senators to discuss policy issues of importance to United Way, while also cultivating your relationships and reminding them of the good work you do in your communities. 

Participants should plan for potential  legislative meetings from 9am-4pm.  UWP will be scheduling each meeting, putting together the materials to be discussed, and training all attendees on the issues we will be discussing in the meetings.  Hill Day is an opportunity for you to bring your board members, volunteers, or community partners to advocate on behalf of the network and help us fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community! We will be opening up registration for the event, which is at no cost, in February so please be on the lookout.  

If you have any questions about Hill Day, please contact Maggie ( maggie@uwp.org).  

UWP training needs survey reminder

United Way of Pennsylvania reminds members that a training needs survey is still open for responses. 

Many of the training topics are being considered for inclusion in the 2018 Statewide Conference from June 20-22 in Erie. The agenda needs to be finalized in a timely manner to ensure flex credits will be available for members to attend. 

Please remember to complete the survey by the end of January to ensure your feedback is accounted for as we plan the conference and other training for 2018. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Barbarich at amanda@uwp.org. The survey can be found  here .