The Alaska Department of Revenue reports that Alaskans gave a record $2,771,400 to 512 nonprofit groups through the Pick.Click.Give program this year. The program, which allows people signing up for the annual Permanent Fund dividend to designate a portion of the money to eligible charities, has raised more than $10 million since it began in 2009. The amount given through the program has risen every year.
This year's donations were 13 percent higher than in 2013 and the average amount given, $104, was $10 higher than last year. Nearly one in 20 PFD applicants who applied online, 4.8 percent, made donations through the site. A total of 26,773 applicants exercised the Pick.Click.Give option. The application period was between Jan. 1 and March 31.
Program manager Heather Beaty listed three factors thought to have boosted this year's success. There was a strong advertising effort to inform the public about the program, participants were automatically entered into a "double your dividend" sweepstakes with a chance to win an additional cash prize in the amount of the 2014 dividend, and there is an expectation that this year's PFD amount will be much higher than last year's.
Bean's Cafe of Anchorage, which provides food to homeless people, was the top beneficiary of the program. It will receive $143,225. Amounts ranged down to $50 for the Camai Community Health Center in Naknek.
Reach Mike Dunham at email@example.com or 257-4332.
By MIKE DUNHAM