MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s not on your calendar, but a new holiday is definitely online.  Give To The Max Day starts at midnight at a computer near you, and for the second straight year, the idea is to raise plenty of money for Minnesota charities.

“This is about engaging the masses,” said Dana Nelson, executive director of Give MN.  “We really wanted to get 40,000 people to do something on one day to support Minnesota nonprofits.”

A year ago, Nelson and her staff launched Give MN with a bang.  The organization devoted to online giving created Give To The Max Day, raising $14 million for 3,400 Minnesota nonprofits.

“There are younger people that will never have a checkbook,” said Nelson, “and how do you engage folks that will never have that way to give?  So, it’s important to get in front of that, and get these tools in the hands and connect with donors of all ages.”

Nelson’s walls are covered with printouts of the emails and other ideas nonprofits are using to promote this year’s event.  That’s a far cry form last year, when some organizations didn’t know what to expect.

“I think there are a few organizations that got checks that were like what is this thing,” said Nelson.  “So, what a great Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, whatever you celebrate.  What a great gift at the end of the year to get.”

You can contribute to any non-profit in the state, and hundreds have lined up matching donors for double dollars.  Still, the Animal Humane Society may have the most innovative promotion.

“You can’t beat the power of cute dogs, and cats, and animals,” said Carrie Libera, Public Relations Associate for the Humane Society.

“They’ll bring four or five dogs to downtown Minneapolis, trying to get some extra attention, and a $20,000 bonus for the charity that raises the most money.

“They can pet the dogs, play with the dogs, and the dogs will do tricks,” said Libera, “in hopes that they will give us a donation for Give MN.

Give To The Max Day starts at midnight.  Right now, the Give MN website is counting down the seconds until it begins.


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