Give to the Max Day 2014 is nearly upon us, the day that, according to the executive director of GiveMN has “become a nonprofit giving holiday.”
Thousands of Minnesotans participate every year to help raise millions of dollars for nonprofits and schools all across the state. Anyone can donate, and the money can go to any of the thousands of Minnesotan nonprofits listed at GiveMN.org.
So…what? Why should I care?
Glad you asked, dear reader, glad you asked.
First of all, you choose where the money goes. You can shop around for an organization working for a cause you want to support, or focus on organizations by name or location, including K-12 schools, and colleges and universities.
How do I know these organizations are actually nonprofits?
All of the nonprofits listed at GiveMN.org – the list includes every nonprofit in the state – are gathered from IRS records, which prove the organization has provided legal and accurate information on its mission, programs, and finances. You can also further research organizations at GuideStar.org.
This sounds like a lot of effort.
In fact, it’s very easy to participate. The minimum donation is $10, and you donate using a credit or debit card online at GiveMN.org. You can even schedule your donation in advance of Give to the Max Day if you think it will slip your mind the day of.
$10 minimum? I don’t know…
Ah, the anthem of the post-grad generation. If you’re working multiple jobs or sitting on a pile of student loans in an overpriced apartment or your parent’s basement (no shame!), it’s easy to think of all the necessities $10 or $20 of your monthly budget would cover. However, if these necessities include having Bite Squad fetch gourmet poutine every night to enjoy with your Netflix subscription, or bar hopping downtown each and every Saturday, please think long and hard if you’ll really be worse off for donating that $10.
I don’t want to end up on a bunch of mailing lists.
If you don’t want to get brochures and mailings asking for more donations every few weeks for the rest of your life, never fear. You can choose to donate anonymously, and your contact information won’t be shared with the organization you donate to.
It’s not like my $10 or $20 is going to do anything.
False. You can make a difference. In 2013, $17.1 million was raised for 4,500 organizations, bringing the total to $100 million since Give to the Max Day’s inception in 2009. Your donation may seem like a drop in the bucket, but to some of these organizations, your drop will make all the difference. In some cases, you can double your dollars. Many organizations have matching grants, with over $6 million in matching funds available statewide.
Are there any perks for giving?
Of course! Donating makes your favorite organization eligible for additional prizes, including $250,000 in prize grants from GiveMN.org. Every hour during Give to the Max Day, two donors will be randomly selected to have $2,000 added to their donation, and two $20,000 prizes will be donated to two organizations at random at the end of the day. Additionally, the organization or schools that raise the most money are eligible for additional funding. Check out GiveMN.org/leaderboard to see if your favorite made the list.
I meant…um, I meant are there any perks for me?
You mean besides the warm feeling of selfless generosity you’ll get from helping organizations that help others?
Tax write off.
Yes. Also, the warm fuzzy feeling for helping others.
Right. So are you going to give?
Definitely. Is there anything else I can do?
Spread the word! Tell your friends, family, and coworkers, and wear green on Thursday to remind others to give.
What organization will you be supporting?
You ask all the right questions for a segue, dear reader.
I will once again be supporting the Academy of Holy Angels – Catholic high school and my alma mater.
Well, not only is AHA one of the cornerstones of my generally excellent education, as a private and nonprofit institution with a lacking endowment, they are always in need and always grateful for donations.
I thoroughly enjoyed my four years at Holy Angels, prospered from the many opportunities provided, and met people that remain important to my life even now. If my donation helps even one other student get to experience any of those things, it’s worth it.
Last year, AHA received $160,000 in support through the generosity of 255 donors, making them eligible for matching funds. This year they’re aiming for 350+ donors, and $200,000 in support.
Alumni can make this happen.
As an Alumni Ambassador, I can say with some certainty that alumni should want to make this happen.
Because of the warm fuzzies from helping others?
Sure. That, and the happy hour.
The AHA Alumni Ambassadors are hosting a class competition for AHA alumni. Whichever class has the highest participation percentage and/or donates the most money on Give to the Max Day will be treated to a happy hour on campus.
Basically, if you give $10 or $20 (or more!) and encourage your former classmates to do the same, you could have an impromptu reunion at Holy Angels, sponsored by Holy Angels. With beer.
Right? I call that a win-win.
To all of my Minnesotan readers, don’t forget that this Thursday, November 13th is Give to the Max Day.
To all of my AHA alumni readers, I challenge you not only to support Holy Angels by giving to the max, but also to beat the Class of 2008.
(’08-ers, please back me up.)
Together, we can make Give to the Max Day a maximum success.