United Way of Pennsylvania
UWP Update - July 21, 2017

United Way scores important federal appropriations VITA win
The beginning steps of a long and uphill battle on federal appropriations began with some major wins for the United Way network in the US House this week. Among the most significant was the outcome of VITA funding, which was under threat of a 50% reduction in federal support.
Local and state United Ways across the country, including several from PA in the districts of US Representatives Charlie Dent and Matthew Cartwright, weighed in to ask elected officials not to cut VITA funding in half. One effective advocacy message full of local impact data came from United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne counties, as CEO Gary Drapek explained in a note to Rep. Cartwright's staff:

"Our VITA program completed 2,385 tax returns saving Matt's constituents $357, 750 in fees and providing them $872,165 in Earned Income Tax Credits and $2,759,100 in returns.  These are hard-working, moderate to low income families and seniors who have come to depend on our VITA program as an important piece of their household budgets.  Obviously we are hoping this program can continue and funding levels can be brought back to the $15 million for FY 18.  I think the numbers speak for themselves....The combined aggregate benefit to individuals in JUST Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is $3,667,015.  An investment of $15 million is a pretty good deal....especially for those who need this service."

In other federal budget highlights, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education subcommittee voted on their FY 2018 spending bill. This bill includes spending allocations for most of United Way's priorities, including Head Start, afterschool, AmeriCorps and job training. While we are concerned that the subcommittee approved $3 billion in cuts to social services, we are pleased that the bill included level funding for Title I and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee also recently marked up its funding bill, which includes $120 million in Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding. This is level with the last budget year.

As this is the beginning of the process, it will be important to stay tuned for updates and opportunities for action. United Ways can also join UWW's webinar to learn more about August recess advocacy support (see article in this newsletter). 

UWP offering marketing webinar for United Way members

The United Way of Pennsylvania is hosting a webinar as a crash course refresher on United Way Worldwide's new marketing campaign and credo. Additionally, we will discuss how to navigate and adjust the marketing campaign to fit your community's needs with ease through helpful tips, strategies, and online materials. There also will be a brief how-to on Studio-to-Go to create and fit your individual campaign, as well as quick tips and links about navigating United Way Online.
Please consider attending this webinar on Thursday, August 10th, from 3:30-4:30pm. It will be an extremely informational session that will allow for marketing with ease and less headaches.
Join the webinar at https://zoom.us/j/589248444 or by phone (+14086380968-Webinar ID: 589248444) Email Melissa ( melissa@uwp.com ) with any questions about the webinar.

Come learn with us!  

Submit your information by August 4 for the United Way of Pennsylvania Legislative Directory

United Way of Pennsylvania is in the process of making a directory of its members to give to legislators. In this directory, each of our member organizations has a page containing their contact information, mission and vision statements, key focus issues, community partners, programs they support, and their local work. 

This collection of what United Way has to offer Pennsylvania acts as a major advocacy tool from us to PA legislators. Legislators will be able to see what United Way is up to overall, and will have a unique look into what their local United Ways are doing for their community. 
Members should have received an email from Melissa Anese with a draft page for the directory that captures information about your organization. Please review this and remember to submit any changes needed before Friday, August 4th! Also, do not forget to ask your community partners about advertising in the directory. It is a wonderful way to show legislators who we work with as well as getting their names into legislative hands.
Please email all pages, advertisements, and questions to Melissa ( melissa@uwp.org ). We will keep you updated as the process continues and we hope to send to print the first week of September!

Senate Bill 211 voted unanimously from Senate 

This week the Senate came back in to Harrisburg to continue working towards a revenue package.  They also took up a few pieces of legislation, which included SB 211, the companion 2-1-1 legislation in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Pat Browne.  SB 211 sets up a mechanism for PA 2-1-1 to be funded through a grant from the Department of Human Services.  The bill passed the Senate unanimously and will now move to the Hose for their approval.  The companion bill, HB 211, previously passed the House by a vote of 193-2. 

We will continue to monitor 2-1-1 legislation and update membership with new information as it becomes available.  
Welcome New United Way of Bedford County Executive Director!

Kate Fink began as the Executive Director of the United Way of Bedford County earlier in July. She comes to United Way from the Center for Community Action, which serves Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon counties. She was a housing intake specialist at the Center for Community Action.

Please welcome Katie! Her new email is katie@uwaybedfordpa.org and the office phone number is 814-624-0041. 
Emergency Food and Shelter Program State Set-Aside Funding Update

The PA State Set-Aside committee for EFSP met on July 20 to finalize allocations to local boards. The recommended allocations will be submitted to the federal board online on Friday, July 21. Local boards should receive notification of their allocations quickly thereafter.

Local boards and local recipient organizations should review Key Changes and Clarifications, and the Phase 34 Responsibilities and Requirements Manual Addendum. Local Boards and LROs can find these documents on the EFSP website, after logging in with their user ID and password. Local board rosters will also need to be updated.

For those jurisdictions which were funded directly by the federal board, local plans were due July 10, 2017. Jurisdictions funded by the state set-aside committee funded will find plan due dates noted on the local board plan and local board certification. 
UWW offering webinar to support United Way advocacy during the August recess

Congress will be going on recess in August, which is a great opportunity to schedule some time to meet with your local congressional members.  UWW is promoting the week of August 21-25 as Advocacy Week of Action, which is an opportunity to help elevate United Way's policy priorities and cultivate relationships with members of Congress. To help with planning and messaging, join UWW's Advocacy Week of Action webinar on Tuesday, July 25th at 2pm.  In addition to guidance on scheduling meetings with your congressional members, this webinar will also provide an update on UWW's policy priorities. 

Take some time to register here and learn more about what is going on in D.C. that is impacting our communities.