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Frequently Asked Questions for the Pick.Click.Give. Program

Thank you for participating in the PFD Charitable Contributions Program, or Pick.Click.Give. This innovative program gives Alaskans a way to donate to their favorite nonprofit organizations. For those who may not have given to an Alaska nonprofit in the past, the program provides a safe and secure way to make a donation. For those Alaskans who already support their favorite nonprofits, Pick.Click.Give. is a great way to make an additional gift. Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the program.

The PFD Charitable Contributions Program

Show What is the PFD Charitable Contributions Program?

Hide What is the PFD Charitable Contributions Program?

The program was created by the Alaska State Legislature in 2008 and allows Alaskans filing for their PFD online to donate all or part of it to the campuses of the University of Alaska, community foundations, and eligible charitable and educational organizations. After a three-year pilot project, Pick.Click.Give. is now a permanent part of the PFD program.

Show What is the purpose of the program?

Hide What is the purpose of the program?

The program provides an easy and reliable vehicle for Alaskans to support eligible nonprofit organizations. The program goal is to increase individual charitable giving along with the number of donors to nonprofit organizations. The program provides an additional way for donors to support organizations they care about.

Show How does the program work?

Hide How does the program work?

The program is available to Alaskans who file online for their PFD. The online application will have a list of eligible organizations, and people will be able to choose those to which they want to contribute. Individuals will be able to direct from $25 to the full amount of the dividend to eligible nonprofits.

Program Administration

Show Can donors change the amount of their charitable contributions to a specific nonprofit organization, or add an organization after they have filed?

Hide Can donors change the amount of their charitable contributions to a specific nonprofit organization, or add an organization after they have filed?

Yes.  Go to the Department of Revenue PFD website at http://www.pfd.state.ak.us/  and select the green “Add or Change Your Pick.Click.Give. Donation” button.

You will be prompted to enter your name, social security number and date of birth. Once you click “Enter,” your PFD application details will show your charitable contributions to date and provide a button to “change” your contributions. Follow the prompts to add new donations.

Show Can donors withdraw their contribution selections after they make an on-line application?

Hide Can donors withdraw their contribution selections after they make an on-line application?

Yes, you can withdraw from all of your selections or select individual organizations to withdraw. From the PFD home page http://www.pfd.state.ak.us/, select the green “Add or Change Your Pick.Click.Give. Donation” button. You will be prompted to enter your name, social security number and date of birth. Once you click “Enter,” your PFD application details will show your charitable contributions to date and provide a button to “change” your contributions. Next to each contribution will be the option to withdraw. The deadline to withdraw is August 31. Donated funds cannot be retrieved after that date.

Show Who implements and administers the law?

Hide Who implements and administers the law?

While the Alaska Department of Revenue has the ultimate responsibility for implementing the law, several other organizations assist.

  • United Way of Anchorage (www.liveunitedanchorage.org) qualifies eligible organizations under the provisions of the law and disburses the donations to the organizations chosen by the donor.
  • The Foraker Group (www.forakergroup.org) manages outreach to the Alaska nonprofit community, including support via phone, internet, mail, email and training sessions.
  • The Rasmuson Foundation (www.rasmuson.org), along with other private and institutional funders, promotes a statewide media and communications campaign that encourages Alaskans to give through Pick.Click.Give.
  • The Alaska Community Foundation (www.alaskacf.org) hosts the Pick.Click.Give. project fund for statewide marketing and outreach.

Show What is the 7% Coordination Fee?

Hide What is the 7% Coordination Fee?

Starting in 2015, seven percent of donations collected by nonprofits will be used to fund the administration of Pick.Click.Give. The seven percent coordination fee covers about half of the cost for the statewide administration. 

Show Where did this seven percent concept originate?

Hide Where did this seven percent concept originate?

In 2008, the Alaska State Legislature created Pick.Click.Give. as a pilot program paid for entirely by foundation grants and private support. In 2010, when the Legislature made the program permanent, nonprofits began to consider long-term sustainability.

During the summer of 2013, participating nonprofits were surveyed:  87 percent said statewide coordination was essential to their own PCG success, and assessing a fee to organizations as a percentage of funds raised was the most fair and equitable method. In 2014, the Alaska State Legislature ratified this concept and it became a permanent part of the program. 

Show Where does the money go?

Hide Where does the money go?

Unlike fees nonprofits normally pay to process online donations, 100 percent of the statewide coordination fee goes back into building healthier nonprofits.

These fees are collected by the PFD Division and transferred to the "Pick.Click.Give. Fund" at the Alaska Community Foundation. The Fund is used for training on topics from marketing to donor relations; technical support for nonprofits and individuals who have questions or need assistance; coordination of campaign activities; and promotion for participating nonprofits.

No funds from the PFD Division or State of Alaska have ever been used to support these necessary costs because they have been paid by contributions from corporate and foundation grants. To make the campaign sustainable for the long-term, nonprofits agreed and the State passed a law to collect a seven percent administrative fee from organizations.

Show Who pays this fee, the donor or the nonprofit?

Hide Who pays this fee, the donor or the nonprofit?

The nonprofit. The fee is deducted from the nonprofit once the donation is constructively received. At the end of each campaign cycle, the fees are collected from participating nonprofits in one lump sum deduction. When an organization voluntarily participates in the campaign, it agrees to share in the cost of the necessary infrastructure as per the law, which states: “The electronic dividend application form must include a notice that seven percent of the money contributed will be used for administrative costs incurred in implementing this section, and money from the dividend fund will not be used for that purpose.”

Show How much of the donation is tax deductible?

Hide How much of the donation is tax deductible?

Because the fee is paid by nonprofits to support the campaign, 100% is tax deductible to the extent allowed by each individual's tax situation.

Show But isn't a $100 donation only worth $93?

Hide But isn't a $100 donation only worth $93?

No. The organization receives the full value of the donation and, having voluntarily agreed to participate in the program, remits the 7% fee to support the statewide program. If organizations list donors by level in annual reports or publications, PCG donors should be listed according to the full value of their donation(s). According to best practices for donor retention, the organization should send a note thanking the donor for the gift and steward donors according to the giving levels of your organization. However, please note that no gifts of material benefit can be provided in return for the Pick.Click.Give. donation.

Show Who receipts donors for donations?

Hide Who receipts donors for donations?

The PFD Division sends filers the IRS form 1099 upon payment of every dividend - this is the official tax receipt. The 1099 will list the amount of each donation made through Pick.Click.Give., and will be delivered via email for those who request direct deposit. The 1099 will be printed on the stub for those who request a printed check. If, during the filing process, donors selected to release their name to the nonprofits that received the conation, nonprofits should send a thank you to the donor, but not send a receipt. This acknowledgment / thank you is best practice for donor retention but is not the official receipt. The receipt comes from the state.

Information on the Application Process

Show Where do I get an application?

Hide Where do I get an application?

Click here for the application.  Applications for participation in 2018 will open in February 2017 and close on March 31, 2017. Applications, payment, and required documentation received or postmarked after March 31 will be denied.

Show Do I have to file by mail?

Hide Do I have to file by mail?

Once you complete the online application a copy of your certification signatures, together with the supporting documents and a nonrefundable fee of $250, must be mailed no later than March 31 to: Pick.Click.Give., 701 W. 8th Avenue, Suite 230 Anchorage, AK 99501.

Show Our organization participated last year. Do we need to reapply?

Hide Our organization participated last year. Do we need to reapply?

Yes, you must reapply each year of the program.  Acceptance into one year does not guarantee acceptance into the next round.  Each year's application stands on its own. 

Show When is the deadline to apply for this year's PFD application?

Hide When is the deadline to apply for this year's PFD application?

The next application deadline will be March 31, 2017 for the 2018 PFD cycle. All applications must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2017.

Show Is there an eligibility application fee?

Hide Is there an eligibility application fee?

The fee to apply is $250. The fee was established to cover the PFD Division's administrative costs. The $250 nonrefundable fee must be paid by check or money order payable to the State of Alaska. To support costs of making the Pick.Click.Give. program available statewide, nonprofits agreed and the legislature passed a law to assess a 7% administrative fee on contributions. These fees are collected by the PFD Division and transferred to Pick.Click.Give.

Information for Qualifying as an Eligible Nonprofit

Show How do I know if my organization is eligible to be included in the PFD Charitable Contributions Program?

Hide How do I know if my organization is eligible to be included in the PFD Charitable Contributions Program?

In order to be eligible for the program, each Alaska 501c(3) organization must certify that it meets certain requirements established in the law. The law states:

The department may include an educational organization, community foundation, or charitable organization on the contribution list for a current dividend year only if the organization:

  • before March 31 of the qualifying year, files an application for inclusion on the list for that dividend year on the form required by the department;
  • is exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) (Internal Revenue Code) as an educational or a charitable organization on the date of application;
  • was qualified for tax exempt status under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) (Internal Revenue Code) as an educational or a charitable organization during the two calendar years that immediately precede the year the application is filed;
  • unless federally exempt, has a current Internal Revenue Service Form 990 on file with the United States Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, or, if the Internal Revenue Service has granted a filing extension for the current year, has on file that form for the immediately preceding year;
  • is directed by a voluntary board of directors or local advisory board whose majority of members are residents of the state;
  • provided in the state aid or services during the two calendar years that immediately precede the year the application is filed;
  • receives at least $100,000 or five percent of its total annual receipts, whichever is less, from contributions;
  • has completed and provided to the department a financial audit with an unqualified opinion conducted by an independent certified public accountant for the fiscal year to which the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 required under (4) of this subsection applies; this paragraph applies only to an organization with a total annual budget that exceeds $500,000 during the fiscal year to which the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 required under (4) of this subsection applies;
  • does not make grants or contributions to an organization that is exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(4) or (6)

Show What documentation will I need to support the criteria listed above?

Hide What documentation will I need to support the criteria listed above?

Any applying organization must also provide the following specific documentation:

  • A completed application form
  • Copy of IRS Form 990 (one of three versions required by the IRS depending on size) for the previous fiscal or calendar year
  • IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt letter of notification
  • Audited financial statement (most recent, published, audited financial statements complete with auditor's opinion letter if your organization's annual budget exceeds $500,000)

If your organization is not exempt from filing an IRS form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N you must provide the most recently completed and current version of the form you are required or elected to file. The chart below will help you determine the information you must provide with your application.

  Fiscal Year End
12/31/2016 9/30/2016 6/30/2016 3/31/2016
IRS Form 990 Year (Upper right corner): 2016 2015 2015 2015
990, 990EZ or 990N Filing Date: 5/15/2017 2/15/2017 11/15/2016 8/15/2016
Maximum Filing Date Extension: N/A 8/15/2017 5/15/2017 2/15/2017

IRS Form 990 Year

(Upper RIght Corner)

Acceptable for PCG Application
2016 990 2015 990 2015 990 2015 990
OR OR OR OR
2015 990 2014 990 2014 990 2014 990
- Plus IRS approved filing extension if past filing date Plus IRS approved filing extension Plus IRS approved filing extension

Examples of ways to use this chart:

  • If your organization ended its last fiscal year on 12/31/2016, you may submit either your 2016 or your 2015 990 form with your PCG application.

  • If your organization ended its last fiscal year on 9/30/2016, and you file your PCG application after 2/15/17, you may submit either your 2016 or 2015 990 form AND a copy of the IRS approved filing extension.

  • If your organization ended its last fiscal year on 6/30/2016, you may submit either your 2016 or 2015 990 form AND a copy of the IRS approved filing extension.

Note: Your IRS approved filing extension must have a due date that is greater than the date of your PCG application.

Show Are there other eligibility requirements?

Hide Are there other eligibility requirements?

Yes, other than a community foundation or the University of Alaska, the Department of Revenue may not include a charitable organization on the contribution list for a dividend year unless the purpose of the organization is to provide services for:

  • Youth development
  • Workforce development
  • Arts and culture
  • Primary, vocational and higher education
  • Health and dental care
  • Recreational facilities
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Economic development
  • Food assistance
  • Libraries
  • Public broadcasting
  • Recycling of waste
  • Animal rescue
  • Zoos
  • Aid and services to:
    • the elderly
    • low income individuals
    • individuals in emergency situations
    • victims of crime
    • disabled individuals
    • individuals with mental illness

Show Why can't I find the specific work of my organization's mission listed in the categories?

Hide Why can't I find the specific work of my organization's mission listed in the categories?

Your organization must provide a service or services on the list set out in the law, as described above. Your organization must actually provide (not just fund) programs, aid or services. Please evaluate the list carefully and determine if your organization provides a service(s) that fits into any of the categories.

Show Why do certain programs seem to be excluded from the list of eligible organizations?

Hide Why do certain programs seem to be excluded from the list of eligible organizations?

While the law lists program areas that are quite broad, it does not encompass all Alaska nonprofits.  Even as currently written, the law provides an unprecedented opportunity to help increase individual giving in Alaska.

Show What if my organization is so small in budget size or is federally exempt from filing that we are not required to file a Form 990 with the IRS, can we still qualify for the PFD Charitable Contributions Program?

Hide What if my organization is so small in budget size or is federally exempt from filing that we are not required to file a Form 990 with the IRS, can we still qualify for the PFD Charitable Contributions Program?

All charitable organizations are required by the IRS to file one of three versions of the 990 depending on size; Form 990, Form 990EZ, or Form 990N (e-postcard). The appropriate version of the 990 needs to accompany the application unless the organization is federally exempt from filing.

Show What would qualify as a charitable contribution under the law?

Hide What would qualify as a charitable contribution under the law?

Most individual charitable giving, corporate support and foundation support would qualify as charitable contributions. United Way support would also be considered a charitable contribution.

Show What does not qualify as a charitable contribution under the law?

Hide What does not qualify as a charitable contribution under the law?

Government grants or earned revenue would not constitute charitable contributions.

Show How will my organization be listed on the on-line PFD application?

Hide How will my organization be listed on the on-line PFD application?

Qualified organizations will be listed on the PFD application as part of a comprehensive list of all qualified organizations. Your organization will be listed in the location that corresponds to the physical address of your headquarters or main office in Alaska.  If you want your organization to be listed in additional locations, the application allows you to provide one physical address in each location where you maintain an ongoing operation that provides a qualifying program, aids or services.  Note that physical addresses must be used – post office box addresses will not be accepted.

PFD applicants can search for your organization in multiple ways – by your name, by your geographic location, by your service, by region and in an alphabetical listing. 

Show The application requires my organization to "certify or to self-certify." What does this mean?

Hide The application requires my organization to "certify or to self-certify." What does this mean?

The application includes a number of questions that establish eligibility under the terms of the law. By signing the application, your organization's Board Chair and CEO/ED certify that the information being supplied is true and correct.

Show Is a community foundation eligible?

Hide Is a community foundation eligible?

Maybe. Although community foundations do not have to fall within the program areas specified in the law, they must meet the other eligibility criteria to be part of the Pick.Click.Give.

Show Who determines if my organization is eligible to be included in the program?

Hide Who determines if my organization is eligible to be included in the program?

The law sets out the precise criteria for eligibility. The criteria must be demonstrated through self-certification and the submission of ALL required documents. Ultimately the Department of Revenue determines eligibility. The United Way of Anchorage will process the applications and adhere to the review and independent appeal processes established by the Department of Revenue.

Show If my organization applies this year, does that mean I have to re-apply next year?

Hide If my organization applies this year, does that mean I have to re-apply next year?

Yes, each qualifying year stands on its own. The process is fresh every year and just because an organization is listed this year that does not mean it will automatically qualify the next year.

Information for Nonprofits that are Not Eligible Under the Law

Show What organizations are not eligible to participate in Pick.Click.Give.?

Hide What organizations are not eligible to participate in Pick.Click.Give.?

According to the law, an organization is not eligible if it is an affiliate of another group, or if it makes grants or contributions to a 501c(4) or 501c(6) organization.

Show The law says that an organization cannot be an "affiliate" and be eligible. What does that mean?

Hide The law says that an organization cannot be an "affiliate" and be eligible. What does that mean?

An affiliate is an organization that is under the control of a group whose main function is influencing elections - in other words a group whose focus is political activity. Specifically, the Alaska Statute referenced [AS 15.13.400(8)(B)] in the PFD law addresses organizations (which in state law are called "groups") which are primarily political, and are under the control of candidates for office or those working to elect people to public office.

Show What happens if my organization does not meet the eligibility criteria this year? Can we apply next year if we fix whatever was missing?

Hide What happens if my organization does not meet the eligibility criteria this year? Can we apply next year if we fix whatever was missing?

Yes, each qualifying year stands on its own. If an organization didn't qualify this year, it can apply next year. However, there is no guarantee that a subsequent application will lead to a decision of eligibility.

Show What recourse do I have if my organization is deemed ineligible by the Department of Revenue?

Hide What recourse do I have if my organization is deemed ineligible by the Department of Revenue?

The law allows any organization to appeal if it is deemed ineligible. These appeals will follow the process described in the state’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

Show If my organization is not on the list, can a person still make a donation through Pick.Click.Give.?

Hide If my organization is not on the list, can a person still make a donation through Pick.Click.Give.?

No, donations cannot be made through Pick.Click.Give. to organizations that are not on the list. Alaskans are encouraged to make direct donations to organizations that are not Pick.Click.Give. eligible if they so choose.

Information on Distribution of Donations

Show Can our organization know about our donations now?

Hide Can our organization know about our donations now?

The donations for each year are available in the late fall. Pledge totals are published in April following the close of the PFD filing period.
 
To recap how the process works:

  1. Alaskans have from January 1 to March 31 to file for the PFD and at that time they can choose to participate in Pick.Click.Give.
  2. Then everyone waits until October to see how much the PFD check is for each Alaskan.
  3. At that time, the Department of Revenue looks at each PFD application that has a requested pledge through PCG.
  4. It is then determined how much of the dividend the filer will receive after any state garnishments are taken.  The state garnishes dividends for a number of reasons.
  5. Then the donation amounts are deducted from the remaining funds.
  6. At this point, the Department of Revenue issues a 1099 to each Alaskan filer that states the amount of the dividend and the amount of the donations that will be distributed.
  7. Generally by November of each year, the lists of donors and checks (compiling all of the donations for the organization) are generated and sent to the legal address of the organization.

So the short answer is that an organization will not know the total amount of contributions nor receive a check until generally November of each year.

Show How will I be notified if an individual designates money to my organization?

Hide How will I be notified if an individual designates money to my organization?

Because of PFD confidentially rules, an individual must specifically authorize the Department of Revenue to release information about the donor.  At the time of disbursement, you will receive information about any donor who designates money to your organization and authorizes the release of his/her information. We encourage organizations to treat their PFD donors in the same way as others who give - through appropriate recognition and stewardship.

Show How do I receive the money when an individual designates my organization as a recipient?

Hide How do I receive the money when an individual designates my organization as a recipient?

Payments will be made in the late fall through the Department of Revenue and distributed by the United Way of Anchorage.

Show When will I receive the donations?

Hide When will I receive the donations?

Donations will be transmitted to designated organizations in late October/early November of the year they are made.

Show How will my constituents know if our organization is on the PFD Charitable Contributions list?

Hide How will my constituents know if our organization is on the PFD Charitable Contributions list?

Make use of your normal donor communication strategies - personal contact, direct mail, newsletters - to inform your constituents that your organization will be part of Pick.Click.Give.   We  encourage you to use anything in the Toolkit to help tell your story.