The annual Pick. Click. Give. Campaign is underway. In the first 100 hours of 2012 the program saw over $275,000 in pledges from Alaskans across the state, according to the Permanent Fund Dividend Division. As of January 8th according to Josselyn O'Connor of the Kenai Watershed Forum $558,000 has already been pledged with the average pledge $82 per donor. At this rate, if the same number of people file online in 2012 as did in 2011, the program is on track to generate $1.99 million for the over 400 charitable causes on the Pick. Click. Give. List, "This is huge and puts us well on our way of meeting this year's goal of $2 million for the state's nonprofit sector. Alaskans are stepping up and making a difference in their communities through charitable giving," said Jordan Marshall, manager of initiatives and special projects for Rasmuson Foundation. Marshall believes the experience of giving has improved thanks to numerous updates made to the online PFD application. "Improvements to the Pick Click Give user interface include a more intuitive search feature, quicker response time and easier to understand instructions," Marshall noted. "As the administrator of the program, we were able to completely rewrite the online application this year with the goal of making giving even easier," said Deborah Bitney, director of the Permanent Fund Dividend Division.
Even if you have already filed your PFD application or applications for your children you can still participate in the program through the filing deadline of March 31st, "Say you've already gone on line and completed your application and then you become of a local need that you want to contribute to all you have to do is go back into the system and it'll walk you through the process of locating the local organization.
Then you can choose any amount from $25 dollars to the full amount of your PFD to any one or as many organizations as you select to give to it's very easy. At the Kenai Watershed Forum we have been the generous recipient of many dollars through this program so what we did is start a scholarship program for children who want to attend the KWF summer day camp so the money you designate to KWF through Pick Click Give is used to send children who couldn't otherwise afford summer camp," explained O'Connor.
Alaskans have found the Pick Click Give program a new way to teach the value of philanthropic giving in their families. "In 2011 we received over $5,000 dollars which pays utilities bills at the Peninsula Food Bank for a whole month and that's important because they are not designated so we can use them for operating funds and there are many local organizations like ours that benefit from the Pick Click Give program," said Linda Swarner, director of the Peninsula Food Bank. Other local non-profits participating in the Pick Click Give include: Alaska Christian College, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula, Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity, Central Peninsula Health Foundation, Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, Cooper Landing Community Library, Cooper Landing Emergency Services, Hospice of the Central Peninsula, KDLL public radio, Kenai Historical Society, Kenai Peninsula Foundation, Kenai Peninsula United Way, Kenai Performers, MARC, Ninilchik Community Library, The LeeShore Center, and UAA, Kenai Peninsula College. People who want more information on organizations eligible for donations can find that at www.PickClickGive.org.