Give to the Max results ‘phenomenal’Locals and Minnesotans stepped up donations again this year for the third annual Give to the Max day last week.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Locals and Minnesotans stepped up donations again this year for the third annual Give to the Max day last week.
Statewide, more than 53,000 people’s gifts topped $16.4 million and benefited 4,381 nonprofit organizations and schools. In Red Wing, with three of the 39 nonprofits participating in Red Wing Gives left to report, they collectively raised $201,046.50.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Elaine O’Keefe of the YMCA and an organizer of the local event. “We were very thrilled to see the participation and the excitement by the nonprofit community as well as the community in general.”
Including online donations at givemn.org and physical ones at the event, many local nonprofits “blew it out of the water” when it came to fundraising goals, she said.
The YMCA raised roughly $35,000, the Environmental Learning Center garnered $17,400 overall and the Church of St. Joseph brought in nearly $34,000 online alone, just to name a few. The collective goal was at least $200,000.
Last year Give to the Max raised about $13.4 million statewide and locally roughly $200,000.
This year’s Red Wing Gives event held at the YMCA included performances, games and a main stage for announcements and prizes. Representatives from different groups spoke about their organizations and entertained the crowd, while others led the event throughout the day.
“I think it was really an enhancement having emcees volunteering their time,” O’Keefe said.
The YMCA didn’t keep track of how many people attended the event, but there were likely more than 1,000, O’Keefe said.
Throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. people milled about the gym at the YMCA, talking with nonprofit representatives and participating in events. Overall the event was a success, O’Keefe said.
“From what I can tell people want to do it again next year,” she said. “There’s something quite interesting that occurs when you get all these nonprofit leaders and board members in one room to look at giving and to get people thinking about it.”
This year there were a handful of mentors from organizations that had participated in this kind of giving before who helped the newer or smaller groups, O’Keefe said. That could be expanded as well.
The opportunity to bring the nonprofits’ information to the community and help people learn about the organizations is key, O’Keefe said.
“I think it helps people tell their stories better and just tell their story (at all),” she said. “It’s a win on so many different levels.”
“We have a remarkable community that values the work that nonprofits do and the gifts we bring as nonprofit entities,” O’Keefe added. “The community building that this event fosters — there’s nowhere to go but up.”