Friday, May 3, has been set as the date for the second annual Give Local York, a county-wide day of giving. During this year's 24-hour online fundraising spree, community members may visit http://www.givelocalyork.org to make online donations to the nonprofit organizations of their choice.
The inaugural Give Local York event in 2018 raised $1.47 million for 211 nonprofit organizations, exceeding its goal of raising $1 million for 200 organizations. "Because we have a successful one under our belt, we have momentum on our side (for the second annual give day)," said Meagan Given, executive director of Give Local York. "My general theme for this year is 'Bigger and Better.'"
Indeed, goals for York County's second annual community-wide give day have been set at raising $3 million for 300 nonprofit groups. Given noted that there was a bit of a learning curve during last year's inaugural event for organizers, representatives of nonprofit organizations, and community members, and she is optimistic that the event will continue to grow as everyone becomes more familiar with the give day concept. She noted that as of the Jan. 18 deadline for early registration, there were already 175 nonprofit organizations signed up to participate in the 2019 event, including 35 organizations that were not involved in 2018.
Given described Give Local York as a grassroots movement that is run by nonprofits for nonprofits. The event host is White Rose Leadership Institute, and organizers have drawn inspiration from give days in other communities, including Lancaster County's Extraordinary Give. "We had a really great model to look at from Lancaster," noted Given.
During the online giving extravaganza, community members will be able to make donations to a variety of 501(c)(3) organizations that do work that benefits York County and its residents. "(The) minimum gift (amount) is $10 to be inclusive," commented Given. "We want to spread the message that everyone can be a philanthropist."
In addition to receiving donations from members of the community, participating nonprofit organizations will also benefit from a stretch pool that has been set up to bolster the amount donated by community members. Given noted that organizers are shooting for a stretch pool of at least $250,000 - up from 2018's $100,000 - and that community members are welcome to contribute funds to the stretch pool. At least $20,000 in additional funds will also be awarded to participating organizations as prizes.
Nonprofit organizations can register to participate in Give Local York online at http://www.givelocalyork.org. The deadline for organizations to sign up is Monday, April 1.
This year's event will include an opportunity for participating organizations to connect with prospective volunteers, as well. When they set up profiles on http://www.givelocalyork.org, representatives of participating nonprofit organizations will have an opportunity to list volunteer positions they are looking to fill. On the give day, community members will be able to peruse the volunteer opportunities and sign up to help.
Given said that the idea to include a volunteerism component in the event stemmed from conversations she had with representatives from a number of nonprofits after last year's give day. "They told me they need money, but they also need volunteers," she explained, noting that signing up to volunteer is a way for people to support local nonprofits, even if they do not have funds to donate.
Another new feature planned for the 2019 give day is that community members will have the opportunity to set up peer-to-peer fundraising pages. "Individuals can create their own profile fundraising page for an organization they support," explained Given. They can then solicit donations by sharing links to their fundraising pages with family and friends via social media and email.
While the mechanism for donating through Give Local York is online, there will also be plenty of opportunities for face-to-face interaction between community members and representatives of the nonprofit organizations seeking support. "There's a lot of energy and excitement around the give day," Given noted. A large celebration is planned in downtown York in conjunction with May's First Friday activities, and attendees will have the opportunity to interact with representatives of nonprofit organizations while enjoying live music and other festivities. "It's meant to be a party," said Given, adding that a piece of feedback she frequently heard from community members after last year's event was: "I didn't know how much fun it was going to be!"
Additional parties and activities will be planned to mark the give day in communities throughout the county, and details about the events will be added to the listing at http://www.givelocalyork.org over the coming months.
"Of course it's great to raise that much money in one day, but it's really about community building and coming together," said Given.