The Great Minnesota Give Together

People like to say that the Twin Cities have more nonprofits per capita than any other city in the US. Whether that’s true or not, the Twin Cities certainly have a strong reputation for their commitment to social services.

The holiday season is prime-time for philanthropy and service, hence November being dubbed “Nonprofit Awareness Month”. This also coincides with Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day on November 16. During that 24 hour period, many nonprofits will make arrangements to have gifts matched dollar for dollar, and some charities will be chosen to get $1,000 bonuses. The top grossing charities will receive additional $10,000 or $20,000 grants.

The minimum donation is $10. If you can’t swing the cash, you can always donate your time. Hands On Twin Cities has listings on pretty much every volunteer opportunity in town.

Anyone have any favorite nonprofits in town they’d like to suggest?

13 thoughts on “The Great Minnesota Give Together

  1. justpbob

    Here’s our site. Without hardly any fanfare from us, we got 30 donors last year. I’m glad to see this great idea is back this year. Thanks to all who gave, or plan to give this year.

  2. jane

    I like Person-to-Person, specifically the holiday program. My family is big, and we stopped giving presents years ago as it was just too onerous. We get very small gifts for each other, and for the past few years have sponsored a family with this group. The org asks that you spend $25 on each person. The recipients have to earn their way onto the list, and then they hand in a wish list that is passed on to us. Sometimes the requests are very moving. A parent might ask for a hoodie or pajamas or sheets/towels or basic toiletries, or he/she might ask for $25 worth of diapers (and for that baby they’ll ask for stuffed toys or clothes).

  3. jane

    I should mention Person-to-Person is up on Central, so when you drop off the gifts, you’ll be right by a bunch of great lunch places. I know that’s a lame reason to patronize a charity, but I do look forward to it.

  4. kc!

    I volunteered for Person to Person for years when they did ESL classes. They are a great organization.
    I like Open Arms of Minnesota, which provides food for people with HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and a couple other diseases.  It delivers a weeks worth of food to the people’s home.
    I also like Second Havest Heartland which provides food to the local food shelves. Because it buys in huge bulk, it is able to get food cheaply to those who need it. And it knows which foods are in demand and needed, so it isn’t food that will just sit on a shelf.

  5. Stacy Pearson

    I would suggest Minnesota Women of Today.  Their mission is to make the world a better place and they do that by serving local communities around the state, training the leaders of tomorrow, and building friendships among their members.  They do local projects including community bookshelves, toy drives, Santa breakfasts, road cleanups, fundraising for other organizations, food drives, volunteering at crisis nurseries, etc….you name it! 
    Find the MN Women of Today Foundation on here: Or learn more about them at

  6. Ingrid

    I would suggest Minnesota Youth Symphonies. I played with MYS in middle school and high school. The level of musicianship is amazing. Manny and Claudette Laureano are the fantastic co-directors
    Also, the Union Gospel Mission does some fabulous work.

  7. Tane Danger

    If you’re looking to give young people in Minnesota a chance to learn, grow, and connect with nature, make your contribution this year to Camp Fire USA Minnesota Council. Our mission is to give young people across the Twin Cities out-of-classroom opportunities to explore their world and become leaders.
    We are all-inclusive which means all kids are welcome regardless of race, religion, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation.
    Camp Fire provides free after-school programs in low-incoming housing throughout the Twin Cities so kids have a safe, welcoming place to go.
    Your donation would make a difference in the life of a Minnesota child! Visit the organization’s website for more details. and then find us on at

  8. Erica M

    Two more thumbs up for Urban Arts Academy. They share space at Calvary Lutheran Church (39th/Chicago) with the Twin Cities Women’s Choir (in which I sing) and a bunch of other art and community groups.

  9. Jon

    I’ll be donating to Animal Humane Society. They do such great work in our community helping out homeless puppies and kittens.  Lots of Give To The Max Day info on their site

  10. Amy

    I suggest donating to Twin Cities RISE! (, an anti-poverty organization whose mission is to provide employers with skilled workers who have been living in poverty. Most participants have extensive barriers to employment and spend 12 to 18 months with TCR! to learn Personal Empowerment and core work skills in classes and through individual coaching so they can find and retain jobs that pay a living wage plus benefits. Their direct giving site is:

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