United Way of Pennsylvania
UWP Update - November 22, 2017

Urge PA Senators to support UW priorities in federal tax reform discussions - and review local data about how the charitable deduction impacts your community's giving

Current updates from Washington indicate that the earliest the Senate will vote on federal tax reform is November 30 - December 1. United Way has a critical opportunity to step up and be a lead voice for the nonprofit community in helping the public to understand the impacts on charitable giving. The current proposals in both the House and the Senate will result in decreased charitable contributions across the U.S. totaling $13 billion.

UWP delivered a state sign-on letter to Senator Casey and Senator Toomey urging them to support a charitable tax deduction for all taxpayers, regardless of their income or the size of their donation. The letter also included stated our support for improvement to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Seventeen local United Ways signed on to the letter.

United Way of PA also circulated county-level IRS tax filer data from 2015 which shows how many people in each county claimed the charitable deduction, and how much those itemizers contributed. Based on this information, you can project the impacts to your community since under both current tax plans, 95% of filers will no longer itemize expenses, and this will lead to a 5% decline in giving. If you would like a copy of the county-level data, please email krotz@Uwp.org or maggie@Uwp.org

Here is a letter anyone can sign and send about the charitable giving deduction, and here is another about the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. United Ways know how powerful these tax policies are to support their work and to benefit local workers who are taxed into poverty without the EITC and CTC. Please make your voice heard, and give your volunteer leaders the opportunity to engage in tax reform advocacy as well!

UW impact data aggregation through the Global Performance Framework

United Way of PA urges all of our members to make time for the UWW webinar on November 29, 2017 during which the Global Results Framework will be demonstrated for the entire network. Kristen had the opportunity to preview the results during a recent Council of States meeting. It very successfully presents clear and compelling data that unifies the story of work being done by United Ways around the country and across the globe. It will reinvigorate you to see the scale of the impact being achieved by this international network. And hopefully it will inspire you to get on board and start reporting into this aggregated data, which will also be able to be sorted to a state level. 

Pennsylvania was well-represented in the test round for the global results framework, with seven United Ways participating. More of you will have the opportunity to engage in the next round. UWW plans to begin introducing this aggregated data to key GCL accounts which have been asking for this kind of information. 

Join the webinar on November 29 at 2 PM by registering here.  

You can also preview the indicators measured by the framework here 
United Ways wrap up their campaigns with lots of successes

As some United Way campaigns wrap up, this year has been a fantastic year for a few of our PA United Ways!

Congratulations to Schuylkill United Way for setting an all-time record during their campaign this year! With a lot of determination and hard work, they raised over $1,100,000 for their community allowing services to continue for more than 80 percent of their residents. 

United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties and United Way of Berks County also had fantastic campaigns, each surpassing their ambitious goals!.  A big shout out to United Way of Berks County for their carpool karaoke videos! Creative, informative, and so much fun to watch!  If you haven't seen them, check them out  here!

These are just a few examples of how much United Ways are able to do for communities across Pennsylvania, by generating financial support for services to be provided for a variety of populations.  We can't wait to see more creative fundraising and successful wrap-ups as the campaign year moves along! 

United Way Fight/Win videos are unifying United Way work 

Earlier this year at the CLC, United Way Worldwide promoted the concept of the United Way Fight/Win videos which showcase black and white photos depicting dire conditions and every-community problems, and transitions to color photos showing the United Way fighting for solutions to those problems in the community.

UWP has noticed many of our members have incorporated this marketing into their campaign videos, which helps to unify the work of United Ways across Pennsylvania and the country.  It is great to see so many of our members adapting the marketing scripts and photos to work for their communities.  Many discuss the issues of addiction, homelessness, and ensuring children have the tools necessary to enter kindergarten ready to learn and continue their progress throughout their academic career. 

Some examples of how our members have adapted these videos to their specific communities are below.  If any of our members need help in identifying how to incorporate this campaign into a video, please contact Maggie ( maggie@uwp.org ). 

Welcome UWP's Member Services Coordinator, Amanda Barbarich

United Way of Pennsylvania is pleased to e-introduce our members to our new Member Services Coordinator, Amanda Barbarich! Amanda will begin working at UWP on Monday, November 27 and can be reached via email at amanda@uwp.org or by calling 717-238-7365 x 206.

Amanda obtained her bachelor's degree in social work from California University of Pennsylvania. Since then, she's worked with foster children, youth with behavioral health needs, students and adults with disabilities, and veterans with mental health needs. Amanda moved to the Harrisburg area in May. When she isn't working, Amanda likes to complete DIY projects, read a wide variety of books, and spend time with her dog. 

Amanda is most looking forward to expanding the different trainings offered to members, and organizing the upcoming 2018 conference in Erie. 

And another welcome to new United Way executive in Mifflin/Juniata

Oksana DeArment has been selected to serve as the next Executive Director of the United Way of Mifflin and Juniata, and started her new role in November. 

Oksana is a graduate of Dickinson College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in international business. Her prior work experience includes administrative operations manager at Nittany Paper Mills and has also held several support positions at Kish Bank. Oksana says she is excited to work with United Way and has always believed in the power and importance of voluntarism. She credits Kish Bank for giving employees the opportunity to volunteer and give back, encouraging this practice by allowing employees to volunteer during work hours. She also was first introduced to United Way while serving as Executive Assistant to the CEO of Kish bank while he was involved with a local United Way board. She looks forward to her first foray into nonprofit management. 

Oksana can be reached by email:  ODeArment@mjunitedway.org

Bipartisan apprenticeship legislation introduced in Congress

The PARNTERS Act, is a bipartisan apprenticeship bill that was introduced recently, which creates business-community partnerships to expand apprenticeships and work-based learning programs.  United Way Worldwide is endorsing this piece of legislation and encourages other local United Ways to do the same. 

Under this piece of legislation, industry and sector partnership would receive two-year grants, up to $500,000, to convene partners and coordinate a set of business services to help small- and medium- sized businesses develop work-based learning programs. 

You can learn more about this Act and how to take action here 

PA's unemployment rate hits a ten year low 

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate in October hit the lowest rate in 10 years.  The rate went down to 4.7 percent, which has not been seen in PA since November 2007.  While this decline shows progress for Pennsylvania, the state's unemployment rate is still above that of the country, which is currently sitting at 4.1 percent.  So far in 2017, PA's unemployment rate has declined by eight-tenths of a percentage point.

In large part, that decline is due to employment decline, with many residents leaving the workforce.  In just October, Pennsylvania's civilian workforce was down 16,000.  Jobs were down in eight of the eleven supersectors throughout PA.  The largest drop in jobs was a 4,900 decline in trade, transportation and utilities, and the biggest gain was a 6,000 increase in professional and business services jobs.