Big Give Day expands its scope, goals

Meagan Given, right, executive director of Give Local York, represented the non-profit organization at the 2018 Spirit of YoCo Awards on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Philanthropist Robert W. Pullo, helped to found the organization.

York County is celebrating its second annual Big Give Day on Friday with a goal of at least 300 participating nonprofits and $3 million raised.

The 24-hour giving day, hosted by Give Local York, already has 320 nonprofits signed up, and organizer Meagan Given is optimistic it can reach its financial goal.

Lancaster County's Extraordinary Give — a similar 24-hour give day that just completed its seventh year — went from about $1.6 million to about $3.6 million from its first to second year, she said, and Give Local York exceeded its $1 million goal last year, coming in at just under $1.5 million.

Last year was a learning experience, Given said, but strategic changes were made, such as more events scheduled around happy hour and First Friday.

"The first year everyone was kind of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what stuck," she said.

Also new this year is a user-friendly technology platform and the opportunity to not just give financially but to sign up as a volunteer, Given said.

More:Give Local York aims to raise $3 million in 2019

More: Give Local York hits $1 million goal with hours remaining in massive fundraiser

"What's really cool is that this is a countywide event," she said, adding that about 50 events will take place outside York City, with many nonprofits collaborating.

A group of eastern York County nonprofits are hosting a breakfast at Hallam's Hallamshire Restaurant, followed by a happy hour and cornhole downtown, and about a dozen area nonprofits will have food trucks, games and family activities at the Markets at Hanover.

York City Mayor Michael Helfrich talks with Bob Pullo of the White Rose Leadership Institute afte a press conference at the Appell Center, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, announcing Give Local York, a 24-hour fundraising marathon, will take place on May 3, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

Some organizations have multiple events, such as the York County History Center, which has free admission to two of its museums; a science, technology, engineering and math activity and scavenger hunt for students; a tavern tasting with music from YorVoice; and a DNA kit giveaway.

York County Libraries has family-friendly events at 15 locations throughout the county, ranging from dining and dance to story time and book discussions.

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A full list of events is available at, as is a downloadable program.

Within First Friday, there will be about another 100 events, including a pickleball tournament on North Beaver Street, performances in Continental Square, a local celebrity karaoke contest and an old-time folk music jam.

At last year's Big Give Day, The York Symphony Orchestra rehearses for the Back in the USSR concert at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts Friday, May 4, 2018. Bill Kalina photo (Photo: The York Dispatch)

This year's concert will be Sports Orchestrated, featuring Baltimore Orioles World Series Champion Scott McGregor. The orchestra has a free open rehearsal from 6:30-10 p.m. Friday, May 3, through the Philadelphia Street entrance to the Appell Center. The concert will be held at the center Saturday, May 4, 2019.

The Big Give Party, at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts (formerly the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center) will kick off at 7 p.m. with Bustle & Bump playing on top of the Capitol marquee. Aortic Valve will then present a silent disco — where everyone dances together wearing headphones — from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

More:Cultural Alliance to match $25,000 in donations for Give Local York 2019

A photo booth and interactive social media mosaic wall — made up of hashtagged photos from this year and last year's Big Give Day — will be set up in the lobby.

Doors will open at 10 p.m. for the 10:30 p.m. finale show from Central City Orchestra, leading up to the midnight grand total reveal.

"Give Local is really meant to be a celebration," Given said. "I would love for give day to become sort of a holiday for York."