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Alaska nonprofits depend on Giving Tuesday

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:33 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:47 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Giving Tuesday launched in 2012 as a day to “do good” during the holidays, but today it has mostly become an event that takes place online. Nonprofits launch social media campaigns to elicit donations but also engage with new audiences, according to Jessie Lavoie with The Alaska Community Foundation.

“So it really is a chance to reactivate and get those new donors back in the door so they can increase their giving and engage them for the rest of the year,” she said.

Lavoie didn’t have figures for how much money Alaska nonprofits typically raise on Giving Tuesday, but said nationally, it is certainly millions. Sometimes, she said, the support comes in other ways.

“So It might not be necessarily donor dollars in the door,” she said. “It might be volunteer activities, it might be board service, you know, making thank you calls.”

Like nonprofits everywhere, Alaska nonprofits are still struggling through COVID-19, according to Lavoie. Many are stretched thin and depend on public support. The need, she said, extends well beyond a single day.

“This is year-round, 365 days a year for them,” Lavoie said. “Today it’s nice, there’s a lot of marketing around it. It’s top of mind, but these are things that they need every day.”

Alaskans who are interested in donating to local nonprofits can find more than 600 of them listed at the Pick, Click, Give website. The website allows users to narrow down their interests and includes links to individual organizations. Lavoie said the organizations listed on the site have been vetted so that people can feel comfortable about making a donation.

“They have to be vetted by us, they have to be vetted by the state. Usually that means we have to check their financials we have to check their IRS status,” Lavoie said. “So these are all organizations that are doing amazing work and they are absolutely vetted, and you should donate to them and feel good about it.”

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