By Tim Krohn
---- — MANKATO — Donating to state charities was a popular activity during Thursday's Give to the Max Day. Too popular.
The GiveMN website pulled in some $9 million during the morning hours, but was then overwhelmed, with potential donors left unable to log on.
"Their website was down for five hours in the afternoon," said Sam Ward, the development and operations assistant at the Mankato YWCA, which took part in the statewide donation day. "We told people who called us they could still donate through PayPal, so we at least had a plan B," she said.
Despite the glitch, the fifth annual event garnered a record $17 million in donations in Minnesota, about $1 million more than last year.
The local YWCA fell short of its goal of $5,000, but still pulled in $3,250, about $1,200 more than last year. "We're still happy with the outcome," Ward said.
The YWCA ramped up its efforts this year by using social media and other avenues to reach more potential donors.
The GiveMN web site was restored at 6 p.m. and continued taking donations until 11 p.m.
While the site was down, many non-profits around the state began calling supporters, reminding them they could still donate in other ways.
The Minnesota State University Foundation didn't have exact final numbers in Friday, but expected it would take in about $13,000, the same amount as raised during last year's event.
"We understand there can be technology glitches," said Lucette Hurley, director of advancement operations at MSU.
She said the foundation received 75 gifts and MSU ranked 11th in the state for donations among colleges and universities.
"It's a nice opportunity for our alumni and friends throughout Minnesota and the nation to give," she said of the event.
She said that for next year, the university is considering holding a Give to Minnesota State Mankato Day, held a day before Give to the Max Day.
"We would have our own web site for that. Quite a few colleges and universities did that this year."