Lancaster's Extra Give app first in the nation
For the second year in a row, Lancaster County's largest day of online giving will be enhanced with its own app.
The Extraordinary Give, hosted by the Lancaster County Community Foundation, is in its fourth year.
According to Tracy Cutler, vice president of communications and donor cultivation at the foundation, this is the first app associated with a giving day in the nation.
Extra Give events take place across the country with the help of Kimbia Inc., an online fundraising and crowdfunding platform that provides the foundation with the website for the occasion.
The event brings both nonprofit and for-profit entities together to raise money for the community.
The one-day only app was added last year and is updated with new features for this year’s 24-hour giving day, which kicks off at midnight.
The app was built by Industrial Resolution and sponsored by BB&T Corp., which recently acquired Susquehanna Bancshares Inc., who sponsored the app last year.
According to Industrial Resolution President Joel Walker, the point of an app is to streamline the one-day event and allow participants to get involved from anywhere.
“On give day, any time they want to reach into their pocket and make a donation they just open up favorites, hit their nonprofit of choice,” Walker said.
This year, the app features information on all 367 participating nonprofits including a donate button. App users can search through the organizations, create their own favorites list, read real-time news and updates on the event and see exactly how much money is coming in throughout the day.
It is also integrated with social media outlets.
It holds value outside of just this event as a quick way to research Lancaster nonprofits.
How it started
The app started two years ago, when Walker sat down with Cutler and asked if there was anything his company could do to help make the Extra Give event better.
“We just knew we wanted to be involved,” Walker said.
The foundation came up with the idea of an app, and Walker’s team built it.
“Overall, it’s been a great experience,” Walker said. “I think it’s important for people in Lancaster to know that you can actually build a very professional, high-quality app right here in town.”
Industrial Resolution has spent more than 1,000 hours to build the app in the past two years.
A lot of variables factor into building an app, including which devices will support it and testing the app on those devices. All this considered, Walker estimated that an app can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on what’s in the mix.
This year’s app is supported by both Android and iPhone, and can be downloaded right from the event website, extragive.org.
“We were seeking an app, but they completely stepped up and said, ‘We can do that,’” Cutler said.
A growing event
Extra Give has grown beyond a day of online giving to local nonprofits.
“What’s so interesting about it is that it’s moved from an online giving day to a community celebration of giving,” Cutler said.
Planned for this year is a Give Mobile, which will travel to six stops throughout Lancaster County to accept donations.
A local music festival featuring seven bands will take place at Lancaster Marriott and Lancaster County Convention Center, and Lancaster’s historic skyscraper, the Griest Building, will light up as a visual spectacle of the event.
This year, every dollar donated will be stretched, with at least $300,000 coming from the foundation and presenting sponsor Rodgers & Associates Ltd.
Additional corporate sponsors include many local companies whose donations equal $50,000 in prizes and incentives.
Nonprofit participation in the event has increased by 20 percent this year.
In its first year, Extra Give raised $1.7 million. The second year raised $3.2 million, and last year that grew to $4.5 million.
According to Cutler, donations have come from 48 states and 12 countries.