Minnesota: Ready, Set, Give!

Minnesota: Ready, Set, Give! Click to Enlarge

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Local non-profits are hoping to double, even triple donations during Give to the Max Day this year. Detroit Lakes non profits, Lakes Crisis and Resource Center in Detroit Lakes and Becker County Food Pantry, have each received matches to any donations received from now through November 16th at 11:59pm. Give to the Max Day is the day more than 6,000 Minnesota nonprofit groups stand to gain millions of dollars in donations, thanks to the organization known as GiveMN.org.

Its executive director, Jake Blumberg, says the GiveMN website makes donating easy and fun, and has even gained an international following. "Give to the Max Day acts as almost an unofficial starting gun to year-end giving season," Blumberg states. "We get donations from every county in the state of Minnesota, every state in the United States, and nearly 50 countries from around the world."

Blumberg says GiveMN is successful because it's a one-stop shop. Donors can browse potential recipients by mission or location, and learn whether matching gifts are available. Then, they give what they want to as many as they want. Give to the Max Day also features bonuses that add momentum.

Blumberg says the clock starts at midnight on Wednesday. "Every hour, we draw one lucky donor's name and add $1,000 to their contribution," he states. "And at the end of the day, we do a supersized Golden Ticket, which is drawn from everyone who's made a contribution since Nov. 1, and we add $10,000 to their contribution."

GiveMN does add a 6.9 percent fee for processing the online donations and running the program.

Last year, a Golden Ticket recipient was the Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley School District in far western Minnesota. Teachers and parents had been trying to raise money to replace a dilapidated playground with a new, accessible one.

Second grade teacher Gretchen Cardwell says the GiveMN prize put the district over the top.

"We had a huge amount of community help that came and put it together over a week, and kids got to see it go up, little bit by little bit," she relates.

"We checked on it daily to see what it looked like. And they were just so excited to get out there and be creative, you know - there are many aspects to it that allow them to use their creative minds."

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