Penn-Mar Human Services Announces $7.5 Million Campaign

Penn-Mar Announces $7.5 Million Campaign

Posted on September 20, 2022

Penn-Mar Human Services Announces Historic $7.5 Million Campaign

“Building Bold Futures” Funds Will Expand and Enhance New and Existing Services

Penn-Mar Human Services, the region’s leading provider of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), has announced the public launch of its largest ever fundraising endeavor, the $7.5 million “Building Bold Futures” campaign. Penn-Mar began its exploratory phase in August 2020 and as of September 2022, the organization has raised more than $6.5 million, or 87% of the goal. The campaign concludes in early 2023.

While Penn-Mar receives a vast majority of its operating budget through state and federal funding, true evolution and enhancement of services can only be achieved through private donations. Penn-Mar has always focused on a path of constant innovation, never resting on the accomplishments of the past, and instead, looking for new ways to support the IDD community and expand programming. “Building Bold Futures” is vital in continuing that legacy of progress.

“The ways that we innovate and provide support are growing faster than ever,” says Penn-Mar President and CEO Greg Miller. “If we want to truly fulfill our mission to allow others to ‘live courageously, we can’t rely exclusively on government dollars. This campaign unlocks an entirely new chapter in Penn-Mar’s story and gives us the financial flexibility to realize many of our long-term goals.”

Many of the campaign’s monies will be utilized to help support recruitment and retention of Penn-Mar’s Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), the healthcare specialists that work directly with the IDD community and make up 80% of the group’s workforce. In 2016, Penn-Mar launched its Career Ladders program to ensure its valuable DSPs receive the national credentialing and ongoing training that can help DSPs secure greater compensation and remain with the organization.

“DSPs are the backbone of our industry and critical to our future success,” says Penn-Mar COO Jackie Stevens. “Unfortunately, 50% of all DSPs, nationally, leave the industry each year. But Penn-Mar’s credentialing program has helped us keep 82% of all DSPs who have completed the process. The campaign will allow Penn-Mar to further expand the program, which in turn, allows us to keep more DSPs, attract new ones, and better support the IDD community — which drives everything we do.”

In addition to DSP support, campaign funds will be used in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Greater DSP career training enhancement and improved advancement opportunities at every level of the organization.
  • Provide an additional 30 service vehicles. Penn-Mar regularly provides more than 13,000 rides for the people they support, offering transportation to employers, community homes, family, and Penn-Mar’s day learning centers. These vehicles will help offer even more rides and serve areas currently outside of existing reach.
  • Accelerate the evolution of hybrid-virtual and in-person connectivity and accessible technology by acquiring devices, apps, and technology that will help foster greater independence and grow community connections. Funds will also allow for real-time data collection to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the technology.
  • Support the Michael James Pitts Endowment, which aids the Career Ladders program and helps with the aforementioned retention and recruitment of DSPs. The campaign will allow Career Ladders to become fully self-sustained and support more of Penn-Mar’s DSPs to become credentialed.
  • Support the General Endowment, which provides flexible funding, allowing Penn-Mar to adopt new methods of support as better approaches are discovered, or respond to unexpected crises. In 2020, this fund was critical in allowing Penn-Mar to navigate the pandemic.
  • Renovation of Penn-Mar’s Far Hills, Penn. location, providing a central hub for administrative, operational, and programming services, and eliminating the need for multiple individual locations.

“This campaign is a monumental moment in our 40-year history,” says Penn-Mar Chief Advancement Officer Kathy Rogers. “The pandemic emphasized just how vital our role is in the community, and how important it is to have a staunch advocate for our vulnerable and marginalized neighbors. Above all else, we continue to be dedicated to inclusion and equity for all, and with ‘Building Bold Futures’, that devotion can continue, and grow, for many years to come.”

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