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Values and the Extraordinary Give

On November 19, our community will celebrate the 10th  annual Extraordinary Give. The Lancaster County Community Foundation launched this event to help inspire individuals to give to causes they care about and to shine a light on the work of the hundreds of participating organizations. It is one of the many ways the Community Foundation encourages people to connect with, and care for our community.

Thanks to your support, the Extraordinary Give has become the largest per capita giving day in the country. As we approach the 2021 event, I want to share a bit of the behind-the-scenes work of our organization and update you on some new additions to the ExtraGive platform designed to better support your thoughtful giving efforts.

Over the past several years, the Community Foundation has worked internally to more fully understand, assess, and define our organizational values.  While we know we still have much to learn, we continue to work on how those values align and impact the work we do. Our values include Integrity, Relationships, Equity, Innovation, and Courage. 

We understand we serve a beautifully diverse community with a wide array of viewpoints and experiences. We invite these perspectives, respect differences, and seek to find a path forward for our shared future.

To that end, Extraordinary Give has just three simple requirements for eligibility: 

  1. Be legally registered with the PA Bureau of Charitable Organizations,

  2. Have an up-to-date independent audit or independent financial review,

  3. Serve residents of Lancaster County.

The ExtraGive signifies our commitment to working with as broad an expanse of our community as possible. The event is a mirror that reflects the tapestry of perspectives, insights, and experiences that make up Lancaster County.

I want to be clear, however, that the Community Foundation does not endorse the programs or practices of organizations simply because they have “qualified to participate” in ExtraGive. 

We believe a truly extraordinary community is one where every person – no matter their race, faith, sex, gender, social status, sexual orientation, and many other unique characteristics– is valued for who they are and appreciated for what they can contribute in their own way to our community. We believe that discriminating against individuals, othering our neighbors, demonizing and excluding people who are different than us causes harm to individuals, our community, and the shared future we hope to build.

We appreciate that donors try to be as thoughtful as possible when selecting organizations they want to support. To help in that process, we’ve added two new opportunities to this year’s ExtraGive to enable donors to learn more about their favorite organizations. We hope these additions will create positive dialogue and might assist the thousands of individuals who give through ensure that their philanthropic giving aligns with their values.

First, we’ve created the voluntary option for all participating organizations to feature their nondiscrimination policy as part of their ExtraGive profile page. This gives organizations the chance to share more about how they approach their work. At the same time, it gives donors an opportunity to learn more about the organizations they support and understand more deeply about the policies that guide their approach.

Second, in partnership with the Steinman Foundation, we developed the “Pursuit of Equity Prize.”  This prize seeks to celebrate and encourage organizations actively pursuing equitable practices within their organization. Participation is voluntary, and organizations that are programmatically and operationally moving towards more equitable practices are encouraged to apply. Winners of the prize will be randomly selected from qualified submissions and announced throughout the Extra Give on November 19.

As we prepare for the Extraordinary Give, we invite everyone to share the joy of giving with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers—and to embrace this extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate our love and care for our community through philanthropy. Your generous and intentional giving will continue to raise the collective bar for organizations working to serve our community and, in-turn, move us closer toward our goal of Extraordinary Community.

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Sam Bressi, President & CEO 

Lancaster County Community Foundation