Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Giving to Help Others

This is the time of year for giving and this usually extends to nonprofit organizations. Many nonprofits are feeling the slowdown in the economy. So giving to an organization that someone supports may be a great gift option. As time winds down this holiday season

Donation in someone's name- I'm thinking about getting some chicks through Heifer Int'l for my mom. Families in need around the world (and including parts of the US) receive animals appropriate for their area that can provide nutritional sustenance and/or financial opportunity with the ultimate goal of self reliance. After some time the recipient has to help their neighbors with a gift of animals, usually offspring of the original offspring. My mom's home country is on the list of countries served by this organization (though you can't designate where your money will go) and I think she would prefer this to a scarf.

Gift Cards- A newer option is gift cards for giving. The beauty of this is the recepient get's to choose where their money goes. I really like this idea to get kids interested and involved in giving. Some send actual plastic where others do online cards/emails. Looking around today I found: The Good Card, Tis Best, Charity Gift Certificates and JustGive. I haven't used any of these organizations myself, so you may want to do a quick search for reviews. The other caveat is to check out the fees because each organization charges a fee* of some sort, like most gift cards.

Buy from nonprofits- To increase their ability to bring in funds many nonprofits also produce products. A few things that come to mind are: cards from children's hospitals and Ten Thousand Villages. The other half of my mom's gift is going to be something from The Women's Bean Project. They work on breaking the cycle of poverty and unemployment, by providing jobs coupled with life skills training. In the process they produce soup, bread and cookie mixes that I've heard rave reviews about.

Whichever you choose add a little note about the good the gift can do in your town, state, or the world. I wouldn't give gifts because of this, but an added benefit is a tax deductions for the first two options for the gift giver.

*These pay for the staff, website, and other operational costs to offer the program.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I didn't know there were gift cards for charities--that's really cool. Thanks for the ideas!