Here we are again, closing in on the finish line of another year, eyes fixed on the future while glancing over our shoulders for one more look at the year gone by, as always wondering, “Where did the time go?”

Each of us will take our personal experiences of 2017 into the new year, but together we’ll share memories of a year that saw more than its share of hardships for many, but also plenty of reasons for hope, as one report after another highlighted the generosity of donors and the positive impact of nonprofits, close to home and around the world.

For a time, much of the news, and the focus of the nonprofit world, was centered on the string of devastating hurricanes — punctuated by Harvey, Irma and Maria — and the urgent need for humanitarian relief along with long-term rebuilding efforts. Deadly and destructive California wildfires, and an earthquake in Mexico, were among other natural disasters that were lessons in vulnerability, resilience and our essential giving nature. They all highlight the importance of neighbors, nonprofits, and of preparing for the next time — because if the past year taught us nothing else, it proved there will be a next time.

The start of the year brought huge changes to Washington, and at the end of the year, a tax overhaul plan with the potential to have a major impact on charities was finalized. Here in New Jersey, 2018 will bring a new administration to Trenton. We will continue to stay up-to-date on state and national goings-on, and what they mean to the field of philanthropy, in order to offer trusted advice to our clients.

We’re proud to say that in 2017 we also shared our insights and expertise with the general public, as local and national media featured The Munshine Group’s take on trending topics. When the hurricanes hit, CBS News interviewed us to get the best advice for both nonprofits and donors in the wake of the storms. When impressive numbers were released showing the record amount individuals in this country donate to nonprofits, NJ Spotlight published our op-ed on the engine that drives American charity. And when #GivingTuesday rolled around, The Star-Ledger and ran our piece busting five myths about philanthropy, helping guide donors in making smart decisions, and highlighting the vital role of charities.

Some special events during the year gave us a chance to learn, share and grow as we connected with many nonprofits. Members of our team attended AFPNYC’s Fundraising Day in New York in June, where The Munshine Group was a sponsor. We also sponsored and presented at The Center for Nonprofit’s “Power in Numbers” 2017 New Jersey Conference. We took part in a nonprofit workshop led by Sally Glick of Sobel & Co., and were on hand for the Annual Philanthropy Day held by AFPNY’s Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter. Our team came away from each of these events energized and even more impressed by the hard work and accomplishments of the nonprofit professionals we were privileged to meet.

Speaking of our team, we’re happy to say it grew this year, as more talented, passionate pros joined The Munshine Group, expanding our range and strengthening  what we offer to our clients. We are pleased to say that list grew, too!

We look forward to more opportunities and achievements in 2018, ever mindful that the most important piece of it all is people — the people on our team, the people at the nonprofit organizations who engage us, and the people whose lives are improved by the work we help support.

As our Thanksgiving message this year said, “At The Munshine Group, our greatest satisfaction comes from partnering with clients who are helping to make the world a better place. In this season of giving thanks, we want to offer our gratitude for all you do in the community, and extend our very best wishes.”

That message is true whatever the season, and we want to add our wishes for happy holidays, a Happy New Year, and a wonderful 2018!