If you value the services of a nonprofit, help spread the word about Pick.Click.Give. There are free tools available for your website, newsletter and other communications.

PCG-VERT-green $1305. When Governor Sean Parnell pulled a sheet of paper out of an envelope last week with only this number emblazoned upon it, Alaskans immediately understood his message: the 2009 Permanent Fund Dividend distribution is right around the corner. And in case you missed the grand media announcement, an avalanche of adverts from businesses suggesting what you should do with your annual check is well underway.

But the message you might not have heard is this: The time is now to communicate with Alaskans about the chance to give to one of 365 great Alaska nonprofits when we file for our dividends in January. If you care about nonprofits, carve out space in your next newsletter to highlight the 2010 Pick. Click. Give. program. In fact, if you prepare quarterly newsletters or updates to stakeholders, you may want to stop the presses and include a notation today. Why? A majority of Alaskans who file online for their Permanent Fund Dividend do so within the first couple days after the PFD Division posts the application, i.e., very early in January. In other words, you may miss a golden opportunity to ask Alaskans to give from next year’s PFD if you wait until you publish your next newsletter.

Last year, along with our partners at Alaska Giving Coalition, United Way of Anchorage, and The Foraker Group, we collected as much data as possible about the most effective tools for communicating with prospective Pick. Click. Givers. Here is what we found: The organizations who made best use of the 2009 program also took matters into their own hands, talking directly and proactively with their existing and prospective donor pool.

The good news is you don’t have to start from scratch. Many of the most successful outreach techniques are captured on the Pick. Click. Give. website under “Information for Organizations.” Look for Bright Ideas and Toolkits . The Pick. Click. Give. site, hosted by The Foraker Group, also contains logos, sample newsletter copy, and FAQs. You may use anything on the site for free. (The Foraker Group will also conduct a series of training sessions to help you more effectively use Pick. Click. Give. in your communication efforts.)

As was the case last year, the Alaska Giving Coalition will run a statewide media and public relations campaign to highlight the overall program, and the Permanent Fund Dividend Division will again host the online application.

We’re grateful for the important work done by Alaska’s nonprofits, community foundations, and educational institutions. That’s why Rasmuson Foundation supports the program and that is why our funding partners at Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Mat-Su Health Foundation, BP, and ConocoPhillips are supporting the statewide outreach efforts. We hope you might take advantage of the free outreach tools created for your or your organization’s use.

Have ideas about how to grow philanthropy in Alaska? Or feedback about outreach for Pick. Click. Give.? Please comment here.