In the Year of the novel coronavirus, charitable giving has become more important than ever, prompting several local nonprofits to sign up for participation in the 12th annual Give to the Max Day (GTMD), set for Thursday, Nov. 19.

Dubbed as "Minnesota's largest day of giving," GTMD raised more than $190 million for roughly 10,000 Minnesota-based charitable causes in its first 11 years, according to information from the website, givemn.org.

This fundraiser is entirely online and contributors can donate with a credit or debit card, though cash and check donations can also be arranged. While Nov. 19 is the official start date, the window for early giving started on Nov. 1. As an added incentive to give early and often, each donation made is eligible for additional cash incentives that can provide a considerable financial boost to the charity of your choice.

Some of those incentives include the following:

  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets, awarded daily on Nov. 1-18

  • $500 Golden Ticket prizes every 15 minutes on Nov. 19.

  • $1,000 Golden Ticket prizes given once every hour on Nov. 19.

  • $6,000 Power Hour Prizes, shared among the top three organizations based on amount raised between 10:00–10:59 a.m. and 10:00–10:59 p.m.

  • The grand prize of Give to the Max Day, a $10,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket.

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In addition, some nonprofits receive matching gifts from local businesses and organizations that can double, or even triple the amount of each individual donation.

Local organizations participating in this year's Give to the Max Day include the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center, Becker County Food Pantry, Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, and the Humane Society of the Lakes. A complete list of participating organizations can be found at the website, givemn.org.

Lakes Crisis & Resource Center

"Give to the Max Day is more important to LCRC this year than it has ever been in the past," says Executive Director Anna Sellin, "as a result of cancelled fundraisers because of COVID-19.

"Typically, we would currently be planning and preparing for the annual Festival of Trees," she continued, noting that it usually takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving.

"Since we can’t be together this year, admiring and bidding on beautiful Christmas trees decorated and donated by generous area businesses, we’ll be reminiscing on our Facebook page by sharing event pictures from prior years and recognizing the businesses that supported us," she continued. "We intend to spread some holiday cheer, while also celebrating Give to the Max Day."

Sellin added that all individual donations to LCRC on Give to the Max Day, up to a maximum of $10,000, are matched by BTD Manufacturing.

"Our goal is to raise $42,000 this year," Sellin said, adding that this represents the total amount that would be raised by GTMD and the Festival of Trees in years past. "Please watch our Facebook page on Nov. 19 for fun 'live' videos and progress reports!"

For more information, visit lakescrisis.com or call 218-847-8572.

Humane Society of the Lakes

Give to the Max Day is also an important fundraiser for the Humane Society of the Lakes. This year, due the generosity of an anonymous donor, all Give to the Max Day donations to HSL will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000.

"We hope to raise $10,000," says Shelby Rasmussen, HSL development coordinator. "These funds will be used for veterinary care and operational expenses."

Visit their page at www.givemn.org/organization/hsofthelakes to make your contribution.

HSL is celebrating its 31st year of serving Becker County and the surrounding areas with a mission to provide services for abandoned, stray or unwanted animals while they await lifelong homes. It is their vision that all animals are cared for with dignity and respect. HSL can house up to 30 cats and 25 dogs at a time; foster families are an ongoing need.

Anyone interested in becoming an HSL volunteer or foster pet parent is encouraged to apply through the website at humanesocietyofthelakes.org or call 218-847-0511.

Becker County Food Pantry

The Becker County Food Pantry is once again set to participate in Give to the Max Day on Thursday, Nov. 19. Through the generous contributions of Midwest Bank, Essentia Health Detroit Lakes, and anonymous donors, all individual donations will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $7,500.

The Pantry will also be accepting checks and cash (designated for Give to the Max Day) for doubling through the matching fund. Visit www.givemn.org/Becker-County-Food-Pantry for details.

In 2019, more than 499,462 pounds of food were distributed to 4,952 families, accounting for 18,184 cumulative individuals, many of them children and seniors. Demand has grown significantly in the last 10 years, and the pandemic has added to the Food Pantry's struggles. Your donation today maximizes impact for those most in need. Due to partnerships with North Country Food Bank, and the USDA, we are able to make the most of every dollar. Ground beef, canned foods, and vegetables costs the Food Pantry just 10 cents a pound. Donating to the Food Pantry through GiveMN.org is an easy and satisfying way to make a difference for those most in need.

To learn more, visit its Facebook page or call 218-846-0142. The Becker County Food Pantry is located near the fairgrounds at 1308 Rossman Ave.

Friends of Tamarac

The Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge will also be participating in Give to the Max Day again this year.

"We hope to raise around $3,000," says Nancy Fischer, manager of the Friends of Tamarac office and nature store. "The money will be used to support our mission of connecting children with nature and supporting projects for the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.

"The Friends and Refuge staff have been working on creating online environmental education videos so we can keep nurturing the bond between child and nature during the pandemic. Unfortunately, the Visitor Center is still closed and the children are not able to visit the refuge due to social distancing requirements."

For more information, call 218-844-1767 or visit the Friends of Tamarac NWR Facebook page.