The Motley Fool is celebrating 15 Years of Foolishness. Grab your party hats and relive a decade and a half of education, amusement, and enrichment.

This month, The Motley Fool is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Perhaps the most important part of Fooldom is our rich and vast online community. In fact, it was an online community -- America Online's -- that led to The Motley Fool as you know it in the first place. Long ago, Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner were actively participating in early discussion boards on AOL. They answered a lot of financial questions and soon attracted a following. The next thing they knew, AOL offered them a dedicated nook in the AOL personal finance area. The rest is history.

To really appreciate the power of community, think of The Donner Party -- the ill-fated group of 87 travelers heading west in the mid-1800s. Roughly half of the group of travelers ended up dying, largely because they followed a "shortcut" promoted by someone. That calls to mind the many people out there eager to tell you how to get rich quickly, often by buying something from them. Meanwhile, what often saves us, and what could have saved the Donners, is the power of community. If we read online about someone's experience wasting $3,000 on a silly seminar, or how someone lost almost $60,000 buying stocks on margin, we'll be less likely to make the same mistakes. If the Donners had been able to tap reports filed by previous travelers, they'd have been able to follow the most successful paths.

On board!
Our discussion boards feature thousands of conversations on myriad topics. They've helped people pay off tens of thousands of dollars of debt, find great investments, come together to raise money for the needy, make new friends, and tile their kitchen floors. If you haven't yet spent some time hanging out on our discussion boards, you're missing a lot.

Look over our directory, and you'll find boards on all sorts of topics, such as the following:

  • Hobbies like Astronomy, Photography, General Aviation, Card & Board Games, Genealogy, Gardening, Computer Games, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, Beer, Great Movies, Television Banter, and Recipes/Cooking.
  • Social groups like Great Movies, Single Fools, African-American Fools, Pet Lovers, Retired Fools, Gay Out Loud Proud, Military Fools, Vegetarian and Vegan Fools, and Parents & Expecting Parents.
  • Help boards like Death & Grieving, Help with This STUPID Computer!, Quitting Smoking, Fools Fighting Fat, Foolish Golf Tips, Divorce, Surviving Cancer, and Adoption.
  • Fun boards like Humor & Urban Legends, Political Asylum, and Living Below Your Means.

We've got scads of investing-related boards, too, of course -- on topics such as low-P/E stocks, retirement investing, real estate, biotechnology, managing your portfolio, mutual funds, preferred stocks, value investing, reading financial statements, and jargon. Here are direct links to hundreds of nifty boards on money and other topics.

We have a dedicated discussion board for almost any stock you can think of. Interested in Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)? On its board, you'll learn about recent acquisitions and analyst opinions. On the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) board, you'll learn about the recent MacBook Pro release. On the Evergreen Solar (NASDAQ:ESLR) board, you'll find information on how silicon prices affect the company. On the Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) board, you can read about declining profit margins, while on the Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) board, you'll always find board denizens discussing the stock's merits.

Beyond boards
Our commitment to building community goes beyond discussion boards. For a decade now, we've been raising money for some amazing organizations via our Foolanthropy campaigns. Together with our many readers like you, we've raised more than $3 million!

We also have our ground-breaking stock-rating service, CAPS, where thousands of participants weigh in on thousands of stocks. It's a great place to see what the market thinks of your stocks, or to see what some outstanding investors like right now.

From our earliest days, The Motley Fool has been all about sharing information within a powerful community. With the help of readers like you, we've built a sum that's considerably greater than its parts. Thank you for your participation -- and we hope to see you sticking around. Here's to the next 15 years!

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. CROCS is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.