Final Give to the Max numbers not expected to change much

I should know better than to make bets.

In the wee hours of the morning I "bet" that Give to the Max Day would set a new financial record. The closing number was right around $13.5 million, the record was $14m, and in the first year of the drive award money was added after the close of the day, causing an approximate $1 million jump.

But this year was different.

I spoke to GiveMN's Dana Nelson this afternoon, who's hard at work with her colleagues doing some number crunching before issuing final numbers. But she says she doesn't expect the $13.5m number to change signicantly, because award money (from "golden tickets" and the like) was added throughout the day.

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The $13.5 million figure also reflects approximately $2 million in matching funds secured by Minnesota nonprofits to encourage donations. These matching grants are not verified directly by GiveMN.

"We don't police that," said Nelson, "It would be almost impossible to do so. But we coach nonprofits on how to get a match, and we encourage them to list the source of the match on their donation page."

Nelson explains that while she does "spot-check" certain matching grants, it would be a logistical nightmare to double-check the details of more than $6 million in matching grants when she's working with close to 4,000 nonprofits.

That brings us to another point of interest. While more than $6 million was offered in matching grants, only about a third of that money was taken advantage of on Give to the Max Day.

Nelson says she hopes those nonprofits with remaining matching monies will use the momentum created by Give to the Max Day to continue to fundraise.