Since its inception, the fund has given more than $3 million in grants to local organizations.
The holiday fund strives to reach out into corners of the community that often go unnoticed. It has supported DreamCatchers' tutoring program in expanding a healthy-eating program for low-income Palo Alto middle school students and groups like Breast Cancer Connections in providing free screening and diagnostic services for low-income, at-risk women and men.
"The donations by residents and businesses help foster positive change to make the Palo Alto area a better place for all," said Bill Johnson, founder and publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly.
Grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 were awarded to 55 organizations in 2012.
The holiday fund is a partnership with Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
The money raised last year included an anonymous $100,000 donation from a Palo Alto family foundation. The gift was the largest donation ever received by the Holiday Fund.
Each tax-deductible gift that the Weekly's readers make is doubled due to matching grants from local foundations, including the Packard and Hewlett foundations and the Peery and Arrillaga family foundations. Administrative costs are absorbed by the Weekly, so 100 percent of each donation goes to the nonprofit organizations, which will be chosen early next year.
People may donate to this year's Holiday Fund online through www.PaloAltoOnline.com/holidayfund.
The campaign runs through early January 2012.