United Way of Pennsylvania          LIVE UNITED
UWP Update - March 1, 2019
Participants in our 2018 Hill Day pose for a photo before embarking on a full day of advocacy! 
Join UWP at our 3rd Annual Hill Day!  

We have an upcoming opportunity for our United Way advocates to participate in to advance the work we are doing in advocacy with our state legislature. 

UWP will be holding our 3rd annual Hill Day on Tuesday, April 9th! This will be an important event to participate in, as we will be meeting with House and Senate leadership and key rank-and-file members to advocate on behalf of UWP's budget priorities. This year's priorities include continued funding for PA 2-1-1, a higher state investment in child care, and a $50 million investment into Pre-K and Head Start programs. It is vital to have your voices heard on the Hill to protect these essential programs that help so many of our communities.

You can register for Hill Day here. We will have breakfast available for advocates starting at 8 a.m. and then a full-day of meetings. While UWP does have legislative targets to meet with, including House and Senate leadership, Start Strong targets, and members in the Health and Human Services and Education committees.  We also try to accommodate special meeting requests from attendees if we are able. If you would like to meet with a particular member, please email Lauren with that request. We encourage your staff, community volunteers, and board members to attend! Registration will close for the event on Friday, March 22nd.

For any questions on Hill Day, please contact Maggie.  

United Way analysis: smaller percentage of people give to charity with greater declines among non-itemizers than itemizers

United Way Worldwide released a research brief describing changing behavior of donors. It builds off of the "How America Gives" study which is published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and focused on itemizers. The UWW research brief points out that the more pronounced dropoff in giving, and in donor numbers overall has been occurring among non-itemizers. From 2000 to 2014, the percent of itemizers giving to charity dropped from 87 percent to 82 percent, whereas among the non-itemizers giving to charity, the drop was from 51 percent to 40 percent. 

The research brief also shows that people who itemize are more likely to give to charity year after year. The average gift given has increased by both itemizers and non-itemizers, but the rate of change has been greater among the itemizers. 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017 is projected to decrease the number of itemizers, who can claim the charitable tax deduction, by approximately half. The positive correlation between itemizing and a slower decrease in giving, as well as the increased size of the gift, bolster United Way's argument for Congress to allow non-itemizers to claim the charitable deduction. 
VITA Awareness Day- March 13
United Way is celebrating the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program's (VITA) 50th anniversary this year on March 13th. VITA volunteers become IRS-certified tax preparers and provide qualifying individuals and families with free, reliable assistance in filing federal tax returns. Most taxpayers utilizing VITA earn an annual household income of less than $40,000 and come from traditionally hard-to-reach and underserved communities, including people with disabilities, the elderly, and Native Americans. VITA helps hardworking Americans meet their tax obligations while claiming the full amount of any refunds for which they are eligible.

This program powered by volunteers has an extremely high accuracy rate and helps taxpayers keep more of what they earn by accessing the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits. Recipients spend their returns in local communities, supporting local economies. With just a $15 million-dollar investment from the IRS, VITA returns $1.9 billion to hard working Americans across the country.

Communities put their own skin in the game as a match is required, and programs often require resources outside the grants. The United Way network alone invests $17 million in VITA and other free tax prep initiatives.

VITA will also help taxpayers navigate the new tax code. Volunteer tax preparers are certified by the IRS, and their expertise will be essential as taxpayers that earn less than $54,000 learn the new tax rules.

VITA is an important policy priority for United Way Worldwide. You can learn more about VITA and other UWW Policy Priorities here.

UWP AmeriCorps VISTA Project Portfolio Approved in Full
Five local United Ways joined United Way of Pennsylvania to submit a project portfolio to CNCS for the AmeriCorps VISTA Program. The VISTA program provides VISTA members to nonprofit organizations to assist efforts to build and expand capacity to fight poverty. 

All five projects were approved for 2019-2020! UWP will be looking to recruit a total of eight VISTA members, one of whom will be a VISTA Team Leader and will work at United Way of PA's office in Harrisburg. The sites approved are:
  • Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way
    • Implementing an after school program designed to comprehensively meet the needs of students and families living in poverty. 
  • United Way of Lebanon County
    • Community outreach to build a coalition for Early Childhood programming 
  • United Way of Lancaster County
    • Build and expand capacity of the P3 Program focused on ensuring quality early childhood education
  • United Way of Bucks County
    • Build 2-1-1 database capacity, engage community partners, and work on establishing a central food and furniture bank
  • United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties 
    • Expand the capacity of the United in Recovery initiative, focusing on fighting and preventing addiction. 
If you have questions about the VISTA program, please reach out to Amanda Barbarich. More educational opportunities regarding VISTA, as well as opportunities to join the 2020-2021 portfolio, will be upcoming starting at UWP's Annual Conference. 
United Way appointed
to PA Complete Count Commission
United Way of Pennsylvania has been appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania 2020 Census Complete Count Commission. UWP's President, Kristen Rotz, will represent the organization at this table, which has a charter to achieve a complete and accurate Census count in Pennsylvania. 

The Commission shall recommend methods and policies to facilitate the most complete and accurate census count in the year 2020, including implementing strategies to reach hard-to-count populations and hard-to-enumerate areas. It is comprised of about 40 statewide organizations. 

The Governor's executive order creating the commission is available here, and the full press release announcing the roster of members is available here.   
Upcoming Webinars  
Digital Philanthropy/SalesForce: The Indiana Model 
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 10:00AM
United Way's partnership with Salesforce and the emergence of the Philanthropy Cloud has garnered a lot of interest across the United States. Join UWP and Indiana United Ways to discuss how the state association of Indiana developed model that allowed local United Ways to share costs and use the Digital Services tools to their full potential.

Community Engagement Webinar
Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:00PM
Hosted by United Way Worldwide 
The National League of Cities (NLC) created the Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) initiative to strengthen local leaders' knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions and build more equitable communities. Hear from NLC and United Way Worldwide to gain valuable information about how REAL is working on the local level and how your United Way can engage in community efforts.

UWP ALICE Project Webinar: Community Impact & Resource Development
Monday, March 18, 2019 2:00PM
This webinar, exclusively for fully participating ALICE United Ways in PA, will discuss how to incorporate ALICE into your community impact and resource development strategies. This will help our members begin framing their work as helpful to ALICE in PA! To join, please email Amanda Barbarich

Suggestions for a Webinar? Let me know! Contact  Amanda Barbarich  via email or at (717) 238-7365 x206.
2019 UWP Annual Conference: Centering on Community

UWP is in the midst of planning our annual 2019 Conference. This year, we're excited to announce we will again be applying for flex credits! Flex credits cover the cost of the conference for United Ways who choose to use them. United Way Worldwide will reimbuse eligible United Ways for their expenses. If you have questions about flex credits, or to check if your United Way has flex credits, click here


The first day of the conference, June 5th, will be exclusively available for ALICE Committed United Ways to attend. We will hold ALICE Bootcamp that day full of information about the report, resources available, and inspiring stories of ALICE affecting communities across the nation. 


June 6th and 7th will feature sessions focused on Social Determinants of Health, Digital Philanthropy, social media, the census, AmeriCorps VISTA, Donation Tracker, and more! Click here to check out our semi-final schedule


Registration will open at the beginning of April. Stay tuned for more information on prices then! If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Barbarich.



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