Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Out of the Box Holiday Gifts: 5 Tips for Charity

Charitable giving demonstrates your compassion and enthusiasm for a good cause. During holiday gift exchanges, this compassion and enthusiasm can be shared with your family and friends. Incorporating charitable giving in your out of the box holiday gift giving can give special meaning and importance to the meaning of the season. When you give an out of the box gift, you cannot use a cardboard box or wrapping paper. Anything material at all is not allowed. With that in mind, here are some ideas on how you can share a charitable gift as part of your gift exchange this year.

1. Donate your time to a local charitable group, together with your gift recipient. This charitable gift helps out a local charity, as well as provide you and your friend some quality time together.

2. Give money to a charitable group and have them recognize person you are giving the gift to, in stead of recognizing you. If you give a really big gift, they might name something after your gift recipient. If you give a small amount, the charity may be willing to write a thank you note directly to the gift recipient. Talk to your friend about the charity, why you feel it is so important, and why you donated in their name.

3. Give a monthly donation to a charity in the name of the gift recipient. Often, charities that are setup to accept gifts in this manner will send monthly updates of their charitable work, sometimes individualized update but more often a regular newsletter. Have the charity send the newsletter to the person you are exchanging gifts with, but leave your name as the person to contact for a subscription next year.

4. Spend time with the person you are exchanging gifts with, and identify a charity that they are really interested in. A good place to start your research is Charity Navigator which provides are large listing of charities and some important information about what they do.

5. Make up your own charity with your friend. Together you can help an elderly or disabled person in your neighborhood do some yard work, or shovel some snow. It could even be a relative. Or perhaps you could, without any advance notice, cook up a casserole for a neighbor that is recovering from an illness. The important things to remember are to do the charitable work with your gift recipient, and deliver it together.

These simple ideas can help you include charitable giving as an out of the box holiday gift. It is important to try your best to tailor the gift and make it uniquely special to the gift recipient. You will share with them your passion while together sharing in the spirit of the season.