I've read a couple of articles lately about how charitable donations have become far more popular options for Christmas presents over the past year or two. Rather than navigate through malls looking for something to catch the eye, people are becoming more attracted to either donating to a cause on behalf of a loved one, or to "adopting" an animal from an organization such as the WWF.
Changing The Present seeks to make it easier by gathering all your options under one roof. And they offer other ideas as to when that mentality can come into play. It doesn't have to be just at Christmas time.
Race For Your Cause: All right, not everyone runs marathons regularly just for the sheer hell of it. Anytime I've been involved in anything even resembling this, it's been for a specific cause. But someone who does run a marathon "because it's there" can use Changing The Present to raise funds for a pet cause.
Facebook Gift Giving: Considering the sheer volume of people who have Facebook memberships, and who constantly send requests to add various applications to one's page, this one could do a lot of good! Basically...
Changing the world, one gift at a time
Now, you can give gifts to your friends that also make the world a better place.
ChangingThePresent offers nearly 1,000 meaningful $1 gifts from hundreds of leading nonprofits, so you're sure to find something that moves you. For instance, you can contribute towards providing a child with her first book; funding an hour of cancer research; protecting an acre of the rain forest; or restoring a blind person's sight with cataract surgery.
Your gifts will appear on your friends’ profile pages when they add the application.
And finally (though not necessarily leastly):
Create a Registry: If you have a forthcoming event for which people are expected to buy gifts, you could direct them to making a donation to a personal favourite charity/cause. Weddings naturally come to mind first when the term "registry" is used, but you can apply it to any significant event.
Whether you're the person donating or suggesting the donation, if you're unsure about the organization to which the donation would be applied, you can always check with Charity Navigator to get a better feel for whether they're a worthy recipient.