Archived Story

Give to the Max donations vary for nonprofits

Published 7:30am Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The fourth annual Give to the Max Day Thursday left area nonprofits strewn wide across the board, with some seeing dozens of contributors while others found very few. The occasion provided an opportunity for Minnesotans to donate money to charities and schools of their choice between midnight on Nov. 15 and midnight on Nov. 16.

The Riverland Community College Foundation received donations from 43 people totaling $3,105. The gifts came in both through the online site and dropped off in-person at the office, said Steve Bowron, executive director of the foundation.

An enormous chunk of the money came from donor Jerry Nelson, who wrote a $1,000 check as a match to the foundation. Separately, several recipients of a scholarship Nelson gives out graduated early and did not use all of their scholarship funds. Nelson had the remaining $2,000 or so switched over to the foundation to further benefit it.

The majority of the money will go toward the new Crisis Emergency Fund, which helps students with short-term financial problems get on with their education. Counselors speak with students about their issues and determine whether they are in need of the assistance.

“It’s a new service that we actually kicked off this year,” Bowron said.

This is the Riverland Foundation’s second year participating in Give to the Max Day.

Donor turnout for the day varied between nonprofits. Over at the Mower County Humane Society, a total of $1,060 came in, which included a $500 gift from one donor. The funds were about the same amount as what the Humane Society had received last year.

“It was a nice thing to have,” said Jay Zimmerman, treasurer with the Humane Society. “It’s a slow time of year for us in terms of donations.”

The money is not set to handle any specific project at the Humane Society, but rather to keep the organization going with veterinary bills, utility costs and food for its dogs and cats.

“For this we were just looking at general operating funds,” Zimmerman said.

The Mower County Historical Society did not fare quite as well other organizations in the area. The Historical Society, which has participated every year since Give to the Max Day started in 2009, brought in just $50 of its $1,500 goal to rebuild the Excelsior School bell tower.

“Not as much as I hoped,” said Dustin Heckman, executive director of the Historical Society.

While usually it does all right in brining in donations, this year was different. Still, Heckman said he appreciates the help of the one donor who contributed, and said the organization is still looking for funds to get the bell tower repaired.

“It was definitely much needed, and it’s better than nothing,” he said. “We’ll take what we can get.”

Across Minnesota, about $16.4 million was given by more than 53,000 people, up from $13.4 million last year. This was the first year public schools were added to the list of organizations donors could choose to support.

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