FARGO — Donations to the Giving Hearts Day fundraiser shattered previous records when the 24-hour charity marathon concluded at midnight on Friday, Feb. 15.
As of midnight, 30,451 people had given $16.24 million to nonprofit organizations across North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, blowing past last year's total of $13.1 million given by 28,044 people.
The total is not yet final, and the number continued to rise on the Giving Hearts day website after midnight. Donations were collected all day on Feb. 14.
The fundraiser has been growing by leaps and bounds during the past five years, after starting small in its early years. It started in 2008 with $479,028 raised.
Five years ago, the funds raised were $6.9 million so the giving has more than doubled in five years.
The drive helps support community organizations that aim to improve the quality of life of families, children, the elderly, refugees and the homeless, among others.
The event is hosted by three Fargo organizations: Dakota Medical Foundation, Impact Institute and the Alex Stern Family Foundation.