ST. Paul -- On Thursday, Nov. 19, GiveMN aims to raise millions of dollars for nearly 6,000 nonprofit charities — particularly organizations heavily impacted by the pandemic or run by people of color — across Minnesota as part of the 12th annual Give to the Max Day.
Last year, Give to the Max raised a record $21.7 million for nonprofits and schools. GiveMN has already raised $20 million this year before Give to the Max Day.
According to executive director of GiveMN Jake Blumberg, COVID-19 has impacted fundraising efforts positively. Digital donations have amounted to three times more than what they usually expect even before Give to the Max Day, Blumberg said.
“The service that we provide is really, I think, perfectly situated to meet the moment that we’re in right now during the pandemic,” Blumberg said. “I think you could say Give to the Max Day is the originally socially distanced fundraiser for the state of Minnesota.”
More than $5.1 million was raised through their #GiveAtHomeMN fundraising campaign at the beginning of the pandemic last spring, and another $9 million after the death of George Floyd in May.
One of the new features on GiveMN’s website is a search filter donors can use in order to find nonprofits run by Black people, Indigenous people and people of color, as well as organizations heavily impacted by COVID-19.
“There is just report on report and data on data that illustrates Black, Indigenous and people of color run organizations (that) are systemically underfunded in the United States,” Blumberg said. “That is a systemic issue that cannot continue … We must be part of the change to really create visibility to that significant opportunity gap … and these search filters are just one way that we’re working to do that.”
One of the nonprofits involved in Give to the Max Day, Springboard for the Arts, also provides a way for donors to donate to specific projects and causes they care about within their organization, called incubator projects. One of the incubator projects, called Lightning Rod, helps connect and mentor Queer and Trans artists. Another project, Sigma’s Bookshelf, helps teen writers publish books for free.
“We always have a really great Give to the Max Day,” said Carl Atiya Swanson, the associate director of operations and communications for Springboard for the Arts. “One of the reasons we really appreciate Give to the Max Day is because it’s visibility for nonprofits in general, and then we have the opportunity to show off some of the incubator fiscal sponsorships and some of the artists who we work with over the course of the year.”
Blumberg emphasized how Give to the Max Day can be considered a shared civic experience, a type of experience that people haven’t had the opportunity to have during the pandemic.
“We’re missing the typical shared experiences that we’re used to having by gathering for a football game or for a birthday party,” Blumberg said. “This is one of those potential shared experiences that we can all have together as a state and a community, so I’d encourage folks to share in what is a very Minnesotan tradition, which is making the world a better place.”
More information on Give to the Max Day as well as GiveMN can be found at https://www.givemn.org/.