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Dave Olson, Published February 15 2013

Giving Hearts Day total near $3.7M

FARGO – The final tally on Friday for Thursday’s 24-hour Giving Hearts Day fundraiser was $3,679,665.

While it was not an official number, the final total should end up being close, said Pat Traynor, president of the Dakota Medical Foundation.

The foundation was a major organizer of the event, and along with other community donors it matched donations of $10 or more up to at least $4,000 for each of the 179 nonprofits participating, mostly through online giving.

“We are very, very grateful for all these kind people who joined the day and supported a nonprofit,” said Traynor, who added that numbers were being verified Friday as organizers double-checked donations made online.

Occasionally, he said, donors will make a mistake and inadvertently add a zero to their donation, turning a $50 gift, for example, into a $500 gift.

“We want to honor the donor’s intent,” Traynor said.

Giving Hearts Day was started in 2008, when $325,000 was raised.

Traynor said the amount raised this year, an increase of 83 percent over last year, was a testament to nonprofits “that are building relationships and creating awareness for their important work in improving lives and quality of life across the state and western Minnesota as well.”

Dakota Medical Foundation awarded special grants to the top fundraisers Thursday, including:

• FirstChoice Clinic, which raised $249,787 and received a $15,000 achievement grant from Dakota Medical Foundation as the top fundraiser;

• YWCA of Cass Clay, which raised $241,516 and received a $10,000 achievement grant; and

• Fraser Ltd., which raised $191,327 and received a $7,500 achievement grant.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555