Gifting Outside The Box

Do I already have plenty of stuff? Yes. Do I care deeply about a cause and want to make a difference? Yes. Am I looking forward to opening brightly colored boxes with my name on them? Absolutely.

This year, since money is tight – I’m approaching the holidays in a different way. Many of my friends and family members like opening tangible gifts so I’m putting together “packages” they’ll enjoy and including charity too!

 

Charitable gifts don’t have to be all or nothing.

I care about making charitable giving a part of everyday life. (That’s why I choose to work at JustGive.) During the holidays, I know people want to wrap (and unwrap) presents. And I know we really want to give gifts that make our recipients’ faces light up.

Whether we participate or not, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 24 hour deals, and last minute doorbusters are here to stay — through financial highs and lows. And I appreciate good deals just as much as the next person. But I also think there are clever ways to embrace both ways of giving, with gift thoughtful, personal gift packages. Giving smiles and making the world better at the same time:

– Have a foodie friend? A box of gourmet treats, or dinner at a new restaurant is made meaningful when paired with a donation to the recipient’s local food bank (find local charities here).

– Shopping for the handyman in the family? When you wrap up the power tools and fix-it gadgets, include a donation to Habitat for Humanity.

– If you buy a Christmas tree this year, consider giving to the Arbor Day Foundation. $10 is all it takes to plant 10 trees in a National forest.

– Pay it forward and donate some the money you saved shopping for the best deals. Buy a GiveNow Charity Gift Card and your recipient can easily choose from more than 1.8 million charities to support their favorite cause. For as little as $15*, you can give a great stocking stuffer, hostess or teacher gift that makes a big impact.

 

Do you plan on giving to charity in combination with a traditional gift?

We’d love to hear about it! Share your ideas with us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

* GiveNow charity gift cards never expire and are available in any quantity. Minimum fees apply.

Giving Back on Father’s Day

Visit www.justgive.org for Father's Day Gifts

Honoring the Men who Made Us Who We Are

I was eight years old when my father stepped back on the wrestling mat after more than twenty years. His first opponent turned out to be one of the best wrestlers in the high school’s history, a hulking, punishing, future Marine. That matchup was no mistake; it was a trial by fire.

He made it through that first day and kept going until I graduated from high school. He was 55. His choice to throw his hat onto the mat was a formative experience for me; coming with him to practices and matches, watching him interact with my boyhood heroes. Looking back what really influenced me was his passion for the sport and for life.

The Gift that Says More

This Father’s Day I want to show my father how much his exuberance for life influenced me. And a tie just won’t do. That’s why I’m dedicating a donation to Beat the Streets in his honor.

Beat the Streets funds a program that is expanding wrestling into urban New York areas for middle school and high school students who otherwise would not be exposed to the world’s oldest sport. Wrestling builds confidence and capabilities for young people and helps them develop mental toughness and work ethics. These inherent requirements are critical to success in every sport as well as to success in academics and to success in life.

I learned about Beat the Streets when they were promoting their annual gala. Each year, Beat the Streets celebrates wrestling with some of the thousands of students whose lives they’ve touched. This year their Main Event was conducted on the deck of the USS Intrepid with over 1,200 people witnessing some of the nation’s top wrestlers including several wrestlers from Beat the Streets.

Athletes of all shapes and sizes can excel and enjoy wrestling. And all can benefit from the physical activity, strength and healthy self-esteem that come along with the sport.

My father was never a coach, never paid, and never came back excited that he was able to beat a wrestler. He was patient, helpful, and enthusiastic with every wrestler. His team’s wins and losses mattered in the moment, but they weren’t held onto with ego or regret. My father wrestled because he loved the sport. That passion is what I carry with me every day, and what I want to give back.

Donate Now to a charity your Dad cares most about. Add a personal message and we’ll take care of all the delivery details, if you like. Every gift made through JustGive can be designated as a memorial gift—the perfect way to honor and remember your Dad if he has passed.

Don’t know what charity your Dad is passionate about? Personalize a GiveNow charity gift card your Dad can redeem to give to his favorite charity.

Visit us on Facebook and tell us about a charity that reminds you of your Dad!

Mothers Day

I am a daughter, a grand-daughter, a niece, and hopefully someday a mother. I owe so much of who I am today and who I hope to become, to the love and guidance of my Mom, Grandma and Aunt. They are the women who made countless PB&J sandwiches for a very picky eater (“no crust please”), put band-aids on scraped knees, gave advice on love (and broken hearts), cheered through tears during college graduation, and helped paint the walls of new homes. Through their love, they taught me compassion and empathy. What child didn’t hear “there are starving children in …” as a plea to eat peas? Sorry Mom, I still don’t like peas.

One of the greatest lessons I learned is that giving really does feel better than receiving. Especially now, when times are hard for all, I know how giving even a little can mean so much for so many.

This Mother’s Day I want to thank all the “Moms” in my life with gifts that help others—giving back, in special ways, to honor how they have helped shape my life.

  • I was a late bloomer to the love of reading, but Grandma never stopped encouraging me to find joy in books. For all the stories Grandma read to help me sleep at night, I’m donating to First Book. A $25 donation buys 10 books for first time readers. For $50, a family in need will receive enough books for a year of bedtime.
  • My Aunt is passionate about supporting her local food bank. She lives by the saying “think globally and act locally.” JustGive lets me quickly find and donate to local charities. Or, I can donate $35 to Share our Strength to feed a child three meals a day for more than a month. For $75, Action Against Hunger will supply a family of four with grains and other food staples for two weeks.
  • Home is where the heart is. My Mom struggled with housing when I was young, but always made me feel at home. More than anyone I know, she taught me to give back to others because you never know when you will need help. In her name, a $10 donation to Habitat for Humanity will buy a box of nails for building a home.

You can find the perfect charitable gift for all the “Moms” in your life on JustGive.org, which connects you to nearly 1.5 million charities working throughout the world. Or, if you’d prefer to let your Mom choose a charity helping a cause she is passionate about, you can give her a GiveNow charity gift card.

Pass this idea along to friends and family. After all, didn’t Mom always say we should share?

Be in love. Be inspired.

weddings

Celebrate love this spring

Days are getting warmer, flowers are in bloom, and love is in the air! Spring is a time for fresh, new beginnings, perfect for weddings. From favors and gifts, to invites and cakes, couples want echo-chic and budget-friendly wedding ideas that reflect their lives together. JustGive’s Wedding Center has plenty of tips and ideas for sharing the love—not just with friends and family—but the world.

Give the perfect, personal and meaningful wedding gift … even on a budget

With nearly 1.5 million charities on JustGive, it’s a cinch to make a donation to the couple’s favorite. Not sure which one to choose? The easy-to-use JustGive Guide features 1,000 national charities grouped into 19 categories. Add a personal message and JustGive will send an email to the couple saying you donated on their behalf (earth-friendly and the perfect last minute gift!)—or print the confirmation and enclose it in their congratulations card.

A gift that gives twice. Personalize a GiveNow charity gift card and let the newlyweds choose the charity together. JustGive offers online gift cards which can be printed or emailed as well as physical gift cards we will send to the couple in the mail.

Does the couple love animals, big and small? Or are they passionate about inspiring and educating children? Purchase a Gift Collection of four charities that support a cause you know is close to their hearts.

Plan a wedding that makes a difference

Recently engaged or have soon-to-be-married friends? JustGive’s Wedding Center offers all you need to make charity more a part of this special day.

  • Customize a charitable Wedding Registry and inspire guests to give to the charities that mean the most to you both. JustGive keeps track of gifts and notifies you when donations are made, so thank-you notes are a breeze!

  • Honor or remember loved ones by making a charitable gift in lieu of favors. Shara S., of Pennsylvania, loved the idea of wedding favors as a charitable way to help others. She thought using JustGive was hassle-free and “so worth it,” saying it “beat any mints, picture frame, or wine stopper you can buy.”

Love these ideas? Share them with others and celebrate love in an earth-friendly and budget-savvy way this spring.