PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 15, 2009

Support the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program!

The VITA program provides free tax services for low-income taxpayers nationwide. Congress is currently reviewing the budget for FY 2010 - including funding for VITA programs. The National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) is asking that Congress increase federal funding for the VITA Grant Program to $14 million. Increased funding is needed to ensure that community tax preparers can meet the constant demand for their services.
During the 2009 filing season, 2,500 tax sites that received VITA grants prepared over 700,000 tax returns. However, more funding is needed in order to improve and expand free tax services, particularly for underserved taxpayers in hard-to-reach communities.
For more information or if you would like to help please see NCTC's Action Alert.

Call Today to Save Housing, Services, and Education in PA!
Pennsylvania needs a budget that protects people's homes, social services, and education. The current budget proposals include harmful cuts to education, healthcare, housing, and behavioral health and other services.
The Vote for Homes Coalition is asking people to contact their legislators to let them know just how important these programs are. Some particular services include:
1. Housing Programs - the vital Department of Community Economic Development (DCED) is at risk of losing funds, including the state investment in local housing and community revitalization that generated 4,000 jobs and helped build, rehab or repair 7,000 homes statewide over the past 2 years.
2. Mental health and substance abuse services - the community mental health, behavioral health, and state hospital budgets is still at risk for losing $27 million in funding based on the budget proposals by both the Senate and the Governor.
3. Education and Health Care Programs - 4,200 kids will lose their health coverage and education programs if funding is cut. The economic health of our community depends on the education and health of our youth.
Please help protect housing, services, and education and support the efforts to create a better solution for the Pennsylvania State budget.

Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs!

The Alliance for Children and Families is circulating a sign-on letter to national, state, and local organizations on H.R. 911, The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009.
The letter asks Congress to ensure that all residential treatment programs are appropriately regulated, but also to avoid duplicate regulation by exempting programs covered by existing child welfare, mental health, and similar federal laws and instead addressing those programs, where necessary, through those existing federal laws.
To sign on your organization, please contact Patrick Lester, at by June 22. To sign on, please send your name, organization (as it should be listed), address including state, phone number, and email address.

Campus Philly Opportunity Fair and College Marketing 101!
June 16 - Opportunity Fair
St. Joseph's University
Campus Philly is connecting recent college graduates and local employers through its Opportunity Fair. The event, which is open to all graduates and young alumni from the classes of 2004 through 2009, will include:
  • A career fair
  • A graduate and professional studies fair
  • Career-based education sessions
June 24 - College Marketing 101
Campus Philly is giving area businesses and cultural institutions a crash course in college student marketing. During this presentation and panel discussion, your organization will learn:
  • How to effectively tailor your marketing message to reach the college demographic
  • How to create and utilize branding opportunities
  • How to engage parents and families of prospective and enrolled students
  • How to partner with Campus Philly to effectively engage college students in Philadelphia
Panelists include:
  • Marketing Manager, Philadelphia Orchestra, Liz Madeja
  • Parent and Family Marketing Expert - TBA
  • Student Marketing Expert - TBA
  • Rebekah Rhodes, Temple University
  • Two Current Students

For more information on either event please visit

The United Way Statewide Nonprofit Stimulus Legislative Forum

This forum, co-sponsored by the Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Charitable Nonprofit Caucus, will focus on how to connect PA nonprofits with stimulus funds that are currently available.

WHEN: Monday, June 22 10:00 - 12:00

WHERE: Hilton Harrisburg, One North Second Street

  • General Services Secretary James Creedon, Chief Implementation Officer
  • Ronald J. Naples, Chairman of Governor's Working Group for Stimulus Accountability & Chief Accountability Officer.
Attendance is free. Registration is required. For more information and to register please click here.

Nonprofit Organizations - Apply for Economic Recovery Stimulus Funds!

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $50 million was approved to help non-profit organizations. Note the deadline: July 7.
Please see the federal notice below:
The Federal Government recognizes the important work carried out by nonprofit organizations to address the needs of disadvantaged and hard-to-reach populations suffering economic hardships and intends to empower these organizations to be part of economic recovery through the new Strengthening Communities Fund. The Strengthening Communities Fund is now available and applications are due July 7, 2009. Please share this information with your list-servs, networks, and partner organizations. We apologize for any cross-postings.
The Strengthening Communities Fund
Objective: The objective of the Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) is to enable nonprofit organizations to contribute to the economic recovery and help Federal, State, local, and Indian/Native American Tribal governments ensure that the information and services described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) reach disadvantaged and hard-to-serve populations.
Program Focus: The focus of this program is to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, whether secular or faith based, to address the broad economic recovery issues present in their communities, including helping low-income individuals secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, obtain better-quality jobs, and gain greater access to state and Federal benefits and tax credits, including ARRA benefits.
Grant Program: SCF is made up of two separate grant programs.
1. Nonprofit Capacity Building Program: The SCF Nonprofit Capacity Building program will make one-time awards up to $1 million to experienced lead organizations to provide nonprofit organizations -- or project partners -- with capacity building training, technical assistance, and competitive financial assistance. A minimum of 55% of the Federal funds awarded must be provided to project partners through a competitive process. The grant period for this award is 24 months. To read the full program announcement for the SCF Nonprofit Capacity Building program visit:

2. State, Local, and Tribal Government Capacity Building Program: The SCF State, Local, and Tribal Government Capacity Building program will make one-time awards up to $250,000 to State, city, county, and Indian/Native American Tribal government offices (e.g., offices responsible for outreach to faith-based and community organizations or those interested in initiating such an effort), or their designees, to build the capacity of nonprofit faith-based and community organizations to better serve those in need and to increase nonprofit organizations' involvement in the economic recovery. Grantees will use program funds to provide free capacity building services to nonprofit organizations and to build their own capacity to provide such services to nonprofits. The grant period for this award is 24 months. To read the full program announcement for the SCF State, Local and Tribal Government Capacity Building Program visit:
For more information about this new program, visit
For recordings of technical assistance calls for potential applicants, visit

Seminar: Nonprofits in a Post-Madoff World - A New Era of Legal Challenges with Respect to Protecting Assets and Executive Compensation

The seminar will cover challenges facing nonprofit organizations in light of recent scandals.
WHEN: June 23, 8:30 -10:30
WHERE: Saul Ewing's Philadelphia Office - 1500 Market Street
Attend this seminar to learn the latest on challenges facing nonprofit organizations, including managing/securing investments, increased government scrutiny of compliance matters, and executive compensation.
  • How to best secure and protect assets in an uncertain investment environment
  • What to do if the worst happens and your organization is victimized in an investment fraud or scandal
  • Compensation policies: best executive compensation practices, how to avoid IRS penalties for excessive compensation
  • Issues in retirement plans, both qualified and nonqualified
For more information please visit click here.
Space is limited. Please register or RSVP to Mary F. Brightman at or 215-972-7773.

Federal Grant Programs to Focus on Adult Students and Displaced Workers

The U.S. Education Department on Friday said that its primary grant program to stimulate higher education innovation would focus this year on community college programs designed to help adult students and displaced workers.
In an announcement in the Federal Register, the Education Department said it would give special priority in this year's grant competition in the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education to "innovative strategies to benefit working adults and displaced workers who are pursuing degrees or credentials in community colleges," including those that improve "academic remediation; tutoring; academic and personal counseling; registration processes; students' course selection and scheduling; instructional delivery, student support services related to childcare," or other purposes.

To view the application please click here.


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