New tech lands role in Lancaster’s Extraordinary Give

Lenay Ruhl//November 18, 2016

New tech lands role in Lancaster’s Extraordinary Give

Lenay Ruhl//November 18, 2016

While the goal is the same as in past years – raise money for nonprofits in Lancaster County – some of the tools have changed.

Gone is an app used to facilitate giving. In its place is a social media feed, according to the Lancaster County Community Foundation, which organizes the Extraordinary Give.

The switch to a social media feed stemmed from the foundation’s desire to help nonprofits benefit from the event all year instead of just on one day by showing them the impact of communicating with people through social media.

The foundation is encouraging nonprofits to post messages on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter throughout Nov. 18. Their posts will be hashtagged for the event and be shared on one feed.

The foundation will approve the hashtagged posts as they come in, and people viewing the feed online will be able to “see people from all across the community in one place,” said foundation spokesperson Tracy Cutler. “I think that that has a different kind of power to really amplify the event.”

The hope is that nonprofits will see the impact of sharing on social media during the Extraordinary Give, and then begin to use social media to reach people the rest of the year according to Christopher Tress, creative director at Lancaster-based Industrial Resolution. His firm partnered with a San Francisco company called Tint to develop the social media feed.

The social media feed will also draw attention to nonprofits’ social media sites, and hopefully attract more followers, Tress added.

Industrial Resolution also designed the app used over the past two years. Last year people made 3,430 donations through the app.

The social feed will be accessible on the Extra Give website, which is also where people can go to make a donation. The website is mobile friendly. Donations will be amplified by a $350,000 stretch pool and $50,000 in prizes from the foundation and corporate sponsors, a news release said.

While the app is gone, the event’s other features remain, such as parties at locations throughout the county, and a box truck decked out as the Give Mobile that will make stops at businesses so people can climb in and make a donation on one of its computers.

“People can make their choices to the many causes – to make a gift and then to share,” Cutler said.

This year 427 organizations are participating in the Extraordinary Give, 60 more than in 2015. Last year people in the community donated a record total of $6.1 million.

“I think that giving and supporting our local community is pretty contagious,” Cutler said.