Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Record-breaking donations on Give to the Max Day in Minnesota

Nov. 24, 2014, 10:15 a.m., Posted by Beth Kanter

This is cross-posted with permission from Beth Kanter's Blog.

 launched its “Give to the Max Day” over 6 years ago.  It was one of the first 24-hour day of giving that rallies and inspires to donate to charities.  On November 13, Minnesotans broke a record Thursday, donating more than $18 million to schools and non-profits.  I have been tracking this giving day since its first Giving Day back in 2009 and every year do a debrief post or interview. This year, I was lucky enough to get Dana Nelson, Executive Director to do an email interview.    

GiveMN and Dana have been a key part of the Knight Foundation Giving Day Learning Exchange that I have had the honor of facilitating. This network of community foundations are actively experimenting and learning how to get better results on their Giving Days and adding to the knowledge in the Giving Day Playbook.

Here’s what Dana Nelson had to say about their dramatic giving day results, their secret to success, and what is next.

‘IowaWatch Connection’ radio program scores well with stations

Nov. 24, 2014, 6 a.m., Posted by Lyle Muller

Lyle Muller is executive director and editor of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-Iowatch. Photo: IowaWatch reporter/digital analyst Lauren Mills (left) and co-founder Stephen Berry (rear, center) talk on the 'Your Town' program Aug. 19, 2014, with Jay Capron (right) on KXIC radio in Iowa City, IA, one of 21 radio stations airing the IowaWatch Connection program. In addition to airing the IowaWatch Connection on Sunday mornings, KXIC features IowaWatch on 'Your Town' the third Tuesday of every month. Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch.

Iowa radio stations participating in a statewide, experimental Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch weekly radio show say they like the show enough to tell others about it. That’s the indication from a recent survey to determine the show’s value to the stations.

“Well done,” one station program director wrote about the show, called “The IowaWatch Connection.” The show launched with the support of an INNovation Fund award from Knight Foundation and the Investigative News Network.

“I like having the show on air and would continue it as long as it’s produced,” wrote another.

The feedback is important as the almost 5-year-old Iowa Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative and explanatory news organization, tries to secure funding to continue the program.

“The IowaWatch Connection” launched on July 4, 2014, to spread the center’s in-depth reporting to a statewide radio audience. The show aired on 17 stations until Oct. 6, 2014, when an 18th station joined the network. By Nov. 20, 2014, 21 stations were airing the program – 20 in Iowa and one run by a high school radio station in suburban Chicago using the program for educational purposes. Fourteen of the 17 radio outlets airing the program during all or most of its duration responded to the survey.

Give Miami Day raises record $5.2 million for nonprofits

Nov. 21, 2014, 2:52 p.m., Posted by Jessica Hodder

Community Block Party attendees check out participating nonprofit organizations during the event. Photo courtesy of The Miami Foundation.

Once online donations passed last year’s record of $3.2 million, organizers at The Miami Foundation realized that Give Miami Day 2014 would be their most successful Giving Day yet.

Thursday’s Give Miami Day raised $5.2 million for 520 South Florida nonprofits, with a total of 19,245 gifts. This was the first year that The Miami Foundation promoted a funding goal for Give Miami Day, set at $5 million.

“As Miami continues to evolve, Give Miami Day acts as a gateway for new members of the community to learn more about local causes they are passionate about and contribute to the overall success of our city,” said Miami Foundation CEO Javier Alberto Soto.

Working with a cohort of local partners, including Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation helped incentivize community giving by making a bonus gift for every online donation between $25 and $10,000 received on Give Miami Day. Twenty-four prizes were awarded to nonprofits that hit key milestones throughout the day, such as the first gift received and receiving gifts from the most countries.