With less than three weeks to Christmas, many of us are still scrambling to make last-minute purchases of gifts for our friends and family. You’d be surprised how much people actually spend on Christmas gifts – an average of $830, according to research discussed by World Atlas. Many would say that spending so much on Christmas presents is unrealistic, and that you’re better off giving your money to charity than spending it on gifts that you’re not sure the recipient will be using anyway, but here’s the thing: it’s possible to get your Christmas presents, and still give to charitable causes at the same time.
It’s all a matter of knowing where to look, and which items to purchase. Many brands these days have already taken a renewed approach to corporate social responsibility, and often have put measures in place so that their consumers can give to charity through them, especially in the Christmas season. Here are some ways to make sure your Christmas presents are charitable this year:
1. Buy from a Charity Auction
Not only is this a good way to make sure that your money goes to charity, it’s also a great way to get limited-edition pieces from your favourite designers. Two years ago, fourteen London-based fashion labels, which included Burberry and Alexander McQueen, came together to design sweaters for Britain’s Office of Charity’s organization, Save the Children’s Woolly Big Text Auction. It was also part of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper day, where people wear holiday sweaters to raise awareness and funding for the organization. The auction lasted a whole month, where “Consumers [could] bid on individual sweaters by texting in the name of a designer. Each bid [cost] $2.44... In a twist on the typical auction, the lowest unique bid [won] the prize.” These charity auctions are always happening around this time of year, and it’s a great way to find unique gifts and still give back.
2. Find a Brand that Donates Part of Proceeds to Charity
This is perhaps the easiest form of charity you can find, as many brands often run promotions in which a portion of their proceeds gets donated to a charity. In October, Woman Within did this in cooperation with the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, donating proceeds from every bra bought in their shop to the said foundation. Some brands are putting a twist on this, however, and standing out among them is Miki Moko, a designer eyewear brand that, surprisingly, allows you to decide how much you want to pay for your frames, and then donates 50% of your dictated price to the Nepal Youth Foundation. There are many other brands that run promotions similar to these, and they can help assure that your money goes to better causes.
3. Buy Directly from Charity
If you would rather ensure that all of your money goes to charity, there are several foundations that have already put up shops in which all of the proceeds go straight to their charitable efforts. Oxfam is a prime example, as they carry a range of different gifts that could be perfect for any of your friends and family, but also have “Charity Gifts”, in which in you make a donation to a certain Oxfam project in the recipient’s name. The gift can also come with some cute and delicious Fairtrade chocolates or wine, or even other merchandise. This is a unique way to make sure your gift is charitable, and that it actually embodies the spirit of Christmas and the sacrifice of giving. There are plenty of other charitable foundations with their own stores out there, and it’s just a matter of finding one that you support wholeheartedly.