Give the Max is sweet music for Choirboys

by Jim Boyle

The Land of Lakes Choirboys pulled in more than $6,200 in the recent Give to the Max campaign, Minnesota’s fourth annual 24-hour philanthropic marathon.

The organization had 50 contributors donate $6,115.08 on the day of the event.

“It was a great day for us,” said P.J. Fanberg, the director of the choirboys.

The Choirboys have had 177 contributors since the annual, statewide effort began.

“Our goal was $6,000 this year,” Fanberg said.

Ths year’s event raised $16.3 million for 4,381 Minnesota nonprofits and schools, breaking the previous state and national records for charitable giving.  More than 53,000 people logged on to to donate to their favorite nonprofits and schools, hoping that matching grants and prize money could further their charitable contributions.

During last year’s Give to the Max Day, 47,534 donors raised $13.4 million for 3,978 nonprofit organizations.

The other local non-profits to see their Web pages light up during the Give to the Max fund drives have been:

•CAER with 50 donations

•Elk River Area Arts Alliance with 54 donations

•Great River Area Faith In Action with 69 donations

•Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge with 89 donations

•Sherburne County Area United Way with 47 donations

•Spectrum High School with 89 donations

•Guardian Angels of Elk River with 27 donations

Dozens of other local organizations participated in the drive, but with less web traffic.

Incentives included Leaderboard Grants including the top prizes of $12,500, $5,000 and $2,500 which were given to the nonprofit organizations and colleges that received the most dollars during Give to the Max Day in their respective categories.

In addition, donations from one nonprofit donor and one school donor were randomly selected each hour and given the “Golden Ticket,” which tacked on an additional $1,000 to their original contributions.

Spectrum High School won one of these prizes, Fanberg said.

Two supersized “Golden Tickets” worth $10,000 were awarded after the event, significantly boosting two lucky individuals’ gifts, benefiting Cannon River STEM School and Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota.

“People across our state know that when we all pitch in, great things happen,” said Dana Nelson, executive director of GiveMN. “Give to the Max Day has become a celebration of Minnesota’s philanthropic spirit and nonprofits have done an excellent job of embracing the day.”

Give to the Max Day was created three years ago to increase charitable donations statewide by engaging as many donors as possible in a single day. This pioneering idea was made possible by GiveMN, a charitable giving website to help Minnesotans support their causes.

This year, GiveMN improved convenience by adding mobile giving on smartphones and tablets, as well as scheduled donations, which allowed people to plan their Give to the Max Day donations in advance.

GiveMN is powered by Razoo, a critical partner in making Give to the Max Day a success. Based in Washington, D.C., Razoo is a venture-funded social enterprise committed to transforming people’s lives through meaningful giving. Its secure online platform facilitates crowd sourced fundraising, streamlines the donation process and offers a suite of free and easy-to-use fundraising tools that inspire individuals and nonprofits to give and raise funds online.

Special thanks go to the Give to the Max Day sponsors, which include James L. Knight Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation, The Mosaic Company and Youthprise.