Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Charity


Every fall, your friends no doubt bombard you with the imperative that you "Give to the max!" on Give to the Max Day, an opportunity for Minnesotans to raise millions of dollars for thousands of nonprofits and schools over a 24-hour period, all online. On this day, GiveMN gets citizens involved in what they've named the "Great Minnesota Give Together," encouraging donors to pick their favorite schools and nonprofits, and give till it hurts. Don't have more than $10 to give? GiveMN awards additional grants of $1,000 to $12,500 to the top fundraising recipients, plus "Golden Tickets" that randomly add $1,000 to $10,000 to individual donations. So that $10 you just gave to an amazing animal rescue? Your donation might just turn into $10,010. In 2012, GiveMN clocked in an amazing $16,391,905 during its November 15 event, engaging 53,339 donors in giving to 4,381 recipients. But GiveMN doesn't just operate one day a year. Launched in 2009 by the Minnesota Community Foundation, GiveMN has a simple mission: to transform philanthropy in Minnesota by growing overall giving, and moving more of it online. The site is a one-stop shop for philanthropists, which makes giving easier. Since its launch, GiveMN has helped 6,600 organizations and schools raise over $70 million in donations, with nearly half of the state's nonprofits reporting that the site is their primary online giving vehicle. All donations made through the site are paid to a tax-exempt umbrella foundation that then re-grants an average of 97.1 percent of each contribution to the organization chosen by the donor, retaining just 2.9 percent for expenses like credit card transaction costs. Considering the cost of direct mail fundraising or developing and maintaining an online presence for a small, grassroots nonprofit, GiveMN is an important way that Minnesotans can support the organizations that help keep our communities healthy, vital, and just.

Best Neighborhood Longfellow

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests The Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater

Best Tourist Attraction Walnut Grove

Best Historical Site Split Rock Lighthouse

Best Cemetery Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery

Best State Fair Food Classic Walleye Roll at Giggles Campfire Grill

Best Festival Northern Spark

Best Trans-Friendly Event Cirque Du So Gay Bike Ride

Best Place to Do Something for Free Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Best Planetarium ExploraDome (Bell Museum)

Best Undiscovered Neighborhood Keewaydin

Best Sign of Spring Nice Ride returns

Best Make-Out Spot Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Best First-Date Spot A midnight movie at the Uptown Theatre

Best Breakup Spot The corner of Franklin and Hennepin avenues

Best Place to Run into Your Ex The Depot Tavern

Best Place to See a Fistfight Cowboy Jack's

Best Website Minnesota Historical Society

Best Blog Bluestem Prairie

Best Facebook Page Old Minneapolis

Best Hipster Neighborhood North Loop

Best Tweeter David Brauer

Best Politician Branden Petersen

Best Mayor Minneapolis's mayoral wannabees

Best Unlikely Activist Chris Kluwe

Best Local Girl Made Good Cheryl Strayed

Best Local Boy Made Good Denis McDonough

Best Scandal DRE Drug Scandal

Best Boondoggle St. Paul Crime Lab

Best Villain Archbishop John Nienstedt

Best Corner 43rd Street and Nicollet Avenue

Best Street Nicollet Avenue

Best Lake Powderhorn Lake

Best View Indian Mounds Park

Best People-Watching The Chain of Lakes

Best Bus Route Route 16

Best Viral Video "Hot Cheetos and Takis"