Giving Hearts Day History - Giving Hearts Day

Giving Hearts Day History

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 $195 million.

It’s not just a day, though. It’s a year-round effort. Using skills taught by DMF and Fargo-based Impact, 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.

Unique Partnership with Impact Foundation

You can’t fund your mission when there’s no money. Without the skills to consistently fundraise for their important work, nonprofits struggle to gain traction. That’s where the Impact Foundation comes in.

Impact Foundation is a capacity-builder. It helps organizations build their fundraising capabilities to thrive and resolve challenges for the long-term, instead of only addressing their current needs. Impact Foundation teaches nonprofits to “fish.” For more than a decade, the foundation’s fundraising training and resources have helped hundreds of regional charities dramatically increase their donor bases and create sound financial footing.

All participating Giving Hearts Day charities have access to Impact Foundation fundraising training every year and most find it so valuable that they attend every year. Whether you’re a beginning fundraiser, a veteran, or somewhere in between, Impact Foundation has valuable knowledge and resources to help you expand your impact.


For more than two decades, Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) has invested more than $100 million in health initiatives and helped increase the impact of hundreds of regional nonprofits. DMF leads initiatives to create a region of the healthiest people, helps build the fundraising success of health-related nonprofits, and invests in new ideas that can create widespread health improvement. DMF has been a Giving Hearts Day co-host since 2008.
Impact Foundation works to expand the results of charities through assessments, training, and coaching, particularly around fundraising. It teaches a proven system for fundraising and fosters a network of organizations that shares ideas and best practices that result in leaders increasing their impact exponentially. Impact Foundation has been a Giving Hearts Day co-host since 2008.
Named for local clothier, banker, and civic leader Alex Stern, the Alex Stern Family Foundation is a foundation that supports Fargo-Moorhead area nonprofits through grants in the arts, social welfare and human services, education, youth recreation, civic projects, and health issues. The Alex Stern Family Foundation has been a Giving Hearts Day co-host since 2014.