The Permanent Fund dividend application deadline was March 31.
An early look shows Alaskans are giving less through the Pick. Click. Give. program than they did last year — or in the three years before that.
Just 24,155 Alaskans made pledges totaling $2,533,575 to 634 nonprofits during this year’s filing season, according to the Alaska Community Foundation, which manages the program.
Pick. Click. Give. encourages Alaskans to donate all or some of their annual dividend to nonprofit organizations. The program started 10 years ago.
Percentage-wise, it means for every 100 Alaskans who participated in 2015, only 72 chose to participate this year, a 28 percent drop. It’s also a 24 percent decrease in dollars pledged.
The decline in Pick. Click. Give. participation shows a trend that follows the recession Alaska is experiencing:
- 2015: 33,421 Alaskans pledged a record $3.3 million to Alaska nonprofits. The dividend was $2,072, paid to 641,561
- 2016: 29,543 Alaskans pledged $3.1 million for Alaska nonprofits. The dividend was $1,022, paid to 638,178 people.
- 2017: 26,128 Alaskans pledged $2.7 million to Alaska nonprofits. The dividend was $1,100, paid to 615,590 people.
- 2018: 24,144 Alaskans pledged $2.5 million to Alaska nonprofits. The dividend may be $1,600 this year, and will likely be paid to about 600,000 Alaskans, if the trends continue as they have since 2015.
The Permanent Fund Division usually knows by the end of April how many people have applied for the dividend. Usually tens of thousands apply who are not eligible for a variety of reasons. For example, in 2017, some 670,706 applied but only 615,590 received dividends, a difference of 8 percent.
The Pick. Click. Give program had expected about 26,000 Alaskans to participate, according to a March 29 press release. It anticipated $2.5 million in donations. While total participants fell short of program forecasts, actual dollars donated came in right on target.
This year’s top pledge recipients include public broadcasting, charities assisting the poor and those in emergency situations, and organizations devoted to animals.
WHAT IS PICK. CLICK. GIVE.?
Pick. Click. Give. is the option given to Alaskans who qualify for a dividend, which is a share of the State’s earnings on its Permanent Fund, which has been built largely through deposits of State oil royalties over the past 40+ years. Participants can choose from a number of prequalified charities with which to share some of their dividends.
Alaskans can still make a pledge or adjust their current pledges until Aug. 31, 2018 at pfd.alaska.gov. Dividend checks are disbursed in October.