Best Charity - 2013
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 GiveMN.org 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.