SpringForwardMN campaign benefits local schools, nonprofits
People can donate online to various nonprofits and schools during GiveMN's new SpringForwardMN charitable-giving campaign that ends Tuesday, May 11.
Shannon Wussow is grateful for the new SpringForwardMN charitable donation campaign by GiveMN.
The executive director of Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center in Brainerd said the past year during the coronavirus pandemic has been rough, to say the least. But the latest fundraiser from the organization behind November’s Give to the Max Day helps various schools and nonprofits.
“The pandemic has affected us financially in a multitude of ways,” Wussow said Tuesday, May 4. “For one, there’s been increased staffing costs because we’ve had staff that has been absent due to COVID-related reasons.”
GiveMN links donors with organizations working to make Minnesota a better place. Its online giving website, GiveMN.org , enables charitable giving at any time and any place. But GiveMN is awarding $50,000 in bonus grants during SpringForwardMN to help boost donors’ generosity.
The SpringForwardMN campaign has raised more than $600,000 for 1,155 organizations as of Tuesday afternoon, but the campaign continues through Tuesday, May 11. Donors can search online by keyword or location, for example, to find a cause they would like to give to.
“Last year, in response to the initial stay-at-home order related to COVID-19, we created a campaign called GiveAtHomeMN, which raised more than $5.2 million for nearly 3,000 organizations in response to the pandemic, through our platform,” Blumberg said Tuesday.
Two hundred donors who gave during the GiveAtHomeMN campaign had their generosity boosted as part of the $68,000 bonus grant pool, which was made possible by GiveMN’s partners at the Bush Foundation and U.S. Bank.
“This year, we asked organizations what would be the most helpful as we continue to work through the pandemic but also look ahead to what’s next, and they asked us to do an encore event. That encore event is SpringForwardMN, which is an opportunity for donors to support organizations as we try to take our next step out of this year of crisis and towards rebuilding,” Blumberg said.
SpringForwardMN is a campaign driven by the nonprofits and the schools that GiveMN supports, such as Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center, which has worked with victims of domestic violence through a variety of programs since 1978.
“When surveyed, nearly 1,000 organizations — 70% of them — asked for us to do an event that would help them as they look towards recovery from the past year’s crises, so this is a campaign in response to those community needs and requests,” Blumberg said.
Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center is a nonprofit that provides a 24-hour intake to emergency shelter for individuals experiencing domestic violence including women (along with their children and pets) and men.
Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center had 182 volunteers last year and many were seniors, according to officials, who said the volunteers completed about 3,790 hours of service.
The shelter provided residential services last year to 410 people and nine pets — a 45% increase from the previous year. An additional 5,522 people received non-residential services from the shelter, a 15% increase from 2019, according to Wussow.
Donors can look for local organizations by searching GiveMN.org , using local ZIP codes to look.
Every nonprofit and school registered with the IRS as a nonprofit or school in the state of Minnesota can be found and supported through GiveMN.org , according to Blumberg.
Blumberg said of SpringForwardMN, “When folks read this, we hope they then go over to our website and support a cause they care about again. … There are a number of organizations within the Brainerd area that are participating.”
Heartland Animal Rescue Team, Lakes Area Music Festival, Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen, Bridges of Hope and Brainerd Public Schools Foundation are just some examples of the more than 270 nonprofits or schools in the Brainerd lakes area that a person can donate to.
To participate in SpringForwardMN, donors may visit www.GiveMN.org and search for the causes they care about most by name, keyword, ZIP code and more.
The SpringForwardMN period began Saturday, May 1, and continues through Tuesday, May 11, with random drawings throughout for $50,000 in prize grants for Minnesota organizations.
FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchFL .