GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Before holiday spending goes into high gear, Minnesota non-profits are hoping for the gift of generosity, this Thursday, November 15th, on "Give to the Max" day, which returns to Minnesota for the fourth year in a row.
Last year, more than 47,000 donors logged on to GiveMN.org and raised more 13.4 million dollars. The organization has given more than 6,700 non-profit organizations more than $50 million dollars since starting in 2009.
Secondhand Hounds, based out of Minnetonka, is just one of thousands of Minnesota non-profits hoping for a needed boost on Give to the Max Day.
Founder Rachel Mairose participated last year, receiving $5,000 in donations, which she says directly resulted in a second chance for many dogs. She says just $10 can buy a vaccine, and $40 a large bag of dog food.
"So it's a great day to get the word out to people that haven't heard about Secondhand Hounds or any organization or you have been thinking of donating towards, it's a nice day to say, "I am finally going to do that," she said.
This year, she's hoping donations will help a Rottweiler mix named Clementine, who was recently abandoned on the Leech Lake reservation, pregnant and covered in porcupine quills. Emergency surgery saved Clementine's life. Four of her puppies didn't make it, but thanks to Secondhand Hound's intervention, four survived. Clementine's care, however, will cost more than $5,000.
"People giving means the world and means her life, and the puppies lives," said Bethany Madlo, who is fostering Clementine.
GiveMN's Executive Director Dana Nelson calls Give to the Max Day a "non-profit" holiday. She says if you log on to Givemn.org, with a credit card, you can contribute to your favorite charity in two clicks. Or, you can donate on your cell phone.
"You can type in anything like "kids in Eden Prairie" or "arts in Stillwater" and you will get a list of organizations within your search criteria and you can shop for a cause, it's like online shopping," said Nelson.
Donors can find any organization from Habitat for Humanity, to Feed my Starving children, Children's hospital, and new this year - you can donate to a number of K-12 schools.
On Thursday, more than 2.6 million dollars will be matched through grants, and many donations will be doubled. Nelson says many people give a holiday gift in honor of someone. A minimum donation is ten dollars. At Secondhand Hounds, that amount goes far.
"These guys deserve the best," said Mairose, who is hoping to bring in at least ten thousand dollars, which could cover about ten life saving surgeries for abandoned dogs.
This year, the community celebration at Mall of America is back with local principals riding a roller coaster throughout the day to encourage giving, a day-long webathon hosted by The UpTake and an evening program to celebrate nonprofit organizations and schools.
Golden Tickets with $1,000 prize grants are expanded to schools. One nonprofit and one school donor will be chosen at random every hour during Give to the Max Day and prize grants will be awarded to the nonprofit or school to which they donated.
Two $10,000 "Supersized" Golden Tickets will be awarded to one nonprofit and one school donor who gave during Give to the Max Day. The award also goes to the nonprofit or school they donated to and a $500 prize grant will be awarded to the "Most Creative Give to the Max Day Fundraising Campaign" at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota Chapter National Philanthropy Day luncheon on Nov. 16.
Again, it all happens on Thursday, Nov. 15 through Friday, Nov. 16, at midnight.