Sunday, November 15, 2009

Give to the Max for Minnesota Nonprofits This Tuesday

Give to the Max and GiveMN logoIf you're in Minnesota, you'd have to be hiding under a rock to have missed the announcement of Give to the Max day this Tuesday, Nov. 17. I've received letters, emails and Facebook messages from nonprofit organizations I've supported in the past, encouraging me to give on Tuesday.

How it works: A new website called provides each Minnesota nonprofit group a way to receive donations online. This may not seem like a big deal, but getting donations set up on the web is a major hassle and expense for nonprofits.

On any day of the week, donations made through GiveMN are handed over to the donor's intended organization without taking a percentage of the donation for handling or transaction fees. This is a great reason to use GiveMN for making donations in general, since web-based donations usually have 3 - 10 percent deducted off the top before the money ever gets to the charity. On GiveMN, these fees are paid by the sponsoring foundations.

But Give to the Max day is even better -- the foundations that set up GiveMN are matching every dollar donated with a 50 cent donation. So if you send your favorite charity $100, they'll actually receive $150.

Personally, I'm planning to shift my usual late-December donations to Give to the Max day, so my causes get more out of it.

I know this sounds like a press release, but it's not. I want to make sure everyone knows that this is a chance to get more money to organizations at a time when they really need it, and -- as they say during the public radio pledge drives -- make your donation dollars go even farther.

Note: There is a $500,000 limit on the match, but it's not first-come, first-served. So if people give over a million dollars during the 24-hour period starting at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday and ending 7:59 a.m. on Wednesday, GiveMN will split the $500,000 in proportion to how much each charity received in donations that day. If donors give under a million dollars, the charities will receive more than 50 cents on the dollar.

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