In the four years since Pick. Click. Give. collected its first year of permanent fund dividend donations the program has grown four-fold.
The program has grown by nearly a half million dollars a year to its highest of $2.2 million and more than 23,000 Alaskans taking part in 2012.
“We have every hope that that trend will continue,” Pick. Click. Give. Program Manager Heather Beaty said. “Not only is there an increase in dollars pledged, but also in the number of Alaskans who choose to pick, click and give.”
Alaska is home to 471 organizations eligible for Pick. Click. Give. donations.
“Which is the most we have every had,” Beaty said.
Pick. Click. Give. recently added new functionality to its website to allow Alaskans to browse eligible non-profit organizations for philanthropic ideas.
“We wanted to create a place where Alaskans can communicate with nonprofits doing work in the state,” Beaty said. “Where donors can read about the affects of their giving.”
The ‘Search Organizations’ function at www.pickclickgive.org allows for search based on location — Juneau has 43 eligible organizations — or by cause or other parameters.
“Narrow the list down to look at organizations that work on causes that you are interested in,” Beaty said. “Youth shelters or housing needs” as examples.
The website also lets philanthropists share their stories as to why they chose to give a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividends.
Alaska residents can begin applying for the 2013 dividend starting Jan. 1. Beginning the same day Alaskans can donate to Pick. Click. Give.
“You can start with a donation as small as $25,” Beaty said. “All the way up to the full amount of your dividend. It is up to each Alaskan to decide how much they can share.”
Beaty said donors can expect to have 100 percent of their donation go to the non-profit they choose.
“There is no overhead,” Beaty said. Pick. Click. Give. pays for itself through a small fee paid by Alaska’s participating non-profit organizations. A number of businesses and organizations also help pay for the organization’s web site, television and radio commercials.
“It’s a very simple process,” Wayne Stevens, president of United Way of Southeast Alaska, said.
Both for donors “as a donor my self I use the program and find it to be a very straightforward easy process,” Stevens said, and for organizations that want to sign up for donations “you just have to meet the timelines. Nothing out of the ordinary.”
The permanent fund donation program has worked well for United Way of Southeast Alaska, Stevens said.
“We have seen our contribution increase each year,” Stevens said. “My impression is that we are reaching a segment of the population that hasn’t participated in the act of philanthropy in the past.”
The additional donations allow the United Way to do more in Southeast Alaska, Stevens said. The money can go to campaigns that don’t already have dedicated funds.
“It allows us to focus on the health education and income arenas that are the primary focus of the United Way,” Stevens said.
Pick. Click. Give. runs through the end of March 2013.
• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.