Micah and I go back and forth sometimes on the philosophical significance of giving to charity in someone else’s name. He holds the view that the person handing over the cash is the giver, unless the “recipient” asked for it. And even then, it’s not the recipient’s money.
I’ve written before about combining birthday presents and giving through Kiva. A friend recently sent me another giving idea, the “Good card”. It’s run through the Network for Good, a site is set up to help you find and donate to charities.
It’s not surprising then, that they offer what is essentially a gift card.
Things I like about the Good card:
1. It lets the recipient pick the charity.
If you’re going to be giving to charity instead of getting a gift yourself, at least you can pick the charity. Handy for the giver as well, because there’s less pressure to find the recipient’s favorite charity. You can even split up the donation.
2. There are a LOT of charities to choose from.
Something for everyone. There aren’t the same limitations as normal store gift cards.
3. If you don’t use it, the money still does good.
One of my biggest peeves about gift cards is that they’re often not redeemed. I’ve probably let some $50 in odd change go unspent. But with this card, even if the person never uses it the money goes to a good place. Unredeemed money supports the Network for Good itself, which I believe to be a good operation. So you can’t lose. Unless you really really hate the Network for Good.
(And since you’re giving the money away, you can just give the whole thing at once instead of shopping…where objects are probably not priced $25.00 including tax. So you’re less likely to have leftovers anyway.)
I wish I’d written about this in time for Christmas. Even at the last minute, you could have sent out e-gift cards. Of course, there will be plenty of occasions to give throughout the year. One might even give these gift cards simply to share the joy of giving with friends.
There are a million creative ways to give out there. Let’s take advantage of them!