It's been 13 years since the first Give to the Max Day was held, and since 2009, "Minnesota's largest day of giving" has raised more than $294 million for thousands of Minnesota-based charitable causes.

Give to the Max Day is this Thursday, Nov. 18. Though it is a 24-hour online fundraising event, early giving has been open through the website at givemn.org since Nov. 1.
Give to the Max Day is this Thursday, Nov. 18. Though it is a 24-hour online fundraising event, early giving has been open through the website at givemn.org since Nov. 1.

In fact, 2020's GTMD was the largest to date, bringing in $30.4 million for 6,114 different organizations statewide, according to information available on the GTMD website, givemn.org.

The 24-hour online giving holiday has become a significant source of income for many local nonprofits, including Lakes Crisis & Resource Center, the Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Becker County Food Pantry and others.

This fundraiser is entirely online and contributors can donate with a credit or debit card, though cash and check donations can also be arranged by contacting the nonprofit to which you are contributing. While Nov. 18 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 $100,000 in additional cash incentives that can provide a considerable financial boost to the charity of your choice.

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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. 18.

  • $1,000 Golden Ticket prizes given once every hour on Nov. 18.

  • $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. on Nov. 18.

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

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, Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes and Becker County Museum. A complete list of participating organizations in this area can be found at the website, givemn.org.

Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes is participating in Give to the Max Day this year, with a goal of raising $2,500.

"This year, any gift on givemn.org for the Club will help purchase necessary supplies such as canvases, acrylic paints, proper brushes, etc. for our ART Education program," says Alyssa Hoskins, the club's marketing and communications coordinator.

This new program teaches not just "beautiful painting techniques," Hoskins says, but also the history behind each artist, and the individual artworks as well.

Lakes Crisis & Resource Center

BTD Manufacturing has stepped up to the plate once again this year, contributing a $10,000 matching grant for Lakes Crisis & Resource Center's (LCRC) Give to the Max Day fundraising efforts.

"BTD is providing a dollar for dollar match, up to $10,000," says LCRC Executive Director Anna Sellin.

"BTD has been such a wonderful supporter of our mission," added DelRae Whitley, LCRC's outreach and development coordinator.

"Our fundraising goal is $40,000," Sellin said. "Because of fundraising gaps resulting from the pandemic and two years of cancelled in-person fundraisers, the money raised will be used to support overall programming."

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

Becker County Food Pantry

The Becker County Food Pantry is once again set to participate in Give to the Max Day on Thursday, Nov. 18, with a fundraising goal of $5,000.

"Since 1983, the mission of the Becker County Food Pantry has been to serve Becker County residents in need with programs that provide food, promote the value of nutrition and connects to community resources to ensure a meaningful impact to our community’s wellbeing," says Steve Schumacher, who is serving as the coordinator for the Food Pantry's 2021 GTMD campaign.

In 2020, more than 443,007 pounds of food were distributed to 4,116 families, accounting for 13,902 cumulative individuals, many of them children and seniors.

"Demand has grown significantly in the last 10 years, and the pandemic has added to our struggles," Schumacher said. "Your donation (on Give to the Max Day) 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 us just 8 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."

The Food Pantry is open to the public from 12 to 3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at 1308 Rossman Ave. (located on the county fairgrounds). If you have questions or would like further information, please call 218-846-0142.

Friends of Tamarac

The Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge will also be participating in Give to the Max Day again this year, with the intent of raising funds for the Refuge's "Snow Much Fun" program.

"Our goal is to raise $4,000," says Nancy Fischer, manager of the Friends of Tamarac office and nature store.

"Snow Much Fun" is a program that aims to get kids and families outdoors during the winter months, Fischer explained, for activities like ice fishing and snowshoeing, with an eye to helping them learn more about the ecology of a Minnesota winter.

"Donations will used to purchase ice fishing gear, which will be given to kids for free during a family ice fishing event we plan to hold late January or early February," she added.

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

Humane Society of the Lakes

Give to the Max Day is also an important fundraiser for the Humane Society of the Lakes, which is hoping to raise $10,000 through GTMD this year.

Each year, hundreds of animals in the lakes area are abandoned, lost, or can no longer stay with their original owner. The HSL's no-kill shelter provides a safe, caring temporary home for pets as they await a match for a "furever" home. Each donation helps provide shelter, medical care and food for animals that would otherwise be homeless. Visit their page at givemn.org to make your contribution.

As it relies solely on donations for its operating income, HSL also needs volunteers in a variety of areas. 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 Museum

Now in the final phase of their campaign to raise $6.8 million for a new building, the Becker County Historical Society is participating in this year's Give to the Max Day fundraiser.

"We have about $175,000 left to raise in the campaign," says Becky MItchell, executive director of the Becker County Museum. "The building is currently under construction and slated to open in the fall of 2022, and will feature an expanded research library, local history exhibit hall, recording studio for capturing local stories, hand-on science and learning center, multiple classroom spaces, coffee shop and gift shop."

Mitchell added that they are hoping to raise $10,000 toward the capital campaign through Give to the Max Day. For more information, call 218-847-2938, send an email to becky@beckercountyhistory.org or visit the museum's website at beckercountyhistory.org.