Giving Hearts Day

Minot-area residents are being urged to show their support for the community with a donation to one or more local nonprofit organizations on Valentine’s Day.

Dakota Medical Foundation has selected the Minot Public Schools Foundation, Minot YWCA, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, KALIX and the Hostfest Heritage Foundation to participate in its Giving Hearts Day. Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation have been sponsoring the annual, online day of giving on Valentine’s Day for six years. This is the first year that Minot-based organizations have been invited to participate.

Some statewide organizations that provide services in the Minot area also are included among the participating organizations.

Minot’s organizations represent a diversity of service areas.

“The organizations touch pretty much all of Minot in so many different ways,” said Sana Keller, promotions chairwoman for the YWCA.

A joint promotional campaign by the organizations kicks off this week to inform the community about the groups and the opportunity to make matched donations on Thursday.

The concept is simple for donors. They can log onto (impactgiveback.org) anytime during Thursday’s 24 hours and select the “donate” button. They choose the organizations that they want to donate to and the amounts that they want to donate. Dakota Medical Foundation matches contributions of $10 or more, up to $4,000 for each charity. The website will accept gifts anytime but only gifts made on Thursday will be eligible for the match.

Last year, gifts totaling $1.6 million from about 10,850 individual donations were given to 140 charities in the 24-hour period. This year, 171 charities are involved.

To encourage local giving, Minot’s participating organizations will provide computer access at their headquarters to anyone wishing to donate to any of the five charities. Downtown businesses supporting Giving Hearts Day that will provide computer access to the public are Artistic Ambiance, Beautiful U Day Spa, Esoterica, Flower Central, Gourmet Chef, Just For Me, Lien’s Jewelry, Main Street Books, Margie’s Art Glass Studio, Prescriptive Trends, Sweet & Flour and Hint of Whimsy.

Dakota Medical Foundation also awards incentives that include prizes for the top 10 fund-raising charities, up to $15,000 to the charity with the highest donations. Other $500 grants are awarded for categories such as most creative marketing strategy, donations from the most people, best use of social media and donations from the most North Dakota cities and the most states.

Donations are tax-deductible. Donors can request e-cards be sent to friends or family members, letting them know a donation has been made in their honor. Donors also can give in memory of a loved one.

All organizations soliciting for Giving Hearts Day must have attended Impact Foundation fund-raising training and meet accountability standards.

Prior to Giving Hearts Day, each participating organization raises $4,000 in local matching funds.

“We were all creative in our own ways in getting that done,” Keller said.

The YWCA partnered with 11 downtown businesses that are providing matching funds and will be part of the promotion to take place this week.

The public schools foundation took advantage of class reunion funding and a $400 donation from a 102-year-old supporter.

KALIX, formerly Minot vocational workshop, received a contribution from Mattson Construction, which has been involved in a number of remodeling projects for the organization.

The Hostfest Heritage Foundation is generating its own match and the Domestic Violence Prevention Foundation is providing a match.

The organizations are hoping to each raise $10,000 to $20,000 through the event. The number of donors might be more important than the dollars, though, said David Hubble, director of the Hostfest Heritage Foundation.

“Just getting the participation is key,” he said.

The solidarity of the local organizations in their Giving Hearts Day campaign is nothing unusual for Minot. Lowell Latimer, executive director of the MPS Foundation, said local groups have worked together for some time through their Alliance of NonProfits.

“From the very beginning it was organized to be able to help one another,” he said. “Not only that but to let the community at large know that philanthropy is an honorable thing, and people should be participating in that.”