It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.
More than 52,000 Minnesotans donated a record-breaking $17.1 million during Give to the Max Day Thursday, topping the $16.3 million raised last year.
Minnesota’s annual day of charitable giving became a victim of its own success, raking in $9 million in donations before noon — and then sinking into technical difficulties that shut down the website for more than five hours.
But organizers were all smiles Friday, when it became clear that Minnesotans had rallied for their favorite schools and charities.
“We thank all Minnesotans for their immense generosity and patience on what was a frustrating yet truly incredible day,” said Dana Nelson, executive director, GiveMN, which sponsors the event.
“We were very disappointed by the significant time the site was down,” she said. “The nonprofits and schools worked so hard to make Give to the Max Day come to life. The technical issues impacted their bottom lines.”
Two lucky nonprofits took home an extra $10,000 Friday, after winning the “Super-Sized Golden Tickets”: Feed My Starving Children of Coon Rapids and the Orono Public School District’s Discovery Center Playground Project.
Topping the donations list this year:
• Cretin-Derham Hall High School, $548,192
• Convent and Academy of the Visitation, $402,520
• Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners, $324,419
• Augsburg College, $313,639
• Second Harvest Heartland, $307,231
• Feed My Starving Children, $267,945
• Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, $215,973
• St. Olaf College, $175,839
• Shir Tikvah Congregation, $160,759
• Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, $149,672
In the Small Nonprofits category, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness came out on top with 123 donors giving $35,595. In the Greater Minnesota category, Victory Christian Academy of Hibbing was first with two donors giving $85,000.