$7.2 Million and Counting

November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

That is how much money has been donated to Minnesota nonprofits during a one-day online fundraising blitz called Give to the Max Day (as of 10:37 p.m. today). The campaign is run by GiveMN.org, an online fundraising site that was launched in 2009 as a way to help increase online philanthropy in Minnesota and better connect donors with causes and organizations important to them.

For the 24-hour drive, donors who give to their favorite nonprofit organizations can help them win additional money – $20,000 awards will be given to the organizations with the highest number of donors (one for an organization located in Greater Minnesota and one in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region) and $10,000 awards will be given to the second-place finishers in those regions. In addition, there will be a golden ticket winner each hour, in which a randomly selected donor will get $1,000 added on to their donation. This is a great way to show that any donation, no matter what size, can make a difference and that even the smallest organizations can be in the running for prizes. On top of that, many organizations themselves have raised additional matching funds as a way to further incentivize donors to give.

There’s something exciting about being part of a larger community effort and not wanting to miss out on the action, especially if all your friends are taking part and then talking about it on Facebook and Twitter. These sites along with e-mail and other tools have helped organizations spread the word quickly about the drive and direct them to GiveMN.org (my first e-mail from an arts group came in at about 1:30 a.m. this morning, trying to get any early risers to give). I have to admit that watching the dollar amounts go up and the nonprofit leaderboards change throughout the day as the clock counts down is fun, and I’m eager to see if the campaign will reach its 40,000 individual donor goal.

Give to the Max Day is a great model that could be used in other communities, and I anticipate that it could be a growing trend as e-philanthropy increases. With people more accustomed than ever to making online transactions, donating to an organization is just as easy as ordering a book off of Amazon. As long as the donation form is streamlined and easy to use, people can make their donations in just a few minutes and get instant feedback that their donation was received. And with a campaign like Give to the Max Day, donors instantly see their contributions added to the grand total and can potentially help their favorite nonprofits receive additional support.



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