By CARLSO GALLEGO
AAP staff writer
ST. PAUL (Nov. 2, 2012) — GiveMN has been around since 2009 and during its short life it has really begun to create a buzz in the non-profit and foundation world.
According to its executive director, Dana Nelson, “GiveMN was designed and launched by the Minnesota Community Foundation in 2009 in partnership with 14 other funders. They were inspired by trailblazing e-philanthropy ventures such as Kiva and DonorsChoose that were using technology to create powerful, personal giving experiences for donors. GiveMN’s founders wanted to leverage technology to increase giving in Minnesota.”
Ms. Nelson’s expertise in the public sector has given her the ability few in the non-profit and foundation world possess. She has the ability to couple the technology and marketing strategies she refined while leading Target’s team member engagement strategy and national service initiatives with the ability to connect to non-profits via technology to donors in a manner that will enable them to more effectively garner the necessary resources to meet their constituent’s needs.
There are many changes in the way today’s generation obtains information and initiatives such as this will not only serve to maintain current donors in the giving loop, but will hopefully move today’s generation of tech savvy individuals toward charitable giving.
“GiveMN is a collaborative venture to transform philanthropy in Minnesota by growing overall giving and moving more of it online,” Nelson said. “It is a new model for e-philanthropy.
The idea is actually simple, she added. GiveMN.org is a website that features every Minnesota nonprofit.
“GiveMN markets giving opportunities and donor tools to people who care about Minnesota. GiveMN helps them find, connect and engage with the causes that they care about,” Nelson said. “The GiveMN model combines a state-of-the-art national technology platform with local knowledge and trust-based relationships. The result is a uniquely dynamic nonprofit marketplace that has quickly established itself as the destination for online giving in Minnesota.”
Dana Nelson expertise is allowing Minnesota’s non-profits regardless of whether large or small to find new and different audiences who care about the issues upon which their organization’s focus. This will not only increase the amount of resources for these nonprofits but will also help to create greater awareness both within the communities as well as throughout the web universe.
This has the potential to generate local giving as well as giving from others who have a soft spot for the issues they are addressing or communities they are serving. This is particularly important for those organizations serving our newest populations such as the Karen, Bhutanese or Iraqi.
Nelson said GiveMN makes a difference in the Asian community.
“GiveMN was created on behalf of the Minnesota nonprofit community and offers fundraising tools to nonprofits in the Asian community to connect them with donors who want to give online,” she said. “As in other communities in Minnesota, digital marketing, communication and fundraising can be a costly investment, but GiveMN offers tools at no cost to help nonprofits bridge the digital divide.”
A specific example she provided was the Karen Organization of Minnesota’s Van Drive. She spoke of how they had identified a specific and achievable goal to address the needs of their organization and the community. Thus far, they have raised $10,000 and hope to their efforts through GiveMN will allow them to raise the remaining $15,000 for a new van this van will have a tremendous impact on their work in the community. Nelson provided the following link to their story: http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Karenvandrive.
The community can get involved in several ways including by giving on Give to the Max Day on November 15th.
“Whether you can give $10 or $10,000 – your money goes further on Give to the Max Day as every donation you make gives your favorite organization the chance to win even more money,” Nelson said. “Hundreds of nonprofits and schools will offer the opportunity to double your dollars throughout the 24 hours. During Give to the Max Day, your gift makes a BIG difference.”
Nelson said when someone gives on GiveMN.org they are actually giving directly to the organization of your choice. What is different is that GiveMN allows you to donate via contemporary technology such as by Smartphone, through social media and directly on a nonprofit’s own website through the use of a “GiveMN widget.”
Another advantage of going through GiveMN is that your charitable donation are tracked and organized and provide charitable gift receipts, Nelson adds. Therefore if you seek to support your favorite non-profit or school consider doing it through GiveMN.org.