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4500 grassroots nonprofits set to lose tax-exempt status

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  • Bob Shipman
    ... From: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania Date: Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 8:42 PM Subject: [40405-WHATMATTERS] 4500 grassroots
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2010
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      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania <whatmatters@...>
      Date: Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 8:42 PM
      Subject: [40405-WHATMATTERS] 4500 grassroots nonprofits set to lose tax-exempt status
      To: 40405-WHATMATTERS@...


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      August 2, 2010

      #185







      News

      Nonprofit Resources

      Events & Fundraisers

      Issue Updates

      Employment & Volunteer Opportunities



      United Health HEROES combat child obesity
         The UnitedHealth HEROES program is a service-learning, health literacy initiative developed by UnitedHealth Group and Youth Service America.  
         The program awards grants of up to $1,000 to help young people create and implement local, hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity.  Each grant engages participating youth in service-learning, an effective teaching and learning strategy that supports student learning, academic achievement and workplace readiness.
         The grants encourage semester-long projects that launch on Martin Luther King Day of Service in January and culminate on Global Youth Service Day, April 15-17, 2011.
         Schools, service-learning coordinators, nonprofits, and students in the health professions are eligible to apply.
         The application will be available August 2nd here.
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      Kohl’s contest offers $500k to winning schools
         In celebration of Kohl's Cares® 10th anniversary, Kohl’s is donating $500,000 to 20 schools for a total of $10 million.
         The winning schools will be selected through an online voting process.  The $10 million donation comes from the Kohl's Cares® cause merchandise program, which sells special merchandise, including plush toys and books, and donates 100 percent of the net profit to benefit children's health and education initiatives nationwide.
         For more information and official rules, visit here.
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      USDA offers Hunger-Free Communities grants
         The US Department of Agriculture is offering Hunger- Free Communities grants to help cities and towns across the country fight hunger and food insecurity and promote healthy eating.
         The grants will help fund research, planning and hunger relief activities such as food distribution, community outreach, development of new resources, and strategies to reduce or prevent hunger and food insecurity.
         Two models of grants are available: planning and assessment grants or implementation grants.
         For more information, go here.
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      PANO webinar discusses building case for support
         The Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations is offering a webinar on Building a Strong Case for Support on Wednesday, August 11th from 10:30am to 12 noon.
         Whether an organization is embarking on a capital campaign, preparing grant proposals or developing your annual fund materials, the case for support is the first critical element in the fundraising program. In this webinar, participants will learn the importance of the case and how it is used, list the key elements in a case for support, and learn how to make the case stronger.
         The workshop costs $59 for PANO members and $106 for nonmembers.  For more information, go here.
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      Foundation offers Banned Books Week grants
         The American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Foundation will provide two grants — one for $2,500 and one for $1,000 — to two organizations to support "Read-Outs" celebrating Banned Books Week 2010, from September 25th to October 2nd.
         A Banned Books Week Read-Out is an event during which people celebrate the freedom to read by gathering to read from books that have been banned or challenged over the years.
         To apply for a grant, organizations are required to submit an event description, timeline, and budget with their application, as well as agree to provide a written report and video to FTRF following Banned Books Week.
         For more information, go here.
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      Sankofa Festival set for South Philadelphia
         The Philadelphia Sankofa Festival will take place on Saturday, August 14th from noon to 5pm at the intersection of 5th Street and Snyder Avenue in South Philadelphia.
         The event features dance & drum workshops, African hair-braiding demonstrations, yoga, storytelling, Twi language/protocols, cloth wrapping, face painting, crafts for children, and poetry.
         At 1:30pm, a performance by the Universal Dance and Drum Ensemble will take place.
         An evening festival program beginning at 7pm, featuring dinner, music and dancing, is also scheduled at the Belmont Mansion in Fairmount Park.  Tickets to the evening event are $60 and $20 for children 11 and under.
         For more information, go here.
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      Please Touch hosts families with autism
         The Please Touch Museum and Variety–The Children’s Charity will hold a special evening for children with autism and their families on Saturday, August 21st.
         The cost for the event is $25 donation per family.
         For more information, go here or email Marissa Tabak.
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      Senate committee shifts OST funds to longer school day
         Senate committee shifts OST funding to longer school day
         The US Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
      Appropriations Subcommittee has voted to allow 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool program funds to be diverted to programs intended to extend the school day.
         The Afterschool Alliance has severely criticized the action, saying that the extended school day programs are largely untested and that the CCLCs have proven their effectiveness.
         “At a time when 15 million children and youth in this country have no safe, supervised activities after the school days ends, we need to protect funding for afterschool and summer learning programs – not divert it,” the organization said in a statement.
         The Alliance said that out of school time programs keep children safe, inspire them to learn, and help working families, and offer the homework help, mentoring, field trips, hands-on science, art, music, job preparation, and similar activities that help students engage.
         The group also noted that while most extended school day programs add a half-hour or hour to the school day, most after school  programs provide a safe place for children until their parents return home from work at 6 or 7pm.
         For more information, go here.
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      Ackerman announces school service cuts, reorganization
         The School District of Philadelphia has announced that almost half of the District's 21 year-round early childhood education centers are being closed and at least 40 nonteaching assistants and other school support staff have been demoted or laid off.
         Superintendent Arlene Ackerman also announced the elimination of the District’s school climate managers and community- relations managers, who worked to address school culture issues that were believed to increase the incidence of misbehavior and violence.
         Also being cut are before- and after-school programs for school-age children, and some nonteaching assistants, school-community coordinators, and parent ombudsmen.
          Ackerman also announced that she is dismantling the geographic organization of schools established by former super- intendent Paul Vallas in favor of a structure that groups schools by elementary, middle and high schools, while reconfiguring the regional offices as Parent and Family Resource Centers – similar to the Family Resource Network structure introduced by former superintendent David Hornbeck in the mid-1990s.
         "The regional structure is being changed to provide coherency in the implementation of programs and resources at the elementary, middle and high school levels," Ackerman said in a statement.
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      Legislation aims to strengthen direct care workforce
         Despite providing care and services that help millions of elderly and people living with disabilities to maintain their dignity and autonomy, most direct care workers receive low wages, little or no benefits and insufficient training and professional development. As a result, this profession is plagued by high turnover rates that compromise the quality of care for the people they serve.
          As the baby boomer population ages, the critical need for a higher quality workforce in the direct care field becomes ever more urgent.
         Now, recognizing that more than 75 percent of long-term care is financed by federal programs, Congress is considering the Direct Care Workforce Empowerment Act has been proposed to help create a stable, valued direct care workforce and increase the quality of care for millions of Americans.
         This legislation addresses some of the most pressing issues facing the direct care workforce by extending wage and overtime protections to home care workers, improving data collection and workforce monitoring, and providing grants to states to improve direct care workforce recruitment and retention.
         For more information, go here.
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      adultBasic coverage endangered: report
         A report by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center says that almost 46,000 Pennsylvanians stand to lose their adultBasic subsidized health insurance plan could lose their coverage next year if an agreement with providers is not renewed.
         Since 2005, the adultBasic program has been supported by the state’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans to provide basic health care to uninsured adults earning up to 200 percent of the poverty level.
      That agreement expires in December, but was recently extended through June 2011.
         The center and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, a coalition of 50 groups from across the state working to improve access to quality health care, are urging the General Assembly to enact legislation that would establish in law the Community Health Reinvestment Agreement so as to avoid the risk of termination of coverage at least until 2014, when provisions of the health care reform legislation passed by Congress earlier this year are expected to take full effect. That law will establish health insurance exchanges that are designed to those with no health insurance join with others to purchase subsidized, low-cost coverage.
         Independence Blue Cross said that from the inception of the Community Health Reinvestment Agreement in 2005 it has spent $424 million on a combination of its commitment to the adultBasic program and other additional community health activities.
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      Over 4500 area nonprofits facing loss of tax exemption

         Almost 13,000 small Pennsylvania nonprofits – including 4,548 in Southeastern Pennsylvania – will lose their charitable tax-exemption status on October 15th unless they file their required federal reporting forms to the IRS by that date.
         The IRS has announced a one-time relief program that will allow small nonprofits that failed to file required returns for 2007, 2008, and 2009 to keep their tax-exempt status by filing returns by October 15th.
         The extension is designed to help tens of thousands of charities that need more time to meet the filing requirement. The IRS has posted a page on
      its Web site with links to the names and last known addresses of organizations that have not filed their returns.
         To download the Southeastern Pennsylvania list of nonprofits at risk, go here; for the full Pennsylvania list, go here.
         Two types of relief are available for small organizations: a single, short form for organizations with gross receipts of less than $25,000 and a voluntary compliance program for those organizations eligible to file the Form 990-EZ (i.e., those with less than $500,000 in gross revenues and less than $1.25 million in assets).
         The extension does not apply to larger organizations required to file the Form 990 or private foundations that file the 990-PF.
         "These groups do great work in communities across the United States and are vital to the vibrancy of our nation," IRS commissioner Doug Shulman told the Wall Street Journal. "The last thing we at the IRS want to do is have these groups lose their tax-exempt status because they haven't filed a short, simple form."
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      Senate expected to vote on Medicaid funding Monday
         The US Senate is expected to hold vote on whether to end debate and vote on a bill that includes enhanced federal Medicaid funding for states, including millions needed in Pennsylvania to avert mass layoffs and draconian cuts in health and social services in the Commonwealth.  Sixty votes are needed for the vote to go forward.
         The provision, known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) program, would give states a 3.2 percent Medicaid funding boost for the first quarter of 2011 and 1.2 percent for the second quarter, at a cost of $16.1 billion nationally.
         The state General Assembly included $850 million from FMAP in the budget is passed on July 1st  for the current fiscal year.  Last week, legislators and Administration officials began planning how to reduce the budget, primarily through reductions in the state workforce and major cuts in community services, in the event FMAP is not approved by Congress.
         The funds comprise 7 percent of the FY11 budget for the PA Dept. of Public Welfare.  Governor Rendell has estimated that without restoration of the funding, the state will be forced to implement layoffs of as many as 2o,000 state employees.   County and municipal jobs as well as jobs at private employers would also be impacted, including health care and human service workers, teachers, emergency services personnel, and police.
          Even if the FMAP funding is approved, it will only be effective for this fiscal year.  Unless the economic recovery results in higher state revenue projections for FY 2012, it is  likely that the service reductions and layoffs will have to be implemented next summer.
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      City sponsors “adult-friendly” college fair
         The City of Philadelphia will sponsor a free Returning to Learning: A College Fair for Adults, on Tuesday, August 10th from 11am to 3pm in the main concourse at the Municipal Services Building, Broad Street and John F. Kennedy Blvd.
         The fair is intended for people who are over 19 and have some college credits and want to complete their degree, have an associate’s degree and want to complete a 4-year degree, or have no college experience at all but want to start college.
         The adult-friendly event will help participants explore options, interview colleges, and learn how they can complete their degree at one of these accredited local colleges: Community College of Philadelphi
      a ,* Chestnut Hill College,* Center for Urban and Theological Studies, Drexel University, East Stroudsburg University (new Philadelphia location),  Holy Family University, La Salle University, Neumann University, Peirce College ,* Penn State University, Philadelphia University,* Rosemont College,* Rutgers University-Camden,  St. Joseph’s University, Temple University, Thomas Edison State College, Widener University and I-Lead. (* City employees, their spouses and dependents, may be eligible for a 25% tuition discount.)
         Free college success services are available at several locations throughout the area.  For more information, visit the Graduate Philadelphia or PhillyGoes2College websites.
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      2700 find jobs in stimulus job program
         Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced y that the Way to Work Philadelphia! program launched in May has provided almost 2,700 adults with jobs, and that hundreds more job opportunities are still available.
         Speaking during a visit to a participating employer that has hired almost twenty people through the stimulus-funded program, Nutter urged Philadelphians looking for work to visit their local CareerLink office or call the job-seeker hotline to find out about job slots that are waiting to be filled.
         “We are focused on putting Philadelphians back to work and through Way to Work Philadelphia almost 2,700 people who were previously unemployed have jobs this summer and are earning wages to support their families,” he said.
         “Over 100 employers across the region have stepped up to take advantage of this program and so there are still hundreds of job opportunities available. If you’re looking for a job visit your local CareerLink or call 215-557-2625 so that you can get back to work.”
         Nutter visited MEE Productions, a company that through WTWP has hired 18 adults as Community Action Team Coordinators to supervise the street outreach teams made up of Philadelphia youth who promote positive social and health messages to their peers and the broader community. MEE also hired 100 youth through WTWP to participate on the Community Action Street Teams.
         Currently the program is set to last through September 30, 2010 when federal funding will end, however advocates and some legislators are working to push for an extension. Private, public and non-profit employers who participate will receive a 100% wage reimbursement (up to $13 per hour) for adult employees hired through this initiative.
         To find out more, individuals should visit their local CareerLink office or call the Job Seeker Hotline at 215-557-2625.  Businesses that are interested in hiring workers through this program should visit the Way to Work Philadelphia! website or call the Employer Hotline at 888-557-2535.
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      New state policy aims to protect older homeowners
         The Rendell Administration has announced a new policy for the reverse mortgage industry that defines proper conduct of mortgage lenders and helps to protect Pennsylvania’s older homeowners.
         Under the policy, homeowners age 62 and older who choose to acquire a reverse mortgage will deal with lenders who understand the complexity of reverse mortgages, adhere to a code of conduct and have the ability to support the loan.
         A reverse mortgage is a way to borrow money by using a home as collateral. It differs from a traditional mortgage in that the home owner need not fear the possibility that their home will be lost in foreclosure during their lifetime.  However, the price one must pay to achieve this security is often very steep compared to other, more traditional kinds of financing.
         Unlike a traditional home equity loan in which the homeowner makes monthly payments to a lender, a reverse mortgage provides the homeowner with monthly payments, a lump sum, a line of credit or a combination of these payments. A reverse mortgage allows older homeowners to withdraw equity from their homes. The money does not have to be paid back until the borrower dies, sells the home or moves out.
         The Department of Banking has issued a consumer information brochure available online here.
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      PUP workshop warns about foreclosure scams
         The Philadelphia Unemployment Project will hold a workshop on how to avoid foreclosure rescue scams at the next Foreclosure Crisis Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 3rdat 112 N. Broad Street, 11th. Floor, at 6pm.  Pizza dinner will be served.  
         For more information, email Tim Styer or call 215-557-0822 ext. 103.
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      Art Sanctuary plans summer arts program
         North Philadelphia’s Art Sanctuary has introduced its first ever Summer Arts Leadership Camp, to be held Monday, August 16th to Sunday, August 22nd for rising 7th to rising 10th graders.
         The goal of the camp is to show students ways to use the arts as a tool for empowerment, leadership and activism.
         The deadline to register is Wednesday, August 11th.   For more information, go here.
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      Encore Experiences sets August workshops
         Encore Experiences at Harleysville, located at 312 Alumni Avenue in Harleysville, has scheduled a series of free workshops for the month of August.
         The group’s mission is to provide access to programs and resources that help older adults live independently and remain active.
         Next Friday, August 6th, presenter Myron Mendelow will present a seminar on Fortifying Relationships, an informative program about the importance of relationships that will offer tips on how to remain connected to the special people in our lives.
         On Thursday, August 12th, the center will feature a workshop on Shoulder Pain, led by a physical therapist, which includes a discussion about the impact of exercises and how to avoid shoulder problems.  Participants will also learn ways to reduce reliance on medication and avoid surgery. 
         And on Friday, August 20th, representatives from Grandview Hospital will present a workshop on Osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and are more likely to break.  The workshop will focus on how to prevent and treat this debilitating disease.
         Each workshop begins at 12:30pm.  Call 215-256-6900 for more information.
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      Comcast, Project H.O.M.E. offer computer repair program
         Project H.O.M.E.’s Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs has announced Comcast's Digital Connectors Program, a technology-based youth development program that teaches students to repair broken computers.
         Individuals can bring their broken computers to the center and it will be repaired by students who gain a world of experience as they explore the possibilities of critical thinking, new technology and media access in the program.
         The students have 6 modules to explore from Leadership Development, Digital Media Literacy, Financial Literacy, and Community Mapping.  Following a very intense module of Cisco IT Essentials, the students complete 56 community service hours, and this year the students
      selected computer repair as their community service project. Students will receive level one certification in Cisco when they complete the course.
         For more information, email Mary Randles.
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      Nicetown group holds college application fair
         The Nicetown Community Development Corporation is sponsoring the Give Back Festival  and Youth Successfest on Friday, August 6th from 1-9pm at Nicetown Park, 4301 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia.
         The event features help for students seeking to apply for college, including financial support for the applications fees for the first 100 participants.
         For more information, call 215-329-1824 or 215-549-3651.
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      ‘Community platform’ aims to support community partnerships
         Building civic capacity has never been more vital. In the face of limited government resources and deep political divisions, action at the community level is essential if we are to improve education, help the environment, create jobs, and build vibrant, healthy neighborhoods.
         Nonprofit organizations are key actors to spark this work but are handicapped by a lack of information and inadequate tools for collaboration.
         The National Center for Charitable Statistics at The Urban Institute believes that what nonprofits require is a system that brings community resources together in one place and provides them with data, knowledge and interactive tools they need to work together more effectively.
         The NCCS Community Platform is such a tool. This interactive database serves as a springboard to connect nonprofits and communities.
         On Wednesday, August 4th at 3pm, the NCCS, in collaboration with the Center for What Works, will introduce the NCCS Community Platform in a free webinar.
         In the online workshop, NCCS will demonstrate a powerful and versatile new tool designed to help nonprofits and communities work more effectively together identifying potential partners, aligning program services, sharing resources, mapping needs, and benchmarking performance.
         To register for the webinar, go here.
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      Partnership CDC opens new home buyers club
         The Partnership Community Development Corporation has opened registration for its Winter 2010 Home Buyers Club, which offers weekly workshops on buying a home starting September 8th at the PECO Financial Education Center, 4027 Market Street in West Philadelphia.
         The class may qualify eligible participants for closing cost assistance.
         Classes cost $40.  To enroll, call 215-307-4917.
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      Montco project needs volunteers to work with seniors
         Family Services’ Project HEARTH (Helping Elderly Adults Remain in Their Homes) is in need of dedicated volunteers to work with seniors living in Pottstown, Royersford and the Lower Perkiomen Valley. 
         Project HEARTH links elderly adults who are healthy enough to live in their own homes with special support services that help them to remain independent.
         Volunteers must enjoy working with seniors and will offer compassion and companionship, as well as handyman chore services for minor home repairs and transportation services.  Individual and group volunteer opportunities are available during the day, evening and on weekends.  Volunteer drivers must have a valid driver’s license and insurance. 
         “Volunteering with Project HEARTH is not a huge time commitment,” said Aaron Shostak, volunteer coordinator, Project HEARTH.  “Our volunteers are caring people who just want to help an elderly neighbor.” 
         For more information, call Aaron Shostak at 610-326-1610 ext. 235 or email him here.
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      Fall Semester of Service intended to honor 9/11 victims
         In response to the events of September 11, 2001, people served in an unprecedented way.  Building upon that spirit, and seeing service as a way for young people today to understand the events of September 11, Youth Service America is encouraging the launch of a fall Semester of Service on 9/11.
         To help in planning Semester of Service  activities, YSA has published Rebuilding Community:  A
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