DIGITAL ORIGINAL: The Extraordinary Give fundraising gets creative


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Coronavirus changed the way Lancaster celebrated The Extraordinary Give this year, but some organizations got creative, finding new ways to fundraise.

The Extraordinary Give is Lancaster’s day of giving, when the community donates to more than 500 organizations that shape the county. With COVID-19 limiting social gatherings, organizations came up with new, Coronavirus-safe fundraising tactics.

For example, illustrator and muralist Maria Tomassetti painted a new mural at the Hillrise Apartments to raise awareness and collect donations for Revolution. Revolution is a Lancaster organization that provides community and supplemental income to women affected by homelessness by teaching them to make jewelry, explains Jasmine Lee, Revolution’s interim executive director.

The mural, titled “Revolution of the Heart,” depicts a woman whose heart and body are surrounded by blooming flowers. Lee says the painting reflects the mission of Revolution. “That’s what we’re all about in Revolution, is transforming the [jewelry] makers’ heart posture so that they’re not feeling burdened by their circumstance, but that they’re feeling hopeful.”

Lee says that this fundraising event was a way for Revolution to engage online audiences and give them a glimpse into the painting process while COVID-19 prevents people from gathering in person.

The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County rolled out a different way to engage donors this year. Board member Adam Zurn explains that the Historic Preservation Trust is offering an incentive program, in which donors receive different gifts or opportunities for their contributions.

Top donors can choose one of four private event options: an event in the garden behind the Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House in the spring, an architectural tour of downtown Lancaster, a guided Uncharted Lancaster adventure, or a drawing class.

“[COVID-19] makes it tough financially not just for nonprofits, but just [for] the general public,” says Zurn. The Historic Preservation Trust had to alter some events this year due to the virus, but the organization is working to bolster its online programming.

Zurn says one project that donations from The Extraordinary Give could help with is digitizing the trust’s historic documents so they are preserved and accessible for the community.

Lee says Revolution lost some revenue as the Coronavirus shut down in-person retail, but she hopes that funding from The Extraordinary Give will help the organization “to excel into the future, and hopefully build the jewelry part of the business, too, so that we can become more sustainable.”

The Extraordinary Give ends tonight at 11:59 p.m.

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