Two chances to unite gifts this November

November is a unique month for Minnesota non-profits.

“Non-profits usually see an increase in people reaching out for help during the holiday,” said United Way of Northeastern Resource Development and Events Director Elizabeth Kelly. “And while we prepare for that increase, we also have the unique opportunity of participating in two large giving movements to help fund our work.”

November 17th is Give to the Max Day in Minnesota, Minnesota’s “unofficial giving holiday.” On this day, donors are encouraged to donate to the non-profit(s) of their choice at, and each donation will enter that non-profit to win a prize grant from organizers, GiveMN.

November 29th is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, created as a philanthropic follow up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“These are large scale giving movements that can have a very local impact if local people participate,” Kelly said.

Donations are encouraged to be made to the non-profit of your choice online on Give to the Max Day and can be made online, via mail, in-person, or in the unique way of your choice.

Chisholm resident Brittany Cedar recently held a Facebook fundraiser in honor of her birthday and said she found the process so convenient she now encourages others to hold similar fundraisers.

“I was overwhelmed and so pleased by the positive support and response,” Cedar said. “I received additional donations after the three-week window of time for online donations had concluded.”

Cedar’s birthday is in September so she chose to fundraise in support of UWNEMN’s Buddy Backpacks program which provides weekend meal kits to local children at-risk of hunger every weekend and holiday break of the school year.

“I decided what better way to start the school year off strongly (than) by encouraging others to donate for Buddy Backpacks for the kids returning to the classrooms and in-need of the weekend meal kits,” she said.

She challenged friends to donate the amount of each meal kit and said every donation she received was higher than that amount. In total, 15 family members and friends donated to Cedar’s fundraiser, raising $690 – enough to feed 86 children through a weekend.

“I believe each and every contribution matters,” she said. “When we join together, we are able to accomplish exciting goals!”

In addition to organizing her own fundraiser, Cedar supports UWNEMN throughout the year by attending the organization’s fundraising events, especially the cash raffles like the upcoming Bucks for Backpacks cash raffle.

“I support UWNEMN because I believe in the work they do and the outreach they provide,” she said. “It truly makes a difference in the lives of others and is a positive impact for many as well as an important organization to have for our local communities instead of in our local communities.

I feel it is imperative to pay it forward whenever possible. To me, that is one of life's greatest gifts.”

Donations made to UWNEMN on Give to the Max Day or Giving Tuesday can be designated to the UWNEMN partner agency or program of a donor’s choice. To make a donation, click here, call 218-254-3329, or send mail to 608 East Drive, Chisholm MN 55719.