As we fast approach the end of the year, busy with holiday plans, merrymaking, and gift- giving, please take a moment to consider how you can give a gift that will benefit your whole community.

December is a critical time for nonprofit organizations. The holidays and approaching winter cold often bring a big increase in calls for help. However, nonprofits must also focus on raising the resources they need to provide services all year long. Many nonprofits raise most of their annual budgets in December, when people feel especially generous and might be contemplating their tax planning. Nonprofits sometimes need extra volunteers this time of year as well.

How can donors decide where to give or volunteer? “I may be biased, but I really encourage people to give to local nonprofits,” said Ravi Respeto, President of the United Way of Greater Charlottesville. “I agree 100%,” added Cristine Nardi, President of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. “Our member organizations are doing amazing work for the Greater Charlotteville community, and they always need support to make that work possible.”

Donors can make a special connection with local organizations, getting to know the people involved and volunteering to see their great work first-hand. By giving your time and treasure locally, you are helping your community become stronger, and are directly helping your neighbors.

To learn about local nonprofits, visit the website., a partnership between the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, United Way of Greater Charlottesville, and other local organizations, was created to help community members find ways to be meaningfully engaged in their community. drives volunteers to where they are needed and connects donors to the causes and initiatives that need their support. has information on hundreds of local organizations, listing volunteer needs, requests to donate items, and other ways to help.

Ms. Nardi concluded, “Your year-end gift can have an impact that is felt all year long, right here in our community. On behalf of our local nonprofit community, thank you!”