Have you signed up for your PFD yet?
If you’re like most of us, your probably haven’t — but you’ve likely already been thinking about getting online to get in line for your annual cut of the state’s massive oil wealth payout.
Getting signed up early is always a good idea. Although the deadline this year isn’t until March 31, it’s easy enough to forget. And with so much money on the line (the 2011 dividend was $1,174, paid out to all eligible men, women and children in the state), nobody wants to be left out in the cold.
And while it’s always nice to get that extra financial boost in the fall, it’s also not a bad idea to think about donating a portion of your PFD this year to charity.
There’s a lot of good reasons why we should give away some of our PFD cash. First, it’s just a nice thing to do. Helping others — especially nonprofits — is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to make a difference in our community. Second, it’s tax deductible. That means when tax time rolls around — and it, too, is just around the corner — you’ll have a little bit of cushion when it comes to giving Uncle Sam his due.
For several years now, the state has been making it easier than ever to donate a portion of your dividend to a worthy cause. It’s called the “Pick. Click. Give” program, and it’s become more popular each year it’s been used since being introduced for the 2009 dividend.
The beauty of the program is its simplicity. When filing your dividend online, you’ll be given an option to participate in the program. If you do decide to give, you’ll get a list of charities and nonprofits to choose from. Pick your cause, click your mouse and give away. That’s it.
In 2011, several local organizations benefited from this program. Here’s a list of how some of them did:
Chugiak Children’s Services — $2,975
Chugiak Senior Citizens, Inc. — $1,900
Chugiak-Eagle River Foundation — $1,900
Alaska Fine Arts Academy — $975
Alaska Moving Arts Center — $675
Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society — $475
Overall, about 19,000 Alaskans gave a total of $1.5 million to the nonprofits of their choice.
We can do better.
When thinking of yourself and your family this year, take a few minutes to think about all the worthy causes both here in our community and statewide that could benefit from a little help this year.
It will make you feel good, and it’s the right thing to do.