Give Local York: York County nonprofits prep for daylong fundraiser
For one day in May, more than 200 nonprofits in York County will have the opportunity to raise money together.
But the event’s chief sponsors hope the effect goes beyond raising money and lasts more than 24 hours.
They hope to mirror the success of the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s annual Extraordinary Give.
“Giving days are nothing new. They happen in communities all across the country,” said Meagan Feeser, coordinator of Give Local York. “But with ours, we have 60 nonprofit leaders getting behind the idea. It’s the nonprofits themselves that are saying, ‘We want a give day.’”
Founded in 2006 by former banking executive Bob Pullo on behalf of the York Federal Savings & Loan Foundation, the York Federal Fellows Program gives six executive leaders per year the opportunity to develop professional and personal leadership skills.
Since its inception, 60 nonprofits leaders have graduated from the program and they have founded an alumni group, the York Federal Fellows Alumni Association. Now those nonprofit leaders want to take what they’ve learned to not only help their own nonprofits succeed, but to help other nonprofit organizations as well.
Funding the under-funded
Over the past six years, Lancaster’s Extraordinary Give has raised more than $30 million for hundreds of nonprofits. The annual event continues to grow, said Tracy Cutler, executive vice president of the Lancaster County Community Foundation, which runs the event. Last year alone, the one-day event raised more than $8.6 million.
In using Extraordinary Give’s first event as a guide, Feeser said Give Local York has set a goal of $1 million in donations for the more than 200 nonprofits that have registered online to take part in the May 4 event. And that goal isn’t one she’s worried about achieving.
According to the annual YorkCounts Indicators Report, charitable giving in York County in 2015 was nearly $18.3 million, averaging about $41 per county resident. YorkCounts is a committee within the York County Community Foundation (YCCF) that assesses needs by collecting data in areas such as health, education and the environment.
And though it has involved hard work, Feeser said the event is shaping up well. A number of business and nonprofits have agreed to provide sponsorships.
In addition to individual donations to nonprofits between midnight and 11:59 p.m. on May 4, sponsors PeoplesBank, PowderMill Foundation, the YCCF and the Arthur J. & Lee R. Glatfelter Foundation have donated $100,000 that will be pooled and distributed equally among all the registered nonprofits. The Cultural Alliance of York County also is providing $25,000 that will be distributed among all arts-based organizations.
The United Way of York County, meanwhile, has offered $25,000 that will be distributed among partner agencies that participate in the organization’s annual four-month-long campaign drive for donations.
Why May 4?
In selecting a time frame for York County, Feeser said Give Local York decided to partner with Give Local America, which is held annually in May, as a way to tap into the resources provided by the national initiative. The timeline also falls between the Cultural Alliance of York County's annual campaign, which finishes in March, as well as the United Way’s, which starts in August.
Give Local York also did not want to hold a campaign near the end of the year, which might conflict with holidays and a number of other charitable campaigns.
“We didn’t want to compete,” Feeser said.
More than money
Much like the York Federal Fellows Program, the goal of Give Local York is much more than making money, Pullo said.
“It provides an opportunity to create donor attention, grow a donor base and help a nonprofit support their mission all at the same time,” he said. “It also offers [nonprofits] a chance to grow and learn while establishing connections with residents throughout the county.”
Jane Conover, president and CEO of YCCF, said there are 1,200 registered nonprofits in York County. But because many organizations are run by volunteers, they don’t have the opportunity or resources to market themselves or create as much awareness as they’d like.
“Give Local York elevates the ability of nonprofits to tell their stories and raise visibility and awareness of impact,” said Jenny Englerth, chairwoman of the York Federal Fellows Alumni and CEO of Family First Health, a York-based health care provider with locations in Adams, Lancaster and York counties.
Englerth said helping other nonprofits ultimately contributes to the health and well-being of the entire community. And Give Local York offers another avenue to help.
But, she said, it’s up to each nonprofit to hustle and connect with the segment of the community that resonates most with its mission.
Give Local York is trying to facilitate those connections.
Nonprofits can share their missions on a webpage, givelocalyork.org, and receive some coaching on how to use digital media to tell their stories. The fellows offered two training opportunities. Of the 200-plus nonprofits that registered for Give Local York, nearly 60 percent participated, Pullo said, noting that the lessons will come in handy after May 4.
“Of that learning and tools given that day, they’ll have those resources to extend far beyond our give day,” he said.
Give Local York is an event asking people to donate online all day long on May 4, but it includes a bevy of events throughout York County.
Also at 7 a.m., the Hanover Area Historical Society will host a breakfast at the Warehime-Myers Mansion. The Maple Shade Barn in Dillsburg will host a breakfast at the same time.
The festivities will end in a wrap party at Central Market York, which will serve as the Give Local York headquarters.
To see a full schedule of events, visit givelocalyork.org.
To encourage a little competition, cash bonuses will be awarded to organizations that raise the most money during different intervals throughout the day. CORE Design Group, for example, is offering $1,000 to the organization that raises the most money from noon to 1 p.m.
People can track the progress of fundraising on a nonprofit scoreboard that will appear live at givelocalyork.org/leaderboards.