What is Give to the Max Day, and How Can You Participate?

Being based in Minnesota, I am well-aware of the "great Minnesota give together" known as Give to the Max Day. (Yes, I lifted that pithy phrase off the http://givemn.razoo.com/p/gtmd-postgame website.) For people who are unaware of what this is, or who wonder how they, as a Minnesota nonprofit, can prepare for participation, please continue reading.

Give to the Max Day is a single day, November 16th 2011 (this year), where there is significant buzz around giving. Nonprofits can sign up with GiveMN to participate in this 24 hour online fundraising event. And you don't even need to have your own online giving site; all donations to your organization are made through GiveMN. To learn more about GiveMN, Give to the Max Day, and the "fine print", visit the http://www.GiveMN.org web site.

Why am I mentioning this special November day so far in advance? I want to let folks know about the day so that there is plenty of time to get registered, set up your systems to handle donations via this appeal, and get the word out to your constituents that you are a participant.

To prepare for Give to the Max Day:

  • Decide whether or not to register your organization.
  • I'd recommend making changes to you donor management system to support importing donations from the site. How do you do this? Set up a specific campaign and/or appeal, as well as a "GiveMN" source code so that when you add these donations (and new constituents) to your system, you can accurately report on the success of the day (and you may wish to be on the site year-round, so I recommend an additional appeal that is for GiveMN "general" donations in addition to a "Give to the Max Day" appeal).
  • Register your organization. (Do this after you've decided your codes. That way, your system will be "ready for action" when you register.
  • Communicate! Let your constituents know about Give to the Max Day, and let them know you are a participant.
  • Import your donations from the GiveMN web site into your donor management system. Use the codes you've defined for this.
  • Thank donors!
  • Report your success using the codes you've applied to your Give to the Max Day donations.

Perhaps I've missed some steps you would add to the list for your organization. Feel free to share them below. If you've participated in past years, and have an experience you'd like to share, feel free to do that, as well! And a last thought...Are there days like this in your state? If so, please let me know. I'd love to be able to share the fundraising opportunity with others!