Smart Givers Give to the MAX!

A Q & A with GiveMN's Executive Director, Jake Blumberg.

In true Minnesota tradition, we’re gearing up for another Give to the Max Day. And, as donor and nonprofit partners here at Charities Review Council, we’re looking forward to a day of huge generosity benefiting the causes you care about! Last year, more than 62,000 donors logged on to GiveMN.Org to give more than 18 million (yes, million!) dollars. That’s huge! So in preparation for the big day, we asked Jake Blumberg, Executive Director at GiveMN, his thoughts, tips, and tricks for making the most of this giving holiday. Here’s what he had to say…

What excites you about leading GiveMN?

GiveMN is such a unique organization that has the opportunity to help thousands of organizations and donors connect with one another year round, and of course, on our annual giving holiday in Minnesota, Give to the Max Day! The opportunity to help organizations make broad impact throughout the state and region is incredibly energizing to me, and I am excited about not only success we have had up to this point, but also the future we can explore as an organization and community together.

What’s the difference between GiveMN and Give to the Max Day?

Since our founding in 2009, GiveMN has hosted Give to the Max Day as one of our marquee events, in service to thousands of Minnesota nonprofits and schools that strengthen our communities every day. It is our opportunity to bring attention to the sector, ignite generosity, grow giving, and make it a fun time to give.

It wouldn’t be a Charities Review Council interview without asking about your favorite smart giving tips. So tell us, Jake…

What are your favorite tips and/or tricks for smart giving?

There are a lot of habits we should incorporate as smart givers. One we are excited about is a new feature on allowing donors to cover the processing fee on behalf of their favorite cause. That way, not only does the organization receive 100% of their donation, but donors are also able to help organizations be more sustainable. Online fundraising is one of the most affordable ways to raise money, and now donors can give just a little bit more to make it 100% free for organizations.

For more tips/tricks for smart giving, check out our ‘Be a Smart Giver this Give to the Max Day’ blog here.

You mentioned Give to the Max Day makes giving fun and easy, So… What are three easy steps to give on Give to the Max Day?

It’s so simple, there aren’t even three steps! Just go to on November 17th and search for your favorite organizations, or find new ones by keyword or location. For a list of Charities Review Council’s Meets Standards® nonprofits, click here!

You can make a gift to any Minnesota nonprofit (or school) in just minutes. And, if you don’t want to wait until November 17th, you can schedule your Give to the Max Day gift beginning November 1st, just like an auto bill pay.

What’s the gift that’s meant the most to you?

I think there are two gifts that stand out to me in my fundraising career. The first is probably from the first fundraising campaign I ever ran. A family friend of mine heard about the work we were doing, and although they did not have a lot of capacity, they made a gift that was truly meaningful to them. It wasn’t the largest gift the campaign received, but to me it illustrated how much meaning there can be in people giving what they can because they are inspired by the work we are doing to make change in the community.

My favorite gift that I have learned about in my role at GiveMN has to be the story of the $100 gift during Give to the Max Day 2014 that led to a new wing of an elementary school library thanks to a $20,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket prize generously sponsored by our friends at the Bush Foundation. I think it is an incredible impact our giving can make when a donor’s $100 gift can end up creating so much change. The media center even bears her name now!

Over to you Smart Givers!

What’s a gift that’s meant the most to you? Send us a message, or tag us in a post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to be highlighted on Charities Review Council’s Facebook page this Give to the Max Day!

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