The Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) is receiving $250,000 in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support nonprofit organizations throughout the Commonwealth.
The grant funding, allocated through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development with support from State Senators Carolyn Comitta and Tim Kearney, will address the increased need for technical assistance and training resulting from the pandemic.
Since the onset of COVID-19, nonprofits in Pennsylvania have experienced an overwhelming increase (nearly 20%) in demand for services. According to PANO, demand for the two main needs – housing and utility assistance – saw increases of 17% and 19% respectively. In addition to increased demand for services, 87% of nonprofits experienced a negative financial impact due to COVID. More recently, many nonprofit organizations are facing a significant turnover of qualified employees, approximately 79% of which is attributed to the inability to offer competitive salaries.
Struggling to manage a surge in service demands with a reduced workforce, nonprofit organizations are increasingly turning to PANO for technical assistance and training on issues such as legal requirements, financing and human resources related to the pandemic; flexible strategy and budget development; racial justice programming; and governance support. In turn, PANO’s service requests have increased by 60% since the onset of COVID.
“PANO is especially grateful for the assistance of Senators Comitta and Kearney in securing this funding, in recognition of the essential work of nonprofit organizations across the state who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic,” said Anne Gingerich, Executive Director of PANO. “Eighty-eight percent of all nonprofits have budgets under $500,000 and therefore often lack organizational capacity. PANO works alongside these organizations, helping them achieve the capacity needed to accomplish the mission. With their support, Senators elevate the value of PANO and nonprofit professionals who find the necessary resources and connect with each other through the work of PANO.
ARPA funding will be used by PANO to support its nonprofit partner organizations by providing:
• Assistance from the Nonprofit Organizations Help Desk with matters related to the management and governance of nonprofit organizations.
• Online workshops and a hybrid conference to connect nonprofit professionals to expertise and each other.
• Access to Standards for Excellence resource kits, which include the latest guidance on nonprofit law and legal resources governing nonprofits in Pennsylvania.
• Community cohorts designed to reshape organizational policies and practices through a racial justice lens, addressing a need identified by nonprofit organizations during the pandemic.
“Like businesses and families in Pennsylvania and across the country, the COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on nonprofits. Faced with increased demand and reduced staff, many local nonprofits are already doing more with less,” Comitta said. “This investment in PANO and its nonprofit network will help organizations continue to operate effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of individuals, children and families. Our communities rely on nonprofits, and our nonprofits deserve to know they can count on PANO and our legislative leaders for much-needed support.
“Nonprofits care for our local communities, and we need to make sure they have the support they need to comply with local, state, and federal financial and ethical guidelines, while planning and growing their businesses and service,” Kearney said. “PANO is a smart investment that can provide the level of board and organizational development and growth required for such an elevator. I will continue to advocate for funding to support nonprofits and other organizations that seek to better our communities and serve constituents.
Kearney, Comitta and Gingerich also thanked Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa and Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman Vincent Hughes for their work in allocating the funds, as well as U.S. Representatives Chrissy Houlahan and Mary Gay Scanlon for their support of the American rescue plan.
“Prior to serving our community in Congress, I ran an early childhood literacy nonprofit in southeastern Pennsylvania,” Rep. Houlahan said. “So I understand firsthand how vital nonprofits are, especially at times like these when we have seen the demand for these community services increase dramatically as a result of the pandemic. I am delighted to hear that $250,000 in US bailout funds has been awarded thanks to the hard work of Senator Comitta and Senator Kearney. The USA Rescue Plan continues to serve our vital nonprofit organizations and provide direct assistance to members of our community. I proudly voted for this legislation to support the work of groups such as the Chester County Maternal and Child Health Consortium, Chester County Center Against Domestic Violence, CASA Youth Advocates and the Delaware Valley Fireman’s Association , and I look forward to all the progress that will be made with these funds.
“The Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) provides critical logistical support to nonprofits in our region, and we all know the important role nonprofits have played in meeting the extraordinary demands created by the pandemic. of COVID-19,” said Congresswoman Mary Gay. Scanlon. “We passed the US bailout to provide a lifeline for the American people and our economy – including small businesses, nonprofits and civic institutions. That’s why I’m so happy to see PANO receive this grant from the money we allocated in the US bailout, allowing PANO to help even more local organizations and the people they serve.
Several Southeastern Pennsylvania nonprofits welcomed news of the funding and thanked PANO for its continued support.
A member of PANO for 13 years, the Chester County Maternal and Child Health Consortium (MCHC) strives to improve maternal and child health through the collaborative efforts of individuals, providers and policy makers.
“PANO provides effective support to hundreds of not-for-profit organizations in our region and across the Commonwealth. MCHC has accessed and used model organizational policies and guidance through PANO’s Standards for Excellence program. We have achieved and maintained standards accreditation since 2011,” said Milena Oberti-Lanz, Chief Executive Officer of MCHC. “PANO’s tools have helped us build a strong foundation so we can continue to deliver on our mission, ensuring families start out healthy, stay healthy, and succeed in school.” PANO has taken us to a different level by showing that we have taken all necessary steps to ensure that we serve the community and that we operate in an ethical and responsible manner. »
The Delaware County Firefighters Association provides leadership, support, and opportunities for advancement by representing firefighters, fire departments, and emergency service providers in Delaware County.
“In my engagement with the Fire and EMS Administrative Officer course, developed by the Harrisburg Area Community College and PANO Public Safety Training Program, I learned elements of nonprofit management. profit that I previously only superficially understood,” said Tom Savage, treasurer and past president of the Delaware County Firefighters Association. “For example, I gained a better understanding of the importance of well-defined bylaws, board governance responsibilities, a solid strategic plan, and financial oversight, including internal controls. I used the valuable information and materials I received to form our board of directors, resulting in improved productivity and overall efficiency, and as a result, a few board members also followed the Classes. »
An accredited organization and PANO organization for over a decade, the Chester County Domestic Violence Center (DVCCC) is committed to working to prevent domestic violence and empower survivors of domestic violence by providing information and supporting them as they reclaim their lives.
“PANO’s Accreditation Standards for Excellence provides nonprofit organizations with support and materials to successfully achieve organizational strength. This external review of organizational policies, procedures, practices, financial health and program evaluation improves sustainability and the overall process is invaluable! said Dolly Wideman Scott, CEO of DVCCC. “Having documents in one place facilitates legal compliance, as the organization has gone through rigorous oversight processes by local, state and federal funding partners. Accountability facilitates best practices and the ongoing engagement of our diverse stakeholders.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Youth Advocates help ensure that children who have been abused or neglected can be safe, have forever homes and have a bright future.
“CASA Youth Advocates has experienced significant increases and changing needs for our advocacy services on behalf of abused and neglected children in Delaware and Chester counties over the past two years as our communities navigated the pandemic of COVID-19,” said executive director Leigh Anne McKelvey. . “As a small, fast-moving non-profit organization striving to adapt to the needs of the children and young people we serve, we rely heavily on PANO to provide advice on best practices, resources to create and maintain a competent and dedicated board and staff, and support with policies and procedures that advance the health of our organization and ensure legal compliance.”