Alaskans have donated portions of their Permanent Fund Dividends (PFD) to the tune of $3,192,725 thus far in 2016 through the Pick. Click. Give program. Though the deadline to apply for PFDs was March 31, state residents who have applied for PFDs can still donate by using the program through Aug. 31.
PFDs are managed similarly to endowments, with a percentage of interest earnings from Alaskan oil distributed equally among residents who have resided in the state for a full calendar year. Pick. Click. Give, a component of The Alaska Community Foundation, provides residents with the opportunity to contribute $25 or more of their PFD to their choice of 640 nonprofits. The program first launched in 2009 and has collected nearly $17 million in total.
Residents this year have set a new average gift record of $108, up from $100, according to a release. Overall donations are down from 2015’s $3,329,575 high mark. Participation is also down from 6.0 percent in 2015 to 5.5 percent in 2016.
The top recipients of 2016 PFD donations are:
- Bean’s Café in in Anchorage – $126,025;
- Alaska Public Media in in Anchorage – $116,600;
- Food Bank of Alaska in Anchorage – $89,550;
- Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest in Anchorage and other locations – $82,675; and
- Catholic Social Services in Anchorage – $80,175.
“We’re thrilled with this year’s donation amount. Alaskans deserve a huge thank you for their willingness to support such great causes,” said Jason Grenn, manager of Pick. Click. Give., in the release. “This could have been a difficult year for Alaska’s nonprofits because of the uncertainty around the Permanent Fund itself and the economic situation in our state. But in these tough times, it’s inspiring to see Alaskans can be counted on to help their neighbors.”
Alaskan lawmakers are reportedly in the process of considering using dividends to help balance the state’s books. A reduction in oil production and the fact that investment revenue from past oil production is outpacing revenue from current oil production has led to a reassessment of the state’s finances, said Randall Hoffbeck, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue, earlier this year.
One proposed recalculation would push future PFD payouts to about $1,000 as compared to $2,072 in 2015. Payouts for 2016 have not yet been announced, but will be distributed throughout the year, beginning later this month.