Now more than ever, Alaskans should choose to Pick.Click.Give. This was a joint editorial written by Rasmuson President & CEO Diane Kaplan and ACF  President & CEO Nina Kemppel to encourage Alaskans to Click.Pick.Give. It was featured in several publications across the state.

For Alaskans, January 1st signifies more than just the start of a new year – it’s also the beginning of the Permanent Fund Dividend application period. Already, more than 268,000 Alaskans have applied for the 2017 PFD.

Last year, more than 23,000 people donated a portion of their PFD to causes near and dear to their heart through the Pick.Click.Give. Program. Since its inception in 2009, Pick.Click.Give. has distributed more than $17 million to non-profits statewide. Thanks to your donations, these organizations have been able to:

  • Provide emergency shelter and a warm meal to men, women and children who would otherwise go without;
  • Shelter a homeless animal until it finds its forever home;
  • Bring a voice to the voiceless by supporting advocacy organizations, and;
  • Ensure that local arts venues can continue to offer theatrical, musical and other cultural programs to their communities.

These are just some of the ways PFD contributions have helped local non-profits. The Pick.Click.Give. website is full of stories just like these showcasing how your donations have helped make Alaska better for everybody.

As you complete your PFD application this year, you’ll once again have the option to donate a portion of your annual dividend through Pick.Click.Give. Yet for the first time in nine years, your initial instinct may be not to give, but to pull back.

Alaska is facing a fiscal crisis. Oil prices remain low. For the second year in a row our PFD will be cut in half. In an attempt to close the state’s $3 billion budget deficit, the House majority introduced a bill that would enact a state income tax and funnel two-thirds of the permanent fund’s annual earnings toward state government.

Amidst all this uncertainty, your initial instinct may be to decrease your charitable donations, or to give nothing at all. We understand that instinct. But we are asking you to consider the importance of your donation – and to  step up and GIVE. In times of crisis, Alaskans have always helped each other – lent a hand and spared an extra dollar to aid our neighbors in need. Now is that time of need – where your support of nonprofits who deliver vital services to our community members is even more important than ever. In times like these, our communities come together and emerge even stronger.

And while our leaders are facing tough decisions, our non-profits will be the ones to fill the gaps in service. They will be the ones to step forward and provide medical services to those unable to pay, provide food and clothing for those who have none, to launch search and rescue missions for those lost in the wilderness. Now more than ever, these non-profits, and the thousands of Alaskans they serve every day – our family, friends and neighbors – need our support.

And it won’t take much. If every person who applied donated just $25 through Pick.Click.Give., together we could raise $16 million, almost matching total amount raised over the life of the program. Just think of the impact we could make across the state.

You have the power to make a difference. Join us and use that power to help improve the lives of those in your community. Donate through Pick.Click.Give.

Visit pickclickgive.org to search the 667 non-profits participating in this year’s program. The deadline to donate a portion of your PFD through Pick.Click.Give. is August 31.