Gift income is invaluable to the Naval Institute's educational goals. Please take a minute before year's end to make a tax-deductible contribution to support your Naval Institute. If you've already made a gift, thank you—and we would be grateful if you'd consider making another. Donations postmarked by 31 December, 2008 (and received within the first week of January 2009) are eligible as a deduction from your 2008 taxes. 
It is easy to make a gift using Visa, MasterCard, or American Express at the Institute's website, www.usni.org  (click on " Support USNI  " in the left margin). You can charge a gift over the phone by calling Helen McMickle at (410) 295-1052. Gifts by cash, check or charge can be sent to the Naval Institute Foundation at 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD, 21402.
A reminder: the Pension Protection Act of 2006 allows individuals 70 1/2 and older to make tax-exempt charitable contributions up to $100,000 directly from their IRA to the Naval Institute, but the transaction must be made by 31 December 2008. This could be advantageous to many IRA holders because it satisfies the minimum qualified distribution rule, and the contributed amount is deducted from the adjusted gross income and, therefore, tax-exempt. 
Growing Pains 
The Naval Institute is in the midst of making major improvements to its membership database. When completed in early 2009, the changes will allow us to provide significantly improved service. The transition is going well, but has not been without its glitches. For example, in a recent mailing, a database error caused us mistakenly to list the wrong service branch for a number of Members. If your letter contained this sort of error, we apologize. The problem is being fixed—but we can use your help. If you continue to receive mail from the Institute with inaccurate contact information, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org  , or by calling (800) 233-USNI (8764) toll-free and pressing #1 for Membership Services. We appreciate your patience while we are improving the process!
'Tis the Season 
Our sincere thanks to all who have so generously supported the Naval Institute in 2008. Please accept our best wishes for the holiday season and throughout the new year. Your Naval Institute family is eager to continue serving your interests in 2009.