Charitable pledges by Alaskans through the Permanent Fund's Pick.Click.Give. program have fallen slightly this year, according to recent figures.
Despite the slightly smaller numbers this year, Sofia Fouquet, Pick.Click.Give. program manager at The Alaska Community Foundation, said she was inspired by Alaskans' willingness to give, especially given the uncertain state economy.
"It's been really warming to see Alaskans show generosity," she said, adding that she also understood that nonprofits, too, were under more pressure in the current fiscal climate.
"We will continue to serve our organizations to the best of our ability as we respond to new challenges," she said.
The Alaska Legislature created Pick.Click.Give. in 2008 as a way for Alaskans filing for their PFD online to donate all or part of the dividend to one or more nonprofits. This year, 26,128 Alaskans decided to donate, or 4.8 percent of those who filed for a PFD, according to the Pick.Click.Give. program.
Alaskans don't yet know the amount of the 2017 dividend — paid for from a pool of invested oil revenue.
Last year, more than 643,000 Alaskans received $1,022 dividends, reduced from an original total of $2,052 after Gov. Bill Walker vetoed part of the Legislature's transfer of money to pay them. His veto, he said at the time, was to preserve the state's dwindling savings account. In 2015, the dividend was $2,072.
This year, the state Legislature is tasked with closing a nearly $3 billion state deficit and smaller dividends are under consideration in both the House and the Senate as a way to shrink that budget gap.
The dividend amount is typically announced toward the end of September, with people receiving their checks or direct deposits in early October.
Fouquet said that as long as Alaskans filed for their PFD by the March 31 deadline, they can update their Pick.Click.Give. pledges until Aug. 31.
So far, Alaskans have pledged money to 668 organizations.
On Friday, Pick.Click.Give. released a list of the top 10 pledge recipients for 2017.
The same nonprofits often reappear on that list each year, Fouquet said in a prepared statement. But this year's list, it said, featured a new recipient in the top 10: the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska Foundation.
The ACLU of Alaska Foundation saw donations jump from $10,875 given by 155 donors in 2016 to $33,550 given by 499 donors in 2017.
Nationally, donations to the ACLU soared after the election of Donald Trump and Planned Parenthood saw a similar rush of support. In Alaska, Planned Parenthood was the second highest Pick.Click.Give. earner after Alaska Public Media.
Here is the complete list of the top 10 earners:
1. Alaska Public Media: $125,950 from 1,656 donors
2. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands: $125,625 from 1,705 donors
3. Bean's Cafe and its Children's Lunchbox program: $105,775 from 1,723 donors
4. Food Bank of Alaska: $68,175 from 909 donors
5. Abused Women's Aid in Crisis (AWAIC): $66,575 from 1,168 donors
6. Catholic Social Services: $65,225 from 729 donors
7. Alaska SPCA: $44,050 from 874 donors
8. Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue: $41,275 from 934 donors
9. Friends of Pets: $36,025 from 637 donors
10. ACLU of Alaska Foundation: $33,550 from 499 donors