Today begins our annual Holiday Gift Giving Guide. Over the next few days, we will share numerous articles on uncluttered giving that can be used this season. Most of these ideas also will apply to gift giving throughout the year, irrespective of the occasion.
In an article in the New York Times, Peter Post, great-grandson of etiquette expert Emily Post, states that donating to a charity in lieu of a tangible gift can be very meaningful — if it is done the right way. It is important to always think of the recipient instead of yourself when making the donation to a charity. What one person may consider a worthy cause might not resonate with someone else. A charitable donation gift should not be a way for the giver to advocate their ideals.
Two great websites that can help you choose a charity that will resonate with the recipient are Charity Watch and Charity Navigator. They both list organizations that funnel the majority of their donations into programs instead of administration.
Other local charities include:
- Food banks
- Hospital foundations
- Library foundations
- Homeless shelters
- Art centres
- Theatre groups
- Historical society archives
- Multi-cultural groups
Donations to charities as gifts may not suit family festivities, but your business could donate to a charity instead of sending clients the usual box of chocolates. Workplaces could skip the “Secret Santa” gift exchange and ask everyone to donate a bag of groceries to the local food bank instead.
If you do choose to donate to a charity, take the time to send or give the recipient a card. I like these blank greeting cards where I add my own holiday design and the logo of the charity as well as write a personalized note inside the card.
Have you donated to a charity in someone’s name? Would you do it again? Have the gifts been well received? Share your experiences in the comments.