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Coalition hopes Alaskans will be thinking as they count down to the New Year. January 1st is the first day Alaskans can go online to apply for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). It’s also the first time that PFD filers will be able to support their favorite nonprofit organizations through the Pick. Click. Give. campaign. That program allows Alaskans who are filing online for the 2009 PFD to give all or part of it to qualifying nonprofits or to campuses of the University of Alaska.

“What better way to start 2009 than with a commitment to start, or to continue giving back to make Alaska a better place to live” said Jim Caldarola, chair of the Alaska Giving Coalition. “Just think what could happen if every person committed to giving just a portion of their dividend?”

To donate all or part of their PFD, Alaskans just need to apply for their dividend online at http://www.pfd.state.ak.us/ApplyOnline.aspx , then choose the groups they would like to support. The filing period begins at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009 and continues through March 31, 2009.

More than 330 organizations have qualified for the 2009 PFD check-off program, representing a full spectrum of nonprofits around the state. Each met a series of criteria laid out in the law establishing the program, which was passed by the Alaska Legislature in May 2008. The Pick. Click. Give. program is authorized for three years. After that, the Legislature will decide whether or not to continue it.

“It is our hope that by making it a safe and secure process, more people will choose to give,” said Caldarola. “We also encourage those who are already giving to consider increasing their donations, since the needs in 2009 are likely to be greater.”

More information can be found at www.Pick.Click.Give.org , by calling 1-888-785-GIFT (4438) or by emailing pfdinfo@forakergroup.org. Alaskans also can interact with Pick. Click. Give. in social networks including MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.