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A unique and charitable approach to Xmas gifts

While charity Xmas catalogues with the usual mix of standard fare of cards, wrapping paper and other charity branded goods have been around for a long time it was good to see a very innovative and I hope successful (well at least it got me buying when I normally rarely do) approach by CARE International last December.

Their brochure was a list of items from the very inexpensive to the more expensive (a bucket for £9, a bike for £38, to a cow for £225). As you may have gathered these were not for your favourite relatives at home, but instead the opportunity to buy for specific use in certain overseas locations in need of such charitable gifts. Each item was accompanied by a short article and picture on how the gift would be effectively used in a poor overseas country location, goats or pigs, water filtration units and mosquito nets all making easy improvements to health and the quality of life. On making any purchase you were then provided with a donors card so that you could choose to send to the favourite relative explaining that this year how the price of their gift had been donated to a more worthwhile cause!

I hope CARE repeats the exercise next year and other charities (especially those involved in developing countries) consider following the example in what seemed to be another good example of “focus” (refer my earlier blog on this issue) in showing excellent application of how directly donor’s funds are then used.

P.S. I made earlier criticism in my first ever blog of how certain charities were not very transparent or smart on sales of charity Xmas cards – congratulations then to YWCA of England & Wales who this year made clear that their arrangements resulted in their receiving 51% of the purchase of Xmas cards sold to their charity. Hopefully more will follow this lead.

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