Give to the Max, help a local non-profit

Give to the Max Day has become one of the largest fundraising days in the world and organizers are getting ready for the fourth event on Nov. 15.

The 24-hour Give to the Max Day, sponsored by GiveMN.org, creates an opportunity for people to give to their favorite nonprofit organizations and schools. Every contribution made gives organizations a chance to win more money with opportunities to double gifts throughout the 24-hour event. Nonprofits all over Minnesota raise money and support one another on this day.

You can help Princeton-area nonprofits by going to your computer, logging on to the Internet and visiting www.givemn.org and typing “Princeton” in the search box at top right. A list of more than 60 nonprofits will appear on your screen. Select one and donate by credit card. It’s as simple as that.

“It’s incredibly uplifting, watching nonprofits come out and cheer for each other,” Dana Nelson, executive director for GiveMN, said. “There is a spirit of support for each other that no matter what kind of organization you are, you want to see all organizations do well on Give to the Max Day.”

Donors have given more than $50 million to more than 6,700 nonprofit organizations since beginning in 2009. Last year alone, approximately 48,000 donors gave $13.4 million to 4,000 Minnesota nonprofit organizations.

The event also prompts creative ways to raise awareness for the event.

The Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has participated in the day for the past three years. This year, it helped raise awareness for the day by giving donors, employees and hospital residents 10,000 Give to the Max Day glow sticks to pass out in their communities on Halloween.

“We wanted to involve our donors and employees in promoting Give to the Max Day and at the same time do one of the things that our hospital does and try to keep kids safe,” said Jesse Stremcha, e-philanthropist officer for the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Last year Children’s Hospital raised $50,000 from donors and received a $20,000 match to raise a total of approximately $70,000. Stremcha hopes to double donations and contributors this year.

Some new features on Give to the Max Day will also make it easier for people to give on Nov. 15. This year is the start of scheduled donations, allowing organizations to ask busy donors to schedule their gifts ahead of time. Just like scheduling a household bill, the donations will be charged to their credit or debit cards on Nov. 15, 2012.

K-12 public schools can benefit from the event this year by participating in the leader boards to win money and special prizes, Nelson said. Give to the Max Day encourages students and faculty to get creative in asking for support from their communities to help raise money on the day.

Nelson encourages everyone to get involved.

“Whether you have $10 or $10,000 to give, it is a great day to make a donation and help your favorite nonprofit or school potentially win,” she said.

This story was written by Amanda Snyder. Snyder is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota.

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