MINNEAPOLIS — The 12th annual Give to the Max Day set a new record. By the end of the night on Thursday, the day of giving had raised more than $30.4 million. It surpassed the 2019 total that brought in $21.6 for Minnesota nonprofits and schools.
Give to the Max Day is an opportunity to donate to local charities and nonprofits. In a year when so many are struggling, donations are needed now more than ever.
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center has seen a dramatic rise in food shelf clients, as well as families needing help with childcare and education. The 91-year-old African American social service agency is open to all, located in St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood.
"Right now we have actually socially distanced classrooms. Some of the people we serve can't afford to stay home with their kids and so they need a safe environment that is supportive, provides the appropriate kind of social distancing and other precautions," said Jonathan Palmer, executive director for Hallie Q. Brown Community Center.
Their food shelf went from 250 new clients in March to more than 1,800 new clients in June.
"We used to primarily be in St. Paul and now we're serving all across Minnesota. We have people who are coming up from other parts... Lakeville, St. Louis Park, Rochester," Palmer explained.
With more students distance learning, Minnesota Computers for Schools is busier than ever. To close the digital divide, MCFS refurbishes donated computer equipment from companies across the state and gives it to those who need it most.
"We've gone higher than 800% in growth in need for students and families across the state," said Tamara Gillard, MCFS executive director. "Then companies have been slowing down their donations because they were busy getting their employees ready for remote work. So it's been a bit of a strain in trying to get computer equipment."
MCFS is hoping to raise $15,000 to lease a truck for a year. The truck will be used to pick up computer donations from businesses all across the state.
"There are a lot of families that just don't have the technology... they could have three to five kids and they only have one piece of technology," Gillard said.
More than 6,000 organizations have benefited from this year's Give to the Max Day. This year, a new tool allows users to refine their search. Organizations can be highlighted for being BIPOC led, those significantly impacted by the pandemic, those with opportunities for matching donations, and more.
"We've heard from organizations with really every type of mission, but particularly direct service organizations, organizations that are helping to clothe and feed and house folks who are directly impacted by our dual pandemics this year and the unrest that we've had in the Twin Cities," GiveMN Executive Director Jake Blumberg said.
Blumberg said organizations that are led by and for Black, Indigenous and people of color are often left behind when it comes to fundraising.
Throughout the day, GiveMN has been presenting bonus "Golden Tickets" to organizations, worth between $500 and $1,000. The bonuses are added onto a donation.
Just as Give to the Max Day ends Thursday night, Give MN will add a $10,000 Golden Ticket onto a donation for one lucky organization. Each donation made is an entry to qualify for the random chance drawings.