Tab Bamford, December 3, 2013

Today, Tuesday, Dec. 3, is the second annual #GivingTuesday, a national day to kick off ?giving season.? People all over the country will take a moment in the midst of their holiday spending to give time or money to those in need.

Recently, the University of Minnesota took part in a similar state-wide initiative to help its neighbors and friends.

Thursday, Nov. 14, is ?Give to the Max Day? in Minnesota. This year, for the first time, the University of Minnesota collected its resources and put together a campaign to raise awareness and funds across the entire campus.

??Give to the Max Day? is an exciting Minnesota event that presents a great opportunity to harness interest in philanthropy,? said Robyn White, digital content manager for the University of Minnesota Foundation. ?We wanted to encourage University of Minnesota alumni and friends to support the state-wide impact of the university on ?Give to the Max Day? by helping to raise money for important university causes, such as student scholarships.?

White noted that while some university programs have participated in ?Give to the Max Day? for the past few years, this was its first year making a big push for support. According to White, utilizing social media not only helped increase giving, but also helped the university support the campaign during an unfortunate technological problem.

?When the Give Minnesota website, which manages the state-wide ?Give to the Max Day? event, crashed for five hours, we used social media to let people know that our mobile-friendly website was accepting online gifts,? White said.

Social media was central to Minnesota?s ?Give to the Max Day? strategy. They promoted different university giving options through videos on Facebook and Twitter, ran social ads, and developed special branded graphics for university groups to use on ?Give to the Max Day.?

The final totals haven?t been tallied yet, but White estimated the university-wide movement raised more than $169,000 on ?Give to the Max Day.?

What are you doing to give back this holiday season? Let us know on Twitter! Tweet at us – @BTNLiveBIG - and use the official Giving Tuesday hashtag #GivingTuesday.

For more about the efforts made by the University of Minnesota on Give to the Max Day, go to:

For more about the statewide ?Give to the Max Day? impact, go to:

For more about Giving Tuesday, go to: