GiveMN raises over $5.5 million

As I write this, the ticker at GiveMN states $5,532,363 has been give since 8am to 2,206 Minnesota non-profits. Now that’s a great day by any standards, so congratulations the folks at GiveMN, and their supporters.

However I’m a little concerned that people still think that if they give money to a non-profit on the GiveMN site today, their donation will be “matched” – i.e. a $25 pledge will earn the non-profit $50. This is simply not the case.

As I wrote yesterday, a group of foundations gave GiveMN $500,000 in to use as “matching funds” to inspire people’s generosity. That set amount is being spread out over all the donations made today.

So as of 1:30pm, that $500,000 equals approximately ten cents on the dollar. As the number of donations accumulate, that ratio will drop further. Yet the main page on GiveMN continues to state that “all donations will be matched!”

You have to scroll down and look at the detailed writing to find these words:

Every donation made on Give to the Max Day will receive a portion of a $500,000 match. The exact amount matched per dollar donated will be determined after Give to the Max Day concludes, and the $500,000 in matching funds will be divided by the total donation amount raised over the 24-hour period.

It should also be noted that while Executive Director Dana Nelson says she hopes GiveMN will always be free to participating non-profits, that depends entirely on funding. In addition to relying on its funding partners, GiveMN is soliciting donations today right along with all the other non-profits.

A couple of people have asked me “so does this mean that foundations are paying for credit card transactions with money that would have gone directly to non-profits?” I put the question to Dana Nelson. Her response? Minnesota foundations view GiveMN as a lucrative investment that will inspire more people to give more generously to more non-profits. They’re thinking of it as seed money, and as such, money well spent.

Nelson says she’s overwhelmed by the response that’s come in so far today. Her hope is that word continues to spread about the generosity of Minnesotans, and even more are inspired to join in.