Alaska nonprofits hope larger PFDs mean larger donations
With Gov. Mike Dunleavy's promise to repay three years of reduced Permanent Fund dividends, nonprofit groups are expecting this year to be big on PFD-based donations.
This week, people began filing for dividends online again after the state fixed a New Year's Day glitch in the application. A one-day record 25,000 people signed up on Tuesday, the first full day the application system came back online.
"We're pretty excited," said Jessie Lavoie, a program manager with the dividend's Pick.Click.Give. donation system. "The more money that Alaskans have, the more money they could give."
Lavoie says the larger payout could be a positive thing for nonprofits.
"It's hard to say what they PFD would be; it's all based on the five-year average and with other legislation going on we just don't know," Lavoie said. "But with an influx of money, we will hope people will be more generous."
Alaskans who opt to use Pick.Click.Give. can donate any or all of their next dividend to their choice of nonprofits across the state. With about 67,000 applicants as of Friday night, Lavoie said slightly under 1 percent of them have made donations.
"There is 630 this year that have applied to be a part of this program," said Lavoie. "It's just an easy way for Alaskans to give through a surplus of money they get once a year."
Although Lavoie says donations have been "flat to negative" in recent years, organizers remain optimistic this year. Even with the application system's glitch, they've seen more people giving back.
"We're sitting at $200,000 donated or pledged anyway," she said.
Organizers are also expecting more funds this year, because Pick.Click.Give.'s donation form now appears within the online application process rather than after it.
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