I love this time of year – the changing colors, the opportunities to get together with family and friends, the direct mail from nonprofits. If you’re anything like me, you appreciate these letters of request as much as harvest-time festivities because each is a reminder of how much good work is being done in the community where you live. At many nonprofits small gifts can have bigger impacts than you might think , and each individual name on the year-end appeal list is cherished. This is because in times of challenge, if an organization’s mission needs support or their survival is threatened, nonprofits turn to individuals. Grants alone can’t fully address the most urgent of needs. You are the key to a strong nonprofit community. And as your dollars protect important programs, your action—the choice to contribute in any amount –galvanizes support for the cause. Of course, none of us can respond fully to every request we receive. Nor do we wish too. And so we make choices. Fortunes and time are precious. But anyone who gets involved through volunteering and giving in their local community knows the satisfaction that those activities bring. So this holiday season, pick and choose, but most importantly, choose. And while you consider your philanthropic interests, know that the Foundation is your resource. We can serve as a guide or help you discover a variety of giving options. For example: Organize and simplify your giving by setting up a Donor Advised Fund before the year is over. Support regional priorities like early childhood development, the arts, or the environment with a contribution to the Foundation’s leadership granting efforts. Contribute to the Foundation itself and help us operate at the high level our community deserves. No matter the form your giving takes, we are grateful that you do so with an open heart –that you look lovingly on that pile of direct mail you receive. As you read letters, we hope you’ll listen to the stories being shared with you by our local, hardworking nonprofits. You’ll feel good. And your giving will make a difference.