This screenshot from the Pick.Click.Give. website shows the program’s logo. (Screenshot)

This screenshot from the Pick.Click.Give. website shows the program’s logo. (Screenshot)

Opinion: This is a good year for Alaskans to Pick.Click.Give

Alaskans have until Aug. 31 to go back online and sign up for Pick.Click.Give.

  • By Larry Persily
  • Wednesday, June 1, 2022 11:35am
  • Opinion

By Larry Persily

At $3,200, this year’s payment to Alaskans will pour about $1.3 billion more into people’s pockets than last fall’s Permanent Fund dividend.

No doubt a lot of families need every bit of that to pay rent, buy food and clothes, cover utilities and fuel, particularly in rural communities where costs are high and there are few cash-paying jobs.

Equally of little doubt, a lot of Alaskans never counted on the oversized, overstuffed election-year dividend approved by legislators. And while they can find uses for the money, many can afford to share some of their high-oil-price largesse with others.

For Alaskans who are not familiar with the Pick.Click.Give. program, there is still time to learn. The program, run by the Permanent Fund Dividend Division, makes it easy for people to go online, pick from hundreds of charitable organizations across the state, then click and give to the ones they support. The donation will be deducted from their dividend and sent directly to the nonprofits to fund good work.

Though the deadline to have applied for this fall’s PFD was March 31, there still is plenty of time to share some of this year’s jackpot dividend with groups that help people in need and communities year-round. Alaskans have until Aug. 31 to go back online and sign up for Pick.Click.Give., or to increase their donation. It’s easy to go to the dividend division website at pfd.alaska.gov and choose the Pick.Click.Give. button on the right-hand side.

With the fall payment of $3,200 per person, this would be a good year for Alaskans to share more than their weak response under the program’s first dozen or so years. Last year, dividend recipients contributed less than one-half of 1% of their money through Pick.Click.Give. Of the $10 billion handed out in dividends since the charitable donation program started in 2009, Alaskans have picked and clicked about $30 million for nonprofits on the list.

Certainly, Alaskans give much more than that every year to charitable organizations directly, whether in cash, their time, donated food and materials. There is no need to only use the dividend checkoff to help neighbors and communities — but it’s easy and convenient, and comes at the same time as people are filling out the form for the annual benefit provided by Alaska’s oil-wealth savings account.

With this year’s fall payment almost triple last year’s $1,114 check, it would be a good time to add a middle name to the PFD: Permanent Fund Sharing Dividend.

• Larry Persily is a longtime Alaska journalist, with breaks for federal, state and municipal service in oil and gas, taxes and fiscal policy work. He is currently owner and editor of the weekly Wrangell Sentinel newspaper. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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