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4,000-plus Minnesota nonprofits gear up for Thursday’s ‘Give to the Max Day’

Last year’s 24-hour marathon drew online donations from 53,000 people, who gave $16.3 million to some 4,300 nonprofits and schools.

Give to the Max DayThe emails started days ago.

There were “Bowl to the Max for Give to the Max Day” from Spare Key, “Share the Love on Give to the Max Day” from the St. Paul Almanac, and plenty of others.

You’re probably getting them, too.

Thousands of nonprofits and schools in Minnesota are gearing up for Thursday’s online donation marathon, “Give to the Max Day,” run by, which is, itself, a nonprofit.

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This is the fifth year for Give to the Max; last year, 53,000 people gave $16.3 million to 4,300 nonprofits and schools during the 24-hour period.

Online donations can be made through GiveMN any day, but about 55 percent of its annual fundraising total comes on the Give to the Max Day, said spokesperson Dana Nelson.

Included in the day’s festivities is a live-streamed “give-a-thon,” originating from the Mall of America from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., then from CoCo Uptown from 6 to 8 p.m. and then from a concert from 8 p.m. to midnight at The Triple Rock Social Club, sponsored by People Serving People.

MinnPost will carry the live stream of the day’s activities as a variety of emcees and selected nonprofits pitch their organizations.

This year, there will be $200,000 in prizes given to organizations during the day, including two $10,000 grants given randomly to donors’ favorite organizations. GiveMN comes up with that prize money as part of its own fundraising efforts.

Many nonprofits, including MinnPost, will offer matching funds during the day. The pool of matching funds stood at $4.5 million on Tuesday but is expected to be larger by Thursday.

MinnPost raised more than $37,000 during last year’s event. This year’s goal is $40,000, with $5,000 in matching funds. You can check out our page here.

Throughout the day, leader boards will be updated. There is an overall leader board, along with boards for the top medium and small organizations.

New this year is a leader board for Greater Minnesota nonprofits for those outside the seven-county metro area.

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Nelson said there are about 30,000 listed nonprofits, but only about 10,000 of them are considered active. Donors can search the site by name, purpose and geography to browse available organizations, she said.

 “If you don’t know who exactly to give to, or want to do some impulse giving or just shop for a cause, the search function works great,” she said.

This is the second year that public schools are also eligible for the online gifts. About 500 public schools have registered and are listed on the site, Nelson said.

And for those who might be busy Thursday but want to take part in the Give to the Max matches and prize offerings, the site is set up to schedule gifts in advance, she said.