The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 16, 2012

Maximum effect: Local nonprofits gets boost from Give to the Max

MANKATO — Give to the Max Day in Minnesota produced a record state and national donation amount for the fourth annual event.

Donors during the single-day effort on Thursday favored nonprofit organizations and schools with nearly $16.4 million, besting last year’s mark by more than $2 million.

Amy Lennartson, regional coordinator for Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, said the ease of the online giving format via is a boon for organizations with limited fundraising resources.

“For a lot of organizations this can replace a traditional year-end campaign. It’s a really good tool for nonprofits,” she said.

On Thursday more than 50,000 people connecting with the website bogged down the system for a time with organizations such as the Mankato YWCA feeling the effects.

“People said they were having a difficult time trying to get through,” said YWCA Development Director Kelley Olson. “We didn’t end up as high as we were hoping.”

She said the Y raised $2,000 during last year’s Give to the Max Day, but this year’s take was about $1,000. However, Olson said a private donor came through with a matching donation.

Elsewhere, the Mankato organization LEEP (Leisure Education for Exceptional People) raised $1,900, and Lasting Imprint, a local group committed to fighting congenital heart defects, garnered about $650, augmented by a matching amount from a private donor.

Lasting Imprint Director Angela Heidelberger said Give to the Max Day “kind of snuck up on us this year,” which limited the group’s campaigning to some Facebook blurbs and a mention in its newsletter.

Even so, she said she was happy with donor response.

“We’re a small nonprofit, so every dollar helps for us.”

For the first time this year, public schools were eligible to tap into the fundraising event.

 Eagle Lake Elementary reportedly was the only school among Mankato Area Public Schools to participate. Its fundraising amount wasn’t readily available. It did, however, earn $1,000 as one of GiveMN’s hourly drawing winners during the 24-hour statewide blitz.

Also, the Minnesota State University Foundation raised more than $13,000 Thursday with contributions from more than 80 donors.

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