Announcing two changes to GiveMN.org

On June 23, GiveMN Executive Director Jake Blumberg sent an email to all nonprofit and school organization administrators who use GiveMN.org for online fundraising. Read more below.


Dear colleagues:

As GiveMN continues to evolve as a partner to nonprofits and schools, while leading the conversation about online giving in Minnesota and beyond, I am writing to announce two changes to GiveMN.org.  

Donors may now cover your processing fees

First, I am pleased to announce that we have added a new feature to GiveMN.org that allows donors to pay the online processing fee for each gift made through our platform on behalf of the nonprofits and schools they support. We have heard from many donors who have asked specifically for the ability to pay the fee, ensuring 100% of their donation goes directly to your organization. Now, donors are positioned to be even more generous, and provide you with a cost-free donation by covering the fee on their donations through GiveMN.org.

Fee adjustment to sustain GiveMN programs

In concert with this feature, GiveMN is announcing that as of July 1, the processing fee for gifts made through GiveMN.org will be 6.9%. This fee is made up of 4.9% that is applied directly toward credit card and technology administration; and 2% to support GiveMN, giving events like Give to the Max Day, and our programs to grow giving in Minnesota. This is the first adjustment to our fee in 3 years and will mark the first time GiveMN has directed any fee revenue to support our operating budget.

fee_breakdown_750

Implementing these two changes simultaneously was important to us. Data from our national partner Kimbia, as well as Blackbaud and other industry experts, indicates that donors choose to pay fees approximately 40% of the time.  Given this, we anticipate most organizations will net the same or a greater amount of money from donations through GiveMN.org in 2016 as they did in 2015.

And as GiveMN and other nonprofits encourage donors to cover the processing fee, we will work to increase that adoption rate even more—which will mean more revenue for organizations across Minnesota. GiveMN is committed to making this change as successful as possible for nonprofits and schools, and we are excited to share this message with donors throughout the year!

Join our virtual Town Hall on June 27

We’ve scheduled a virtual GiveMN Town Hall for Monday, June 27 at 11 a.m. to take your questions about these changes. To hear more and have your questions answered, please register for the event and submit your questions with this form.

Learn more about our decision-making with this podcast

I recently sat down with Steve Boland and the Next in Nonprofits podcast to discuss more about this change, why it is integral to GiveMN’s sustainability, and through us, the sustainability of the thousands of organizations that rely on GiveMN.org for their online fundraising needs. I hope you’ll listen to our discussion to learn more.

Read below to learn more about the donor pay feature and fee increase, what it means for your organization, and resources for your staff, board and donors.

Thank you for all that you do for our communities!

Sincerely,
Jake Blumberg
Executive Director, GiveMN


What will this mean for your fundraising through GiveMN.org?

Based on national data from our technology partner Kimbia, and national fundraising platforms like Blackbaud, donors opt to pay processing fees approximately 40% of the time. Given this, we anticipate the average organization will net approximately the same or slightly more money in their disbursement checks in 2016 as they did in 2015. Here’s how:

  • On Give to the Max Day 2015, the average organization received a disbursement of $3,000 after the 4.9% fee was deducted.
  • Should that organization raise the same amount on Give to the Max Day 2016, and 40% of donors opt in to pay the 6.9% fee, the organization would receive $3,024, for a small but important net benefit.

How your organization can gain the most with the new feature

GiveMN has created a toolkit for your organization as a resource for board and staff to discuss these changes with your supporters, including more frequently asked questions and customizable language you may choose to use in emails, newsletters or social media.

Read more at GiveMN.org/resources.


More on the cost of fundraising

Nonprofits and schools use a variety of methods to fundraise. Online fundraising continues to be among the most cost-effective fundraising strategies, and our data shows that it is especially effective at reaching new donors. Our 6.9% processing fee is competitive with other fundraising platforms which also offer a suite of products.

FeeComparison


Our campaign to encourage donors to cover the fee

Throughout the summer and leading into Give to the Max Day on November 17, GiveMN will continue to encourage donors to cover processing fees for your organization and raise awareness of the heroic work of nonprofits and schools across Minnesota. Second Harvest Heartland CEO Rob Zeaske is the first to be featured in our campaign.

Testimony

More about the GiveMN Team!

The GiveMN Green Team

Sure, you can read about our backgrounds and experience in our bios on the GiveMN staff and board page, but we wanted to take time to introduce our (mostly new!) GiveMN Green Team in more detail!

Below, read more about our small but mighty team of five – what drives us, our quintessential GiveMN moment, favorite Minnesota getaways, and how we connect with the community when we’re not at work. (And as a bonus, Alsa shares the secret of one of our favorite little ice cream places in St. Paul!)

Browse the team by scrolling down or skip around by clicking below!
Jake Blumberg, Executive Director
Dan Moore, Director of Operations and Donor Experience
Andrea Kopfmann, Director of Campaigns and Partnerships
Tom Zimmerman, Marketing and Communications Manager
Alsa Bruno, Community Outreach Specialist


Jake Blumberg, Executive Director

Jake Blumberg, Executive DirectorRole at GiveMN: I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a dynamic team, and engage with our community of partners to continually grow giving in Minnesota through fun and innovative models. As a fundraiser, I am energized by the opportunities we have in our state to continue creating new ways to ignite generosity in donors to support mission-driven organizations.

Why you came to GiveMN: For me, the most appetizing part of the GiveMN mission and values is that “pie is good…and more pie is better!” As a leader of coalition fundraising efforts and dynamic online campaigns throughout my career, as well as an avid pie-eater, I am driven to create greater opportunities for organizations to generate the resources they need to pursue their missions.

What makes you excited to come to work at GiveMN everyday: I have had the joy of helping individual organizations reach their fundraising goals, and there is almost no more fulfilling feeling I could think of in my professional world. At GiveMN, we have an opportunity to support and grow the strategies our nonprofit and school partners use to reach their goals—and I am humbled by the chance to help numerous organizations, not just one, cross those important fundraising finish lines.

Your quintessential GiveMN moment: My eighth (and ninth, and tenth days) on the job were Give to the Max Day 2015, and I was thrilled to be able to do television interviews with the Twin Cities broadcast stations to promote Minnesota’s Giving Holiday bright and early at 5:00 am.  When WCCO’s morning team decided my energy was worth duplicating in their weather forecast that morning, I knew I had found the right gig!

Favorite Minnesota destination: I had a chance to attend a beautiful wedding at Two Harbors off the shore of Lake Superior, and we had an amazing time exploring the area and celebrating with friends—a great memory from a beautiful destination!

One area of your job you’re passionate about: A life-lesson I have learned from my time as a fundraiser is that we rarely get what we don’t ask for—and I know that this is true for organizations working to meet their annual budget needs.  I am a big supporter of asking early and often for support from donors, and then in turn, making sure we thank them (and thank them again!) for their contributions, no matter how large or small they may have been!

Other things you do: I am honored to be an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas, and St. Catherine University, where I teach classes in leadership development and fundraising strategy.

Back to top


Dan Moore, Director of Operations and Donor Experience

Dan MooreRole at GiveMN: Along with keeping the trains running on track in our office, I’m responsible for teaching organizations how to maximize their fundraising while providing a fulfilling experience for donors using GiveMN.org.

Why you came to GiveMN: When I heard that GiveMN was hiring, I jumped at the chance to move from supporting a single organization to a job where I get to serve thousands of organizations. It’s an honor to serve my home state through innovation, and I love working indirectly for so many of the causes that mean so much to me and to the people of Minnesota.

What makes you excited to come to work at GiveMN every day: No other organization celebrates giving like GiveMN. Together with nonprofits, schools, and donors in every corner of Minnesota, we’ve shattered the old-school fundraising model and put a fresh face on philanthropy. Every day, vital work is done in communities across Minnesota, powered by generosity expressed by donors using GiveMN.org. We are matchmakers for giving and a catalyst for good. As a data-driven strategist and product-development perfectionist, I can help unite Minnesotans with the causes that need their help. It doesn’t get more rewarding than that.

Your quintessential GiveMN moment: A community volunteer wrote to us not long after we launched our new website in 2014 and had questions about how to set up her organization’s fundraising page and share it with neighbors that were coming to a block party. We got the whole GiveMN team together around the phone and called just as she was coming in from the garden. She told us she had dirt up to her elbows but she was very excited to hear from us and that having an online giving tool for her small, volunteer-led organization would give her more time to mentor youth in her community rather than messing around with other websites.

Favorite Minnesota destination: I love so many places in Minnesota, from the innovation of a world-class clinic in Rochester to the peace of my favorite campsite on the edge of Voyageurs National Park. But my true favorite has to be the Mall on the campus of the University of Minnesota Morris. And if anyone can point me back to that scenic overlook between Starbuck and Willmar where the whole valley looks like Tuscany, I’ll make a donation to your favorite cause!

One area of your job you’re passionate about: Stories are what really hit me in my work. I hear stories about people who are helped by an organization, nonprofit leaders whose jobs are made just a little easier, donors who find new causes to get involved with, and the principal who thought he was pranked by his colleagues when I called to tell him a donor had helped his school win a $20,000 prize on Give to the Max Day!

Other things you do: I’m proud to serve as the president of the University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association this year and spend as much time as I can with family, cycling, cooking, and volunteering with youth music education organizations.

Back to top


Andrea Kopfmann, Director of Campaigns and Partnerships

Andrea KopfmannRole at GiveMN: I connect people and organizations to help ignite generosity all across Minnesota.

Why you came to GiveMN: Give to the Max Day is something I’ve always wanted to work on! Coming to GiveMN allows me to be a part of the historic day while utilizing my past work experience from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Knowing the big impact that can happen when the two come together in alignment, I jumped at the opportunity to be able to work here.

What makes you excited to come work at GiveMN every day: GiveMN is and will continue to be a leader in the nonprofit fundraising community, both here in Minnesota and across the country. So many nonprofits and schools partner with us as they make their fundraising plans year-round. I want to be a part of something bigger, and something that will continue to push the envelope for giving in the state of Minnesota with direct impact here and around the world.

Your quintessential GiveMN moment: I like being a part of the small team that makes up GiveMN. We make a habit of going out for impromptu lunches and coffee breaks as a group which allows us to get to know each other on a personal level and advances our teamwork toward our mission.

Favorite Minnesota destination: I have to give a nod to my alma mater Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. I loved being in that community for four years. Go Mustangs!

One area of your job you’re passionate about: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Never underestimate your network and how it can work for you. Your staff, donors, and volunteers are all vital to your organization and can be your best cheerleaders.

Other things you do: I am on the board of TeamWomenMN whose mission is to inspire, encourage, and support women in reaching their full potential.

Back to top


Tom Zimmerman, Marketing and Communications Manager

Tom ZimmermanRole at GiveMN: At its simplest, my job is to communicate with nonprofits and schools about resources for online fundraising and site news, and try to keep generosity at the forefront of Minnesotans’ minds.

Why you came to GiveMN: I’ve worked on similar online giving projects in the past, but to work every day on behalf of thousands and thousands of organizations across this state…what’s not to love about that!

What makes you excited to come work at GiveMN every day: There are many reasons, but I absolutely love watching organizations of all sizes and types set and meet their fundraising goals, and see how that truly affects change in their neighborhoods, across the state and country, and around the world. It’s so fulfilling to be a small part of that success.

Your quintessential GiveMN moment: My first Give to the Max Day. We lived in our office for almost 48 hours straight (with a nap or two in a quiet corner.) Watching the number of donors and money raised skyrocket was a blast, but following along with thousands of organizations and donors on social media was like a big celebration of generosity.

Favorite Minnesota destination: I’ve lived in Minnesota less than a year but had the fortune of being able to travel all across the state for my job. So far, driving up the North Shore has to be my most memorable moment, but I’ve planned a summer full of Minnesota travel for this year!

One area of your job you’re passionate about: I love the power of social media to connect. Although your organization’s social media profiles are important to maintain and feed with fresh content, I am most passionate about helping nonprofits and schools plan to empower their own supporters to be fundraisers online just like they would ask them to go door-to-door selling candy bars or popcorn.

Other things you do: I serve on the board of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of the Twin Cities and am now officially an ambassador for my new state to all of my friends and family back in Virginia and Georgia!

Back to top


Alsa Bruno, Community Outreach Specialist

Alsa BrunoRole at GiveMN: Happiness Champion. My job is to best connect our users with our resources through trainings, direct email communication, and representing GiveMN around our state. I am the head “How To” in “How To Use GiveMN.org.”

Why you came to GiveMN: I came to GiveMN because I love helping people. GiveMN makes that possible for me in the best way, letting me serve all of Minnesota nonprofits and schools as well as those who love to support them. It’s like a dream come true!

What makes you excited to come to work at GiveMN every day: GiveMN is a spectacular concept that allows people from all walks of life the ability to support their passions and encourage others to do the same. It’s great to be part of a team that takes their commitment to Minnesota’s nonprofits and schools seriously, but also values making giving a fun act of love.

Your quintessential GiveMN moment: As Give to the Max Day 2013 was winding down around 11:30 p.m., after a very long day, I stood before an audience at Triple Rock Social Club and explained how far we’d come, how amazing our donors and organizations are that people from across the country were giving. Behind me, unbeknownst to me, they put up a projection of a map of the giving happening across Minnesota in real time. The crowd, who was already cheering, erupted in riotous applause and some among them even began to tear up watching such giving blanket our state.

Favorite Minnesota destination: My favorite Minnesota destination is the peak of the Smith St. “High Bridge” in St. Paul. Well, I love all of the bridge in St. Paul, but I love the peak of that bridge and looking at all of the potential ahead, all of the space around. PLUS, the High Bridge leads to the Icy Cup – the world’s best ice cream shop and home to “West Side Soul” music nights, community music made fresh every Tuesday when it’s warm enough to stand outside.

One area of your job you’re passionate about: I love listening to the problems of our users and providing them with comprehensive and understanding resolutions to their issues. Careful listening is a hallmark of good service and empowers users to be savvy about their support as well.

Other things you do: I serve on the board of City Stay, a youth worker, a teaching artist, an actor, a writer, a director, soccer coach, an improviser, and I love it! If you haven’t seen me in my GiveMN green yet, you’ll see me soon.

Back to top

Looking back at 2015’s March Millions—and how matching gifts inspire new levels of generosity

Just last year, GiveMN helped facilitate a $1 million matching gift campaign for more than a hundred nonprofits in southeastern Minnesota. Below, read an excerpt of our blog post from 2015 to learn how this month-long match was met in just four days.

# # #

MarchMillions2In the fall of 2014, the trustees of the Otto Bremer Foundation asked GiveMN to facilitate a creative way for the foundation to be introduced to a new region for responsive grantmaking—southeastern Minnesota. They were interested in making a large matching gift ($1 million!) to area organizations to learn about the causes the community values most.

It was an easy yes for GiveMN because if there’s one failsafe way to ignite generosity, it’s matching gifts. The evidence is all around us, from Buy One Get One promotions at local retailers to Yale/University of Chicago research across a wide swath of charities showing that the presence of a dollar-for-dollar match increases donor response rate by as much as 19%.

GiveMN worked with Lue Her and his colleagues to create Otto Bremer Foundation’s March Millions for Southeastern Minnesota and they selected just over 100 organizations from the region to participate. In addition to the $1 million in matching funds, one lucky donor was selected each day in March to win a $1,000 Bremer Boost prize grant for their organization and a Mega Bremer Boost of $10,000 was awarded at the end of the campaign, randomly drawn from all March Millions donations.

Before the campaign went live, the GiveMN team guessed how much the campaign would generate. Guesses ranged from $358,034 (the amount of money raised on GiveMN.org by organizations in those counties during the entire prior year) to the full $1 million.

MarchMillions4The final result? Donors met the month-long advertised match in just four days. In addition to the $1 million from Otto Bremer Foundation, supporters made more than $1.2 million in gifts to these nonprofits during the month of March.

So why has this campaign been so successful? Here are three key factors that have helped inspire more than 2,100 unique donors to make a donation:

  1. The generous matching gift from Otto Bremer Foundation.$1 million is the largest matching gift to be offered competitively on GiveMN ever! It was first come, first served (or first given, first matched) across all participating organizations and it got the attention of nonprofits, media, and donors. We like to call matching gifts “Minnesota’s BOGO for Good!”
  2. The 102 participating organizations.They got creative about how they promoted March Millions, whether it was right out of the gate in the race for matching dollars or rallying later in the month around winning those Bremer Boost prizes. There was a sense of community and “we all win” among the nonprofits that swooped into action with less than a month to prepare for this campaign.
  3. The media coverage. GiveMN and Otto Bremer Foundation, with the support of FleishmanHillard, put together a small paid media campaign and a successful earned media campaign, raising the visibility of the March Millions effort across the region.

# # #

For more strategies and tips on matching gifts, attend GiveMN’s “Strike a Match: 5 (and a half) steps to get your fundraising cooking and ignite generosity with matching gifts” webinar on Tuesday, April 26.

Give to the Max Day 2015 inspired more generous donors than ever before

As GiveMN concludes our seventh year, having raised more than $140 million for Minnesota nonprofits and schools since our founding, Give to the Max Day is about more than just the dollars raised. It brings awareness to the organizations that strengthen our communities through a collaboration of media partners, corporate supporters, foundation sponsors, and tens of thousands of donors supporting favorite causes and new organizations.

Beyond just the $18 million raised, take a look at the behind-the-scenes data in our #GTMD15 infographic.

infoweb_15

Centennial Middle School honors donor whose $100 gift helped win $20,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket

On Give to the Max Day 2014, Marjorie Pehl Wood donated $100 to Centennial Middle School in Lino Lakes, giving what she could to help support young people in her community. Later that day, her donation was randomly selected by GiveMN to receive a $20,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket, sponsored by the Bush Foundation, a shock to both Wood and Centennial Middle School Principal Bob Stevens.

In January, nearly 14 months after winning the Golden Ticket, Centennial Middle School held a grand opening for their new Learning Commons, named in Wood’s honor. North Metro TV was on hand to catch Wood’s reaction when she saw the new space for the first time.

Video courtesy of North Metro TV.

For more photos of this event, view our Facebook album of the morning’s festivities.