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Today we’re giving back. Since its introduction in 2009, Alaska’s Pick Click Give program has enjoyed major success, despite residents seeing diminishing Permanent Fund Dividends almost every year. Heather Beaty is the Program Manager for Pick Click Give, and she expects the increase of donations to continue in 2014.
“Each year it’s been in existence it’s grown. It started out with just half a million dollars raised, but in 2013 a new record was set when more than 26,000 Alaskans donated more than 2.4 million to charities around the state,” Beaty says.
Beaty says along with donations the amount of non-profit groups on the list has also grown. This year alone, there were more than 50 groups added, ranging from the Anchorage Park foundation to The Fairbanks Rollergirls roller derby. She says its can be a bit overwhelming for donors choose from the now 512 groups, but there are tools available to make it easier.
“We recommend that people go to pickclickgive.org because we’ve set up our website so that you can search through the organizations a number of different ways. For example you can just look at the ones in your community if you want to make sure you’re giving where you’re living. Or you can go through and look at the cause types, so if you’re passionate about something you can find the organization out there that would be eager to get your donation,” Beaty says.
Beaty says Pick Click Give isn’t just about monetary donations; it’s a free tool for non-profits to get their name out there and connect with the community.
“And non-profits let us know that a lot of the donors they get through Pick Click Give are interacting with their organization for the first time. So it’s a new connection for them and a new opportunity to get people involved with their mission, to get more volunteers and to get more resources to do the work that they’re doing,” Beaty says.
This year Pick Click Give is unveiling a new campaign and slogan for the project. The mantra is “Lovalaska.”
“It really grew out of what we hear from people when they talk about why they give. It’s because they really value where they live. We all recognize that Alaska is an incredible and special place, and we’re proud to live here. And we really value our communities and our neighbors, and Pick Click Give is one way to express that love,” Beaty says.
And Beaty says 2014 couldn’t be a better year for people to show that love. It will be the first year in the PFD’s five year average that won’t have 2008’s economic collapse factored into the amount.
“So all of the recovery that’s been happening in the past few years is going to be reflected in a bigger PFD check for Alaskans this October,” Beaty says.
As far as her personal Pick Click Give list goes, Beaty wouldn’t give me specifics. But that’s mostly because her list is always changing.
“It is hard to narrow it down. I just keep thinking ‘well this year I’ll focus on these 10 organizations and next year I’ll focus on these 10.’ It’s a pretty big list of small gifts but I feel it’s a really wonderful way to acknowledge the hard work that everyone in the non-profit sector is doing,” Beaty says.