FAIRBANKS — Last Thursday, as Alaskans checked their bank accounts, hoping to spy a direct deposit amount of $1,281, organizations across the state found out if they benefited from the Permanent Fund Dividend’s Pick. Click. Give. program. Many in Fairbanks and the Interior did.
The program released a list of 2010 PFD charitable contributions Thursday that totaled money donated for Fairbanks and the Interior, including Denali Park, Healy and Tok at about $77,500. The total amount donated in the state is approximately $925,000 with more than 9,500 donors.
They believed the list to be at least 90% accurate when released. Exact numbers won’t be known for some time, according to Rasmuson Foundation’s Jordan Marshall. There are still many applications being looked over. Some won’t be eligible for the dividend, and some will, but of those, the amount donated is unclear for the time being.
This year, however, it is clear that the amount donated and the number of donors have increased almost 100 percent.
Marshall believes the simplicity of the program is one reason for the increases. To donate, people who file their application for the PFD online just have to click an organization they’d like to donate to, and give a portion of their dividend.
He also thinks the program is gaining popularity from the organizations themselves.
“Causes are doing a great job of telling their own stories,” Marshall said. He feels that people respond to the impact of their gifts.
For instance, Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund’s executive director Ronnie Rosenberg was thrilled her organization received the second-highest amount in the region of $9,000. Fairbanks Community Food Bank Service received the most, with 267 donors contributing $14,881 altogether.
“These donations give us the flexibility to undertake special projects, like the major fencing work currently underway,” Rosenberg said in an e-mail. “We are an all-volunteer operation so the donations go directly for the benefit of the animals. Almost all of the money is spent locally so it provides a boost to many small businesses too.”
Last year, organizations received their money at the end of the month. This year, it will be a little sooner.
“Everybody’s getting better at this,” Marshall said.
The recipients will get a paper check with the money and a list of the names of the donors. It will allow them to personally thank the people who gave up a slice of their dividends. Marshall hopes it will help form lifelong relationships between the contributors and organizations.
Contact reporter Reba Lean at 459-7523