Give to the Max

MANKATO — Nonprofits could be relying on Give to the Max Day more than ever this year with so many traditional fundraisers canceled or scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Give MN’s annual day of rallying online donations for nonprofits across the state is set for Thursday, although donors could contribute anytime before or after.

Dozens of Mankato nonprofits are participating this year, with Give MN adding a filter on its website for donors to see which organizations have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

For Pets, a volunteer-run nonprofit in Mankato that helps cover costs for spaying and neutering dogs and cats, is one of the organizations that lost many of its usual fundraising opportunities this year. Volunteers previously used craft shows to sell pet toys, blankets and other items as a way to raise funds.

With those funding avenues largely closed during the pandemic, Give to the Max will be especially needed, said For Pets President Mary Wiese.

“The funding is very important to us,” she said. “ … We’re trying to beat our goal for last year when we assisted with spaying and neutering 274 animals.”

More funding will be needed to get there. As of Tuesday the nonprofit had raised at least $1,025 of its $5,000 donation goal.

Volunteers at For Pets also hope to purchase a van to transport animals to MN Snap, which provides the spaying and neutering, in the Twin Cities. MN Snap isn’t operating the mobile clinics it used to offer in southern Minnesota due to the pandemic.

For Pets has participated in Give to the Max Day for about six years. Although this year has extra significance, Wiese said it’s always been a big help.

So far in 2020, nonprofits have received more funding through Give MN than in any previous year up to this point. Give MN Executive Director Jake Blumberg said the $20 million donated in the first nine months of the year was significantly more than any previous year.

And the needs are absolutely greater this year for nonprofits, he added.

“Organizations are being asked to do more with less this year than in any time in recent memory,” he said.

The bonus to donating on Thursday is how contributions have chances to be multiplied throughout the day. Starting at midnight Thursday, donors will enter a drawing to receive a $500 golden ticket donation bonus to the nonprofit of their choice every 15 minutes. A similar $1,000 bonus will be awarded every hour Thursday, with the golden tickets sponsored by the Bush Foundation.

There are also bonus opportunities for donations made before and during Thursday. Any donations of $5 or more in November are eligible for a $10,000 boost, while organizations raising the most during the 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. hours Thursday will receive $3,000, $2,000 or $1,000 donations.

One Mankato nonprofit already received a $500 early giving golden ticket. LEEP, which provides recreational opportunities to people with disabilities, won one of the daily drawings.

If there were ever a time to dig deep, it’s now, Blumberg said.

“Give to the Max Day is the original social-distanced fundraiser,” he said. “Our hope for this event is organizations and donors can connect in a way maybe they weren’t able to.”

To donate, go to

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

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