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A new way of giving this Christmas

Christmas is a time for family, friends and fun, a time for giving. Sometimes we get what we want, and sometimes it can be a bit touch and go. Finding the right present for your loved ones can be difficult, now disruptive social businesses are making giving a little bit easier, providing not only great gift ideas but ones that either support charitable work here and overseas.

There has been a push for alternate gift-giving options for a while now. Many charities and not-for-profits offer donations in the name of  your loved ones to make a real impact this Christmas. Through the Plan International online store, you can support a family in South Sudan, or provide breakfast for a year for a child in Cambodia for less than $50. Or Start Some Good, a crowdfunding platform for international development focused organisations. Pretty amazing to think so much good can come from just a click of a button!

Recently we have seen reports indicating a shift away from donation to value-exchange gifts. Rather than a donation, campaigns are offering a gift or reward in return for the contribution. This shift is opening up an entirely new way of giving, and providing a different revenue stream for social enterprises to continue to fund the work they are doing to help the lives of those in need. We have seen that the money you would normally spend on a gift is instead going to help a social business. For example, rather than buying a plush toy, you can “adopt” an endangered animal with WWF, receive a plush toy and support their conservation efforts at the same time.

... shift from donations to value-exchange (reward) transactions begins to disrupt models of giving.
— http://theconversation.com/five-ways-to-spend-with-more-social-purpose-this-christmas-69772

Oxfam has shops both online and bricks + mortar that sells fair trade and eco-conscious products ranging from Christmas cards to homewares and even goats. Similarly, Pollinate Energy has solar lights available for purchase. These lights are great for camping and the proceeds from every light sold go directly to the work they do with the poorest people living in slums in India.

Thankyou.co make excellent products including body and baby care. Their products are simple and every cent goes towards ending global poverty and helping those in need. The best thing is that you can “Track your impact” and see exactly how your purchases affect change in the world. They’ve even created gift packs for you, just for Christmas!

Good On You is a collaborative initiative to bring consumer awareness and purchasing power together. By researching and rating different companies products and practices, they provide a platform to do better for people and the planet. With regular blogs and reviews, Good On You provides a lot of information to customers so you can make informed decisions this Christmas, and shop for impact. This year they have

Choosing how and where you spend your money this Christmas can have a hugely disruptive impact not only directly on the lives of the people social enterprises help, but also to the retail industry itself. You can now vote with your dollar and make pro-social choices that benefit you, your friends and family and people all over the world.

Do you have an idea for a social enterprise or business that benefits others, but aren't sure how to get it off the ground? Maybe one of our Accelerator programs can help you find your way, for more information click here.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!