Thanks for being a part of this week's charity posts. The holidays are certainly a busy time and it can be hard to find time to volunteer for a group, so here and now make a promise to yourself that your New Year's Resolution will be to contact a charity in 2010 and set time aside for helping out in person, myself included.
As of today there are 3 weeks left until gift giving and you want to finish this year out on a good hand full of donations and would love to give a donation as a gift to someone. There are a few ways to do that.
Give a Charity Gift Card - Both GlobalGiving and Charity Navigator have ways you can give a gift of money but still help out a charity.
To quote Charity Navigator, "You Choose the Amount ... They Choose the Cause"
To quote GlobalGiving, "The recipient gets to choose how the donation is allocated, and then see how their money has been put to work."
Shopping for a Good Cause - If gift cards aren't personal enough for you, you can buy at many charity organizations and the money helps to support the cause.
St. Jude Children's Hospital Store - The ads have been on tv lately and still are, and you don't have to donate money but can shop at their store to get something more personal
UNICEF shop - Purchases at this store benefit children around the world
Philosophy.com - Purchase skin care, fragrance, bath& body and makeup and still help charities.
Fuzzy-Good Holiday Cards - If you are all done for gift shopping and just need to sent holiday cards that are for a good cause you can try Treegreetings. They plant a tree in the USA or Central America and the recipient receives your e-card and a tree planting certificate. If you prefer animals to trees then you can go to Reproduct.net and "The card is sent to the recipient in a two-way envelope (think “Netflix”). Once the recipient is done with the card, they simply place it in the postage paid return portion of the envelope and it is sent to Shaw Industries where 100% of the card is re-used in the manufacturing of new carpet tiles." Here is a demo
One thing to keep in mind no matter how or where you donate to make sure you aren't being scammed and you can also check out the charity with the following sites. You may want to check a couple to get a more rounded idea of them. Plus you may find other charities that you weren't aware of.
Charity Navigator - love the comments section
US BBB for charities