ANCHORAGE, Dec. 27, 2011 – Project leaders behind the popular Alaska charitable effort known as Pick. Click. Give. hope to make 2012 the biggest year yet for Alaska nonprofits in the program.
With the January 1 opening of the filing period for Permanent Fund Dividends fast approaching, a statewide Pick. Click. Give. public awareness campaign is now in full swing. Program managers spent much of 2011 conducting market research and other behind-the-scenes planning to make 2012 the most successful yet for the statewide philanthropy initiative. Pick. Click. Give. allows Alaskans to make charitable contributions to one or more of over 400 eligible nonprofit organizations when they file online for the annual dividend.
In research conducted in October, program managers learned that 41 percent of Alaskans surveyed had never heard of Pick. Click. Give. “There’s still plenty of room for Pick. Click. Give. to grow, despite a broad-based marketing effort over the last few years,” said Jordan Marshall, manager of initiatives and special projects for Rasmuson Foundation.
For 2012, Pick. Click. Give. program managers set an aggressive goal of raising at least $2 million for Alaska nonprofits with an increase in individual participation of 5,000 people for a total of 23,800. In 2011, the program raised $1,570,900. The monetary goal for 2012 would represent an increase of 27 percent.
The research also led Pick. Click. Give. managers to a new marketing approach for the program. The survey revealed a gap between what respondents said were their top picks for charitable giving and what donors actually did.
When Alaskans were asked where they would donate $500 if given a choice, respondents cited organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, the Food Bank of Alaska, United Way and the Boys and Girls Club among their top choices. This led Pick. Click. Give. program managers to heavily emphasize three categories of nonprofit services in 2012 program marketing: services for children; emergency response and domestic-violence shelters; and organizations serving the hungry and homeless.
Comparing these responses to actual donor behavior, however, revealed not only an inconsistency but an opportunity: public media and animal-welfare organizations were among the top recipients in 2011, although they were not the first organizations that came to mind when survey participants were asked.
“That’s when the light bulb moment happened,” Marshall said. “Knowing that half of Pick. Click. Give. donors give to more than one organization once they start making selections, we realized marketing the three categories could potentially reach new donors and still benefit the full breadth of nonprofit causes.”
Perhaps most important to reaching the 2012 goal is understanding the potential impact of increased participation. “Participation rates doubled from the first to the second year, and doubled again in the third year,” said Marshall, citing the program’s steady climb to 3.7 percent in 2011. “Over 10 percent of Alaskans say they may utilize Pick. Click. Give. as a way to support the nonprofit causes they care about. There is reason to believe that research-driven messaging and strategic outreach may reach new audiences and get PCG closer to 10 percent participation over time.”
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. Rasmuson Foundation and several other funding partners committed to an additional five-year marketing effort to make sure Pick. Click. Give. is firmly established and widely known among Alaskans. This year, they will collectively spend $250,000 promoting Pick. Click. Give.