Today’s guest post is from Chelsea Iverson.
If you will be giving to charity this holiday season or are considering making a personalized and meaningful donation on behalf of someone you love, you’re not alone.
Holiday giving is a tradition that combines the Scrooge-inspired spirit of Christmas with generous year-end-tax breaks. Each year, charitable organizations around the world receive millions from contributors during the holiday season. It seems that the tougher the economic times, the more dedicated we are to helping those who are most vulnerable. According to the Red Cross, 68% of Americans believe that it is especially important to give to charity this year due to poor economic conditions, and 79% of Americans admit that they would prefer to receive a charitable gift in their honor than a present they would not use this holiday season.
Two years ago, when my father asked that we donate to a meaningful charity in lieu of giving him a Christmas present, I immediately knew I wanted to donate to an organization that would save the world’s trees. My father loves trees. He loves their resilience, their fortitude and their ability to withstand so much human destruction. Overwhelmed with all the charitable organizations out there, I wondered how to select the most impactful, the most meaningful organization and how to be confident that my donation was going directly to saving trees.
Through my experience looking for a charitable gift in honor of my father, I discovered that there are so many charitable organizations spreading so much hope all over the world, and deciding where to give can be difficult.
UniversalGiving offers a tool that helps you find gift packages – from thousands of charitable organizations – suited to your loved ones. This tool helps ease your concerns about choosing a trustworthy organization and provides clear gift amounts that allow you to see what your gift will actually achieve.
Saving trees is just the beginning. There are over 400 gift packages available on UniversalGiving.org, which means you will be able to find a charitable gift package for all your loved ones. To give a gift package in honor of family members, friends or colleagues, begin by thinking about their interests, concerns and cares, and search for the gift package that best suits them. UniversalGiving’s pre-packaged gifts make it easy to see where your gift is going and who the beneficiaries are. Here are some examples of the gift packages that are offered:
For the teacher in your life:
Give $25 to give an impoverished child in the US a pair of eyeglasses so he or she can see the blackboard and succeed in school.
For the cook in your life:
Give $50 to provide an in-school meal to a hungry child for an entire school year.
For the doctor or nurse in your life:
Give $350 to supply one clinic in rural Bolivia with all the needed equipment to serve a population with no access to health care.
UniversalGiving screens non-profits for you with their Quality Model™ standard, so you can be assured that your gift will go to a top-performing organization. You want to do as much good as possible, and since UniversalGiving takes nothing from your donation through their website, you don’t have to worry.
When I was searching online for a charity for my father, I wished that I had better options for sorting through the abundance of organizations that help save our planet’s trees. I needed an organized catalogue of charitable organizations that I could easily search by cause and have the confidence that my gift was making the greatest possible impact.
This year, I think I’ll help reforest Haiti in my father’s honor. Thanks to UniversalGiving’s gift packages, I know my gift will go directly to support the cause he believes in so much.
For more ideas on holiday giving, a live online discussion, hosted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Christian Science Monitor, will be held on December 6.
Chelsea Iversen is a San Francisco-based freelance writer. She works with non-profit organizations to strengthen their messaging and communications. You can contact Chelsea at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.writegenuine.com.