Thank You To the Max: Minnesota Give to Max Day Raised $13.4 Million in 24 Hours | Beth's Blog

Thank You To the Max: Minnesota Give to Max Day Raised $13.4 Million in 24 Hours


Note from Beth: The 3rd annual Minnesota Give to Max Day took place last month.  The campaign has been profiled on this blog since it started.  And every year, the good folks in Minnesota share their results and lessons learned.  It’s become an annual holiday tradition for Beth’s Blog.

Minnesota’s ‘Networked Nonprofits’ raised $13.4M in one day by Jeff Achen,

On November 16, 2011, more than $13.4 million was raised to benefit Minnesota nonprofit organizations. And, a record 47,534 donors logged on to to donate to their favorite Minnesota charity. That tops last year’s donor record by nearly 5,000. In a 24-hour period, nearly 4,000 Minnesota nonprofit organizations benefited through donations, matching grants and prizes. In total, GiveMN has helped raise $46 million for nonprofit organizations across the state of Minnesota since launching in November 2009.

Social media strategy payoff

In my Nov. 14 guest blog post, “24 hours, millions of dollars, thousands of nonprofits—What gives in Minnesota?,” I talked about how relationships were key to this collaborative social fundraising effort. Those relationships were strengthened through the use of social media. Here are some statistics that show just how important Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were to our success.

We had 150,742 visits to throughout the 24 hour event. Average time on site was over 9 minutes. Here is the breakdown of where our unique visits came from:

  • We earned 202 new likes on our Facebook page on November 16, 2011 and increased our fans by 1,263 since Give to the Max Day 2010
  • We gained 203 new Twitter followers in the month of November
  • Our Give to the Max Day celebrity PSA video has earned 2,620 views on YouTube, in addition to being aired on numerous local and state television networks
  • Our Give to the Max Day “Thank You” video has earned 2,413 views on YouTube
  • Our Give to the Max Day Livestream webcast from the Mall of America saw 1,693 unique viewers over the course of the day


Traffic sources to the Give to the Max Day webpage on November 16.

Since our outreach efforts focused on providing nonprofits with social media resources, email templates and content such as a video PSA for use on their homepages, it would seem those efforts paid off when it came to driving traffic.

Here are some highlights from our post-event nonprofit survey (Total nonprofits who completed the survey as of 12/01/11 = 380):

  • 61 percent of respondents said social media worked best for promoting Give to the Max Day (79 percent said sending out email promotions worked best. Multiple answers were acceptable)
  • 71 percent of respondents said Give to the Max Day helped them raise additional money that would not otherwise be raised

And, here are some highlights from our post-event donor survey (Total donors who completed the survey as of 12/01/11 = 5,757):

  • 44 percent of respondents said Give to the Max Day was their first time using GiveMN, down from 61 percent in 2010
  • 72 percent of respondents said they heard about Give to the Max Day from an email from their nonprofit (Percentages were in the teens for those who heard about the event via television, radio, newspaper, Facebook/Twitter and friends)
  • 26 percent of respondents said they found it useful to be notified of giving opportunities on Facebook or Twitter
  • 48 percent of respondents said their preferred method of giving was online through nonprofit’s website (18 percent said they preferred to give through a third party site like, however 97 percent said they would use GiveMN again in the future)
  • 79 percent of respondents were female
  • 91 percent of respondents were 31 or over
  • 59 percent of respondents earned less than 90,000 per year in total household income

Owning it

Our success is really the collective success of thousands of nonprofits, most of which developed their own unique strategies for the day. This truly has become their event. We’ve asked some of them to share their strategies with us and we’re posting them on the GiveMN Blog.

A huge thank you also goes out to our partners at  Without their online technical expertise and amazing social and mobile sharing tools, we never could have made all this happen. Razoo is an online fundraising platform that  offers a secure, streamlined donation process and a suite of free and easy-to-use fundraising tools that inspire individuals and nonprofits to give and fundraise online. This year was GiveMN’s third year using Razoo to host Give to the Max Day, and our event was just one of six regional giving days Razoo hosted this November.

What we’ve learned from this year’s success is that our preparation, planning, outreach and training really pay off. This effort provides nonprofits with guidance and motivation to participate and succeed.

Digitally speaking, three of our most valuable outreach efforts include:

  1. A webinar for nonprofits to learn about participating in Give to the Max Day
  2. A nonprofit toolkit that includes logos, templates, our social media planning guide and links to training materials
  3. The addition of two volunteer interns to assist with the influx of emails and phone calls from nonprofits around Give to the Max Day. Our volunteers provided critical technical and moral support to hundreds of nonprofit representatives during October and November

Jeff Achen is the interactive media strategist for GiveMN. Jeff is in charge of video production, photography, graphic design, communication efforts and social media strategy for GiveMN, including the GiveMN blogTwitterFacebook and YouTube.


7 Responses

  1. Great job, Minnesota! Thank you for sharing your experience! This is great information for Nevada to use in our 2nd annual Nevada’s Big Give in 2012. In our 1st event on November 17, 2011, we raised over $413,000 for 400+ nonprofits. It’s a far cry from your huge success in 2011. But, it’s a start for us. Thanks for paving the way for the rest of us!

    Phil Johncock
    Interim Executive Director

  2. Jeff Achen says:

    Thanks Phil and best wishes in 2012. It’s been inspiring to see all of the various giving days that are springing up around the country, and to great success! In this age of social media, what a great way to put nonprofits and giving on the map.

  3. John Haydon says:

    Jeff – Great job here!

    I’m curious – were you able to track completed transactions from referred sites? I see above that various network referred traffic to, but how did that traffic translate into completed transactions?



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