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Local nonprofits prepare for statewide day of online giving

MORRIS – Nonprofit organizations in Stevens County, with help from the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce and GiveMN, are preparing for a statewide fundraising push in November.

GiveMN was founded in 2009 by the Minnesota Community Foundation as a way to provide online giving resources for all Minnesota nonprofits and create a common giving marketplace for donors across the state, explained Dan Moore, development and partnerships manager for GiveMN.

“It’s another tool that nonprofits can use to raise dollars,” agreed Holly Witt, nonprofit resource specialists with Bremer Bank. “But people have to learn it’s there, so there is some work on the part of the nonprofit to find ways to let their donors know and let the public know.”

This year, GiveMN has spent some extra out in greater Minnesota to help rural nonprofits get involved with the service and learn to reach donors.

Moore, a 2007 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Morris, met with nonprofits in Stevens County on Friday, Sept. 27 at Common Cup to help organizations update their pages on the GiveMN website and help strategize about how to reach out to donors on Give to the Max Day.

“A lot of the folks that stopped in were wearing multiple hats … in a small town where lots of people are doing lots of things it was fun to be able to touch base with everybody,” said Moore.

In most cases, nonprofits that are registered as a 501(c)(3) with the Internal Revenue Service will be listed on GiveMN by default. A search on the site for the 56267 zip code brings up 65 different nonprofit organizations, although only about six appear to be active.

“Even if a nonprofit doesn’t know that they’re out there or hasn’t done anything with their page, donors can still give to them,” said Moore.

Organizations that are interested in updating their page to include photos, video, or information for donors go through a short certification process that takes just a couple of days, said Moore.

All of the online preparation is designed to help nonprofits and community members get ready for Give to the Max Day on Thursday, Nov. 14.

“It’s designed to be a one day event when the whole state comes together and gives,” said Moore. “We call it ‘the Great Minnesota Give Together.’”

In the first year of Give to the Max Day, Minnesotans donated about $14 million dollars to nonprofit organizations. Last year, 5,700 nonprofits in the state raised about $16.3 million in donations in 24 hours.

“A lot of the nonprofits across the state are coming together and rallying their donors on the same day and, part of it too is donors knowing it’s happening,” said Moore.

As part of Give to the Max Day, GiveMN gives prize grants for nonprofits that raise the most money and “golden ticket” drawings every hour where GiveMN adds $1,000 to a random donor’s give each hour, said Moore.

Local nonprofit organizations and community members can learn more about GiveMN and Give to the Max Day during the Resource Expo on Monday, Oct. 28 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Morris Area High School.

“We want the nonprofits to sign up and we want the public to learn that they can do it,” said Witt. 

To help community members donate, the Nonprofit Committee of the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a “good cause matchmaking” event at Common Cup from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Give to the Max Day.

Witt said members of the committee will have a computer and a list of local nonprofits available to help community members who want to donate but may not know how to participate.

“This is the first year we’re going to be doing anything of any stature locally,” said Witt. “It’s not going to be huge, but we know we have to start somewhere.”

For more information about GiveMN visit