“Give To The Max” Website Crashes After Raising Millions

GiveMN.org, the organization behind the 24-hour fundraising event, said a surge in website visitors triggered the technical issues.

A surge of online traffic took down the “Give to the Max Day” website on Thursday.

GiveMN, the organization that hosts the annual event, said on its Twitter page Thursday afternoon that it was working on resolving the technical difficulties.

“We are experiencing a tremendous surge of giving,” the organization posted around 1 p.m. “We are working to get the site back up and running as quickly as possible.”

GiveMN.org is hosting its fifth annual “Give to the Max Day” fundraising event on Thursday, attempting to top last year’s total donations of $16.4 million. The event is scheduled to wrap up at midnight.

GiveMN, which launched in 2009, allows Minnesotans to make online donations to organizations and charities via credit card payments. Give to the Max Day is an annual effort to raise as much money as possible over the course of 24 hours. Since its launch, GiveMN has raised more than $75 million for Minnesota nonprofits.

“Give to the Max Day has truly become a tradition for many people across the state and an invaluable resource for thousands of organizations,” Dana Nelson, executive director of GiveMN, said in a statement. “It’s a fun way to make a huge difference for Minnesota’s nonprofits and schools.”

This year, GiveMN is hosting “Power Hours” during the Give to the Max event. Nonprofits and schools that raise the most money during each of the five “power hours” (2:00 to 2:59 a.m., 5:00 to 5:59 a.m., 5:00 to 5:59 p.m., 6:00 to 6:59 p.m., and 11:00 to 11:59 p.m.) will each receive a $1,000 grant (for a total of $5,000).

GiveMN also partnered with Youthprise—a Minneapolis-based grantmaker that aims to increase learning opportunities outside of the classroom—to host the “Legacy of Change” video contest. The contest invited nonprofits and school districts to “demonstrate their legacy” in a video. The winner will be named Thursday and will receive $20,000 in grants.

GiveMN also brought back its “Golden Tickets” program. One nonprofit and one school donor will be selected at random each hour to receive a ticket; $1,000 grants will be awarded to the nonprofit or school to which the ticket winner donated. Additionally, two “supersized” golden tickets—with $10,000 grants—will also be awarded to two donors.

Last year, 53,339 donors contributed during Give to the Max Day. The donations were given to 4,381 nonprofits and schools, which included kindergarten through 12th grade public schools—a first-time category in the event’s history.

Official results from this year’s Give to the Max Day will be posted on GiveMN.org on Friday. The site, when it was operating properly earlier in the day on Thursday, indicated that millions of dollars had already been donated. The Pioneer Press reported that more than $9 million had been raised before the site crashed.