As Thursday drew to a close near midnight, donations rolled in online and helped Give to the Max Day set a record, hauling in $21.6 million during Minnesota's unofficial "giving holiday."
Donations were made from all 87 counties in Minnesota as well as from all 50 states in the U.S., according to GiveMN, the organization behind the event.
It was the 11th year of Give to the Max Day and the fourth year in a row that the online giving blitz has trumped the previous year's record for donations. More than 5,600 nonprofits and schools statewide received donations, while there are more than 15,000 nonprofits that solicit donations in Minnesota.
Many nonprofits flooded social media accounts and e-mail inboxes throughout the week with requests for donations or held events, racing to score cash prizes; the Bush Foundation gave $100,000 in prize money. The highest award, a $10,000 grand prize, went to Microgrants, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that provides low-income people grants for education, transportation or to develop a small business.
GiveMN charges a 6.9% fee for donations online, but about 85% of donors chose to pay that fee in addition to their donation, which is all tax-deductible, according to GiveMN. Some nonprofits said they had donors vow to match amounts raised during Give to the Max, preferring to donate after the event to avoid the transaction fee.
Give to the Max Day started in 2009, raising $14.5 million that year. Last year, $21.06 million was donated. While it's pegged as a 24-hour philanthropy marathon, Thursday's tally actually counts any donations to an organization through GiveMN since Nov. 1.