Give to the Max: When Minnesotans’ Generosity Shines

Photos provided by GiveMN
Photos provided by GiveMN

On November 16th, Minnesotans will celebrate Give to the Max, the annual giving holiday. Every year, thousands of Minnesotans come together to support the causes that they love and that make life better for them across the state.

What is Give to the Max?

Give to the Max, or GiveMN, works to connect donors and supporters with nonprofits and schools to help make Minnesota a better place.

It began in 2009, and since then, Minnesotans have generated more than 290 million dollars to support more than 10,000 organizations across the state, including LGBTQ+ organizations.

It’s more than just a single day, though November 16th is the “main” giving date. GiveMN also marks the start of the holiday season, when Minnesotans come together to celebrate the hardworking folks who power the causes they support.

Why is Give to the Max Important?

Donations to nonprofits and schools have been trending downward nationwide the past few years, but Minnesotans have continued to stay strong through that downward trend, making Minnesota one of the most generous states.

“In the same way organizations are working not only on Give to the Max day but all year long, organizations have needs,” says Jenna Ray, Deputy Executive Director of GiveMN. “The success of GiveMN is dependent on the generosity of Minnesotans. We’re hopeful and confident that Minnesotans will step up to support the 15th annual GiveMN.”

The nonprofits and schools that GiveMN supports rely on the donations from this event — and through the holiday season and beyond — to keep doing their valuable work to improve the lives for Minnesotans statewide.

What Organizations Are Involved?

There are hundreds of thousands of organizations across all kinds of causes. You can use the search tool at to filter by cause, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ organizations.

A few notable LGBTQ+ organizations to support this year include Outfront Minnesota, Minnesota Ice Swimming, and Shakespearean Youth Theater. Outfront Minnesota fights for LGBTQ+ justice and equity. Minnesota Ice Swimming is Minnesota’s only LGBTQ+ masters swim team, providing a safe, affirming community for its athletes. And the Shakespearean Youth Theater offers LGBTQ+ safe, creative spaces for young people to connect with peers to share experiences.

What Should I Look for in an Organization?

“For anyone who’s looking to support, whether it’s their first or fifteenth, definitely use the search tool,” says Ray. “You can browse tens of thousands of organizations by keyword, location, or category.”

One way Ray suggests narrowing down your search is to think about an organization that you or a loved one might have worked with or benefitted from in the past. She also encourages potential donors to think about causes they’re passionate about or that align with their values.

Additionally, you can donate to organizations that tend to face additional barriers to funding, like BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women-founded groups. Organizations that operate in more rural areas of the state are also a great choice.

A few questions Ray recommends asking are: Am I connected or are my loved ones connected to a particular cause? Are there causes working in the areas I feel strongly about or match my values? Are there causes that can help remedy inequity?

How Can I Give Responsibly?

“I would ask folks to give generously at whatever level is meaningful and achievable for you,” says Ray. She emphasizes that donations of all sizes have an impact on communities throughout the state.

As this is the 15th annual Give to the Max event, Ray also suggests honoring that with some form of “15” in your donation. “I would encourage folks to be thinking about, for this year, there are ways to celebrate by giving in 15s. Whether you give to 15 organizations or $15 donations or increase your giving by 15%.” also has tools to connect donors with organizations directly, so they can learn how best to support their chosen cause all year long.

“One of the things I really encourage folks to do is to take the celebration beyond the moment they hit ‘donate.’ However and wherever they choose to give, I encourage folks to think of the day as a celebration and find ways to be involved,” says Ray.

A Final Note

Minnesotans are notoriously generous, and GiveMN is a celebration of that, of not only the donors but also the nonprofits and schools who work hard every day to support our communities. These donations help to ensure the celebration can continue for the next 15 years and beyond.

“The thing about GiveMN is it’s really a grassroots fundraising effort,” says Ray. “The fact that so many organizations and donors are coming together, and we choose year after year to celebrate generosity is what helps to support and preserve a tradition like GiveMN in the face of uncertainty around giving.”

Ray’s last piece of advice: “If your finances aren’t as restricted, please expand your donation to support the nonprofits that make Minnesota a great place to live and work.”

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