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Alaskans May Be More Generous in Times of Economic Hardship -Alaska Business Monthly

Posted March 14, 2018
Alaska Business Monthly feat. Sofia Fouquet
See original story here.


If you were in Anchorage, Bethel, Haines, Homer, Juneau, Seward, Sitka, Petersburg, or Wasilla two weeks ago, there’s a good chance you heard or saw nonprofits promoting local philanthropy in partnership with Pick.Click.Give. (PCG).

March 1 ushered in rallies, radio interviews, community discussions, and loads of photos as nonprofits across the state came together to encourage Alaskans to give locally this winter.
If you were in Seward, you heard Allison Fong talking shop on KIBH; those heading to the grocery store in Sitka probably had a friendly chat with local volunteers offering to help with the technical end of a PCG donation; the lucky folks in Haines might have joined in on a community brown bag lunch where nonprofits could celebrate PCG experiences before taking a publicity shot in front of the library; and if you were heading to Homer you might have seen some enthusiastic sign waivers.

Friday, March 2 told an interesting story. Statewide daily contributions to the PCG program spiked by 1% the day after the rally and cumulative giving (the percentage of all Alaskans who have applied for a PFD and who have contributed through the program) went from 4.24% on Thursday to 4.28% by Monday morning. As of this report, the average pledge per donor sits at $103.99, nearly $4 more than the average pledge per donor in 2015, when the expected dividend was twice as much as it is now.

The purpose of PCG day is remind Alaskans that now more than ever is the time to support local nonprofits and organizations that provide services to community members among us. Whether it’s providing a hot meal, caring for rescued animals, or creating a place for children to read books after school, Alaskan nonprofits enrich our communities on a daily basis. The nonprofit sector, perhaps best known for ‘tightening its belt’ and ‘doing more with less’, is feeling today’s economic hardship as much, if not more than the rest of us. A $25 donation, given directly or through PCG, might mean ten more meals in your local shelter, or several new books in your local libraries.

You can still take part in PCG Day by making a pledge through PCG when you apply for your PFD online at pfd.alaska.gov. For those who have already applied for your PFD, you can make a donation on the same website through August 31; just log in to your account and follow the green button.

Want to hop on the philanthropy train, but not sure who to give to? Check out the Pick Tool at pickclickgive.org for a fast and easy way to choose your next favorite nonprofit.




Juneau nonprofits rally for Pick.Click.Give donations

Posted March 2, 2018 07:08 am
By Gregory Philson Juneau Empire
See original story here.


Making people aware of a simple charitable donation brought out a group of sign-holders braving the early-morning wind encouraging people to “Pick.Click.Give” at the Douglas Bridge stoplight Thursday morning.

The Alaskan Community Foundation, in partnership with several Juneau nonprofits, hosted the rally as a way to raise awareness of PCG. PCG encourages Alaskans to support charities by donating a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividend.

“This rally is really a way to encourage people to participate in PCG,” Saralyn Tabachnick, Executive Director of AWARE, and who serves on the operations board of the Foraker Group said. “We want people to keep it in their thoughts and to donate to causes that are important.”

The rally is in its second year throughout the state, but this is the first time it is happening in Juneau.

Tristan Knutson-Lombardo, Executive Director at Southeast Alaska Independent Living and a participant on the statewide committee for PCG, explained this is a key time of the year for the rally to happen.

“The busiest times of the year for people to file for their PFD are the first two weeks of January and the first two weeks of March because March is the last month to file,” he said.

The program has grown over the years, with 2015 being the biggest year to date as 33,421 people contributed $3,330,250. Last year, 26,128 people contributed $2,702,450, according to Sofia Fouquet of the Alaska Community Foundation.

Last year, Alaskans pledged $2.5 million, but if everyone participated, it would grow substantially. Knutson-Lomabrdo said since PCG started in 2009, almost $18.9 million has been donated across the state and Juneau had $26,000 donated to locally-based nonprofits. SAIL received $9,450 last year and has received $64,753 total, according to the pickclickgive.org.

“If everyone who applied for the PFD gave the minimum of just $25, it would accumulate to $15 million dollars donated to nonprofits,” Tabachnick said. “It is a simple and very meaningful way to give. Most people really don’t miss the money they give. It is a nice way to give without having to dig too deep into your pockets.”

Julie Hamilton, treasurer on the board at Cancer Connection, said she understands that some people probably have an idea in mind with what to do with their PFD, but expressed that even if people contribute a little, it will help. Cancer Connection received $5, 075 last year and $51,800 total through the program.

“People have thought out what they are going to do with their PFD check,” Hamilton said. “They may not want to take a piece out of that pie, but even if they donate $25, it really adds up.

Mandy Cole, of AWARE, said she came out to the rally because she wanted to express how important it is to help the community nonprofits. AWARE received $20,983 last year and has received $165,803.37 total, according to the pickclickgive.org.

“It’s a super easy and kind of fun thing to do,” Cole said of PCG. “There are so many organizations in town that do so much and this is way to show your support and show that you care.”

The morning rally was the first of three PCG events held in Juneau Thursday. There was also a group photo at the State Capitol which included Juneau PCG nonprofits and supporters. Another rally occurred at the Douglas Bridge intersection between 4:15-5 p.m.


PROGRESS: Pick.Click.Give. Innovates to Make Philanthropy Available to More Alaskans
by J.W. FRYE Feb 24, 2018
See original article here.

You’ve most likely been living under a rock (or out in Talkeetna) not to notice the green signs and banners plastered across the state with three simple word sentences on them: Pick. Click. Give. It is a short and mightily punctuated call to action, but what is that calling and how can we answer it? On the ten-year anniversary of the Alaska State Legislature passing the bill to create an option to donate part of your dividend to a worthy charity, we are taking a look at the Program Pick. Click. Give. And what it says about Alaskan Philanthropy.

Sofia Fouquet, Program Director for Pick. Click. Give. took time out of her statewide development campaign for a phone interview this week. Fouquet is energetic about non-profits and optimistic about the future of charitable work going on in our cities and rural communities throughout the state. The following conversation was edited for space and relevance.

Frye: For anyone that doesn’t know what Pick. Click. Give. is, how do you explain it?

Fouquet: It really is a tool. For Alaskan’s that want to support a cause or get involved in philanthropy, this is an opportunity to do it in an easy and safe environment. When you are applying for your PFD [Permanent Fund Dividend] you have the option to set aside a portion of it to a charity or cause.

Frye: That’s neat. Sort of like a philanthropy starter set. Are there any new features of the program or initiatives that you are rolling out this year?

Fouquet: (pauses) There are a lot of things that we are doing on the backend of the program with our partner organizations, but this year people are going to notice the Pick Tool. With 634 different organizations to choose from, it can be overwhelming to wade through and select a charity if someone is new to philanthropy. So, we partnered with Brilliant [Media Strategies] to make a Buzzfeed-type quiz. You can go to the website and fill out the questionnaire and then the tool will give you charity recommendations based on your answer—in groups of three.

Frye: That is really neat. Anything else on the innovation front?

Fouquet: Well, we had a very popular initiative that has been around for a few cycles, but we are going to run the ‘double your dividend’ campaign this year. If you opt into the contest then the charity that you choose is eligible for an additional full dividend, this year is one thousand dollars, to be donated in your name. It is a way to be able to donate a little and end up making a big difference for a cause that you care about.

Frye: So that is news. The dividend is capped this year at a grand. It’s part of the new policy at the state legislature to reconcile a multi-year economic downturn. How has that affected the non-profits in the program?

Fouquet: It has actually been the coolest thing about this recent economy. While the dividend has gone down year over year for the past two cycles, the amount per donation has actually increased. In 2015 the dividend was $2072.00 and the average donation was $99.63. Two years later the dividend was half as much and the average donation was $104.43. This has been the trend. Alaskans are generous and believe that community is built when everyone pulls together.

Frye: I would not have guessed that. I assumed that as the dividends grew smaller then so would contributions. Have there been any stories from that stand out for you on the non-profit side?

Fouquet: There are so many really. The one that comes to mind for me is a charity out of Homer Alaska called the Bunnell Street Art Center. They made this amazing video of all the various projects and artists that were directly supported from Pick. Click. Give. donations. It was neat that it was all broken down into how that money was raised from just 100 people (most of who gave less than $50). The video is the type of easy thing that a charity can do to show value in their mission. Pick. Click. Give. is here to encourage our charities to continue to innovate and to grow with the next generation of Alaskan Philanthropists.

The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) was created over 20 years ago with the mission to nurture philanthropy by managing permanent endowments and partnering with charitable organizations to strengthen communities. For the last ten years, the foundation has been overseeing its wildly popular PFD fundraising program. If you would like more information on how you can use your PFD to affect positive social change or would like to use the ACF family of resources to grow your not for profit mission visit www.alaskaacf.org.

Giving strong in Alaska, even as dividends shrink
Click here to read see original source.
Anchorage Daily News
Frank Gerjevic
Monday, January 29


Giving strong in Alaska, even as dividends shrink

” The Pick.Click.Give. program, by which we can give a share of our Permanent Fund dividend checks to nonprofit and charitable groups, has taken a hit these last two years, along with the dividends themselves.

But the numbers speak pretty well for Alaskans, for while dividends have been roughly halved for two years running, donations have declined at a much slower rate.

In 2016, when Gov. Bill Walker vetoed about half the dividend amount, down to $1,022, the number of Alaskans who contributed through Pick.Click.Give fell by about 12 percent from 2015, from 33,421 to 29,543. The amount those donors gave fell by about 4 percent, from $3.33 million to $3.19 million. By that time Alaskans were feeling the effects of a recession caused primarily by low oil prices and a state budget running a deep deficit, and some prospective donors likely backed off well before the governor’s veto, which didn’t occur until late June.

In 2017, when the Legislature and governor agreed on another diminished dividend, this time of $1,100, Alaskans had seen it coming and that’s when Pick.Click.Give. took a bigger hit. The total two-year change from the peak of giving in 2015 was a drop of 22 percent in donors (from 33,421 to 26,128) and 19 percent in donations ($3.3 million to $2.7 million).

The cuts in giving were far less than the cuts in the dividends. That’s encouraging, for while fewer Alaskans have given through the Pick.Click.Give program over the last two years, they’ve given a greater share of their dividends than they did in 2015, when the dividend was $2,072 and expected to go higher.

Pick.Click.Give., despite its unlyrical name that only a keyboard could love, had seen continuous growth since its founding by the Rasmuson Foundation in 2008 until 2015. The idea was simple — make it easy for Alaskans to share their share of the state’s wealth for good works and build, year-by-year, a stronger tradition of philanthropy.

Alaska is fertile ground for it. Anyone who has lived here for long and seen how Alaskans respond to calls for help — especially when both the need and how to respond are clear — knows that Alaskans will give in spades.

Pick.Click.Give. has built on that knowledge. With its list of more than 600 organizations from Abbott-O-Rabbit Little League to the YWCA, and modest administrative costs (7 percent, borne by the donor), the program offers to hundreds of thousands of Alaskans an easy and relatively painless way to do a lot of good. At the same time, hundreds of groups doing that good have access to Alaska’s biggest marketplace — the 640,000, give or take, who apply for the Permanent Fund dividend.

Pick.Click.Give. isn’t the only way to give and it doesn’t cover all of the giving Alaskans do with their dividends. But it’s a good, efficient way to spread the wealth. Let’s keep it up.

BOTTOM LINE: Alaskans take a hit in the dividends, but still spare a dime for their favorite charities (www.pickclickgive.org). Long may it be so.

Tune in to hear representatives from Brother Francis Shelter Kodiak,  Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center, Kodiak Public Library Association, and The Alaska Community Foundation discuss Pick.Click.Give. with Kayla Desroches.

You can listen here.
You can read a brief recap here.

Talk of the Rock: Pick Click Give

Posting Date: January 3, 2018
Run Time: 24:54