The smart way for Minnesotans to discover, support and engage with charities.
When I first started working for GiveMN I wasn’t much of a philanthropist. I had just recently graduated from college, and was still clinging desperately to my money as I looked forward to paying off my student loans. Of course working at this organization has left me even more passionate about support nonprofit organizations, but unfortunately as an AmeriCorps member it has not left me with swelling pockets. So what’s a girl to do when she wants to be generous but is scrimping and saving to pay her rent?
This year for my birthday I chose not to ask for gifts. Instead, I set up a fundraiser on GiveMN and sent the link to my friends and family, asking them to give donations online. When I first made this decision I was a little uncertain: yeah, I was probably doing something good and was earning myself general world brownie points, but wouldn’t I really miss those presents? As we move forward into the season of gift-giving and many nonprofits begin to ask you to think about them in your holiday plans, I’m sure some of you feel the same: I could be sharing time with my family and friends, giving things to my loved ones, receiving some awesome stuff…why would I give that up?
Well I have a secret for all of you. It’s FUN.
I set up my fundraising page a couple of weeks before my birthday, and each morning when I logged into my email account I eagerly looked to see if I had any new updates of gifts. Many times they came with extremely kind words and an honesty and integrity of spirit that I didn’t see when I simply got a gift from someone. My friends and family gave to something that I cared about: I looked at the final donation amount after two weeks, looked at all the names of people who were willing to care enough about something I cared about to give money to it, and it was nearly $700. For someone who can barely spare $3 for a cup of coffee, that was amazing.
Even more than that, it felt like I had made a little community of my own. My parents and their parents, my friends, friends from the internet that I had never met in person: all were contributing to my little corner of the world. I posted thanks, I posted smiling pictures of myself, I connected with those around me. Asking others to give isn’t uncomfortable or awkward: it’s amazing. And even more amazing was the response that I got. Every gift I got sent a shiver of excitement down my spine. During this holiday season I encourage you to get your giving hat on and experience how wonderful it is to see donations coming in.
If you'd like to set up your own fundraiser, or just learn more, visit http://givemn.razoo.com/story/new?
In light of the technology difficulties, GiveMN requested that its technology partners at Razoo reduce the transaction costs for donations made on Give to the Max Day. Razoo (d.b.a. Razoo Global Corporation) and the Razoo Foundation have responded with a 1.0% rebate on Give to the Max Day transaction costs, which will be reflected in organizations' December 10 disbursement.
"We know we can never fully account for the donations that may have been lost, nor can we make up for the frustrations experienced by donors and organizations alike on November 14. However, we deeply appreciate the patience, generosity, and understanding with which you responded," GiveMN Executive Director Dana Nelson said.
More than 52,000 donors gave $17.1 million to nonprofit organizations and schools using GiveMN.org
St. Paul – Nov. 19, 2013 – Minnesota donors rallied to support 4,437 nonprofits and schools during the fifth annual Give to the Max Day November 14, raising more than $17.1 million and surpassing last year’s $16.3 million total. Minnesota’s outpouring of support for the state’s nonprofits and schools overwhelmed Razoo’s servers and GiveMN.org at 12:30 p.m., causing access issues for nearly five hours. Razoo is the technology partner for GiveMN.org.
However, the tenacity of Minnesota’s giving spirit was not trumped with the technical frustrations, and giving soared when the site returned to operation in the early evening. Minnesota's 24-hour online giving marathon saw more than 52,371 people donate.
“We thank all Minnesotans for their immense generosity and patience on what was a frustrating, yet truly incredible, day,” said Dana Nelson, executive director, GiveMN. “We were very disappointed by the significant time the site was down. The nonprofits and schools worked so hard to make Give to the Max Day come to life. The technical issues impacted their bottom lines.
“At the same time, we celebrate the power of Minnesotans who, even through a very challenging time, came together to support the incredible work of our state’s nonprofits and schools and broke a Give to the Max Day record in dollars raised.”
GiveMN will award the remaining Golden Ticket prize grants, representing the five hours the GiveMN.org site was not operating, in a random drawing from all donations on Give to the Max Day. Additionally, 10 “bonus” $1,000 Golden Tickets (five for nonprofit donors and five for school donors) were randomly drawn from among all donors who gave during the 24 hours and will be awarded.
Razoo is investigating the details surrounding technical issues that led to the overwhelmed servers. GiveMN has asked Razoo to lower the transaction fee percentage, and they are considering this request. Razoo will continue to investigate the details surrounding the website outage on Give to the Max Day. GiveMN, meanwhile, has begun exploring options to find a new technology partner.
More than $200,000 was available in prize grants for nonprofit organizations and schools, including “golden ticket” and “power hour” grants. The top-earning organizations in their respective categories also won a $10,000 leaderboard grant, with the Greater Minnesota Leaderboard as a new addition this year. The following organizations took home these leadership prizes:
The full list of Give to the Max Day prize winners is available here.
“Give to the Max Day brings out the best in Minnesotans,” said Sara Dziuk, executive director, College Possible Twin Cities. “Even with the set-back of the website issues, we found significant value in driving both our donor base and new donors to give to College Possible on this big day. I feel 2013 was a great success, and we celebrate the impact the 17.1 million dollars will have on Minnesota nonprofits and schools.”
Created in 2009, Give to the Max Day bolsters celebrates charitable giving statewide by engaging as many donors as possible in a single day. The event is spearheaded by GiveMN, a first-of-its-kind organization that helps Minnesotans support charities. Since its inception, GiveMN has helped nonprofits and schools in Minnesota raise nearly $100 million, thanks in large part to the success of Give to the Max Day.
Give to the Max Day 2013 sponsors include Bush Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation, The Mosaic Company, Razoo Global Corporation and Youthprise.