As part of a continual improvement program at Fargo, North Dakota-based Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF), Giving Hearts Day arose in 2008 as a simple but unique fundraising concept: Around Valentine’s Day, ask people to show affection to not only people they love but charities, too. In the decade-plus since, the event has gone on to become one of the longest-running and most successful giving days in the country, providing a platform for North Dakota and northwest Minnesota charities to raise more than $71 million total.
It’s not just a day, though. It’s a year-round effort. Using skills taught by DMF and the Fargo-based Impact Institute, charities build a fundraising system that they put to use on Giving Hearts Day, the “Super Bowl” of giving in the Upper Midwest. It has become the region’s day to feed the hungry, nurture the elderly, and educate tomorrow’s leaders.