It’s hard to believe that spring is upon us!  This year, spring cleaning at my house will include a little spring decorating, as well. Nothing too fancy -- a couple fresh coats of paint and some new light fixtures. Easy, right?  Apparently, I had never really spent much time thinking about my light fixtures, and now, I have spent more time thinking about them than I should probably disclose.  

  • How many bulbs do I want?  Four.  So far, so good.  
  • Style?  No problem, I know what I like when I see it.  
  • Type of glass?  Frosted, alabaster, marbleized -- all fairly standard.  
  • Metal finish? Something in the chrome family.  Brushed.  No wait, polished.  Or non-brushed, non-polished, plain chrome.  How have I never noticed that the doorknobs are brushed, but the other room accessories are polished?  Now what?!?

So, I took to the Internet.  I polled my Facebook friends. I checked Pinterest and Houzz. I shopped online and read all the reviews.  Doing so, I learned that there are many more things to consider like damp installation, ease of mounting -- both of which I quickly determined were not top priorities, not to me.  (If you are reading this blog and think those things are critical, don’t bother, because I finally made my selections this weekend.)

Upon arriving at a comfortable combination of my own preferences, others’ experiences, and expert opinions, I decided what is important to me now, what might still be important to me for another couple of years, and even what might be important to the person who inherits these choices from me.  Based on these factors, I picked out my new light fixtures, and I feel satisfied -- happy even!  At the end of the day, they feel right.

Springtime brings decision-making to NCCF as well.  Our community grants program is accepting applications, with new cycles opening each week, and in April, our affiliate boards will begin meeting to make their community grant selections for the year.  Their decisions are far more significant than my light fixtures, but they involve a similar process.  What is a critical need in the community now?  What will continue to be important for another couple of years?  What might still be meaningful for years to come? 

Fortunately, our affiliate board members are strong, knowledgeable community leaders. They are aware of the needs of their communities, and if they need additional information, they know exactly who to ask.  They examine all of the relevant factors and determine their grantmaking priorities.  This year, maybe hunger projects warrant a particular emphasis, or maybe general operating support for local nonprofits.  Perhaps there will be an intentional balance between grants to established organizations and new ones.  

Whatever the case may be, our affiliate board members carefully review applications and make decisions that are sometimes more difficult than they would like them to be in order to ensure good stewardship of their funds.  We are so grateful for their thoughtful consideration, and we are already looking forward to this year’s selections!  

If you know of a nonprofit within our affiliate network that might be interested in applying, please review the information on the local affiliate page.  You can search our affiliates here.

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