Giving with a purpose

Giving with a purpose
Brandi Yee (Courtesy photo)

By Brandi Yee

 As 2023 draws to a close, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the experiences, challenges and opportunities that have shaped the past 12 months. It is also a time of generosity and thinking about how we can contribute to the well-being of our neighbors and our community. Chances are there’s a nonprofit organization in our community that aligns with your passion. 

As Alexandria’s community foundation, ACT for Alexandria amplifies the work of our community by bringing people and resources together. To realize a just, vibrant and equitable Alexandria, ACT mobilizes support for the nonprofit sector so all who live and work here thrive and feel like they belong. 

By supporting our local nonprofits, you are investing in building a strong and healthy Alexandria. These organizations play a crucial role in addressing the unique needs of our neighbors as they are deeply rooted in the fabric of the communities they serve. Nonprofits have trusted relationships with community members, an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by their neighbors and are better equipped to tailor their programs and services to meet those specific needs. When nonprofits have what they need for their operations, they can deliver stronger programs, achieve their mission, and grow their impact. 

With a solid foundation, they can take time to build trusting relationships, co-create new possibilities with community members and truly innovate to meet the needs of the communities they serve. 

Nonprofits provide essential support to communities, filling the gaps the government can’t always meet. In our community, many nonprofits are small, grassroots organizations, which enables them to be nimble and responsive to our local needs. Our neighbors are continuing to recover from hardships as a result of the pandemic. Nonprofits are seeing an increased demand for their services and the need for food, assistance with rent and utilities and healthcare for those struggling with mental health issues. 

With COVID-19 relief funding ending and government support shrinking, your donation can serve as a lifeline for these organizations. Many nonprofits operate on tight budgets and rely heavily on the generosity of individuals to sustain their programs, with many receiving a majority of their gifts in the last few weeks of the year. 

As the year concludes, many organizations are making critical decisions about their budgets and planning for the upcoming year. Your donation can make a significant difference in helping them reach their financial goals, ensuring the continuity and sustainability of their work. 

We know the act of giving itself can bring immense personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Knowing that you have played a role – no matter how small – in making a positive difference in the lives of others can be incredibly rewarding. It deepens the connection to your community and understanding of the shared responsibility we all have for its well-being. You will also receive a tax benefit when you contribute to a 501(c)(3) organization, allowing you to reduce your taxable income and, in turn, contribute more to the causes you care about! 

As the year draws to a close and we look forward to 2024, we hope the spirit of generosity will guide your actions and you will find joy in knowing your donation is making a life-changing difference. If you aren’t sure where to begin, reach out to me and my colleagues at ACT. We are ready and eager to help you give with purpose in big and small ways. 

On behalf of everyone at ACT, we wish you and all Alexandrians a joyful, peaceful and healthy holiday season! 

The writer is chief program officer at ACT for Alexandria.