With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to think of giving. Surrounded by so many options, it’s hard to pick out an individual, personalized gift that you know your loved one will appreciate. Instead of going with a mainstream gift this year, why not give a gift that gives back? Choosing to donate to a non-profit charity on behalf of a loved one is an option that can help change someone’s life, and make you and your relative feel good about the difference you’ve made.
What is “Honorary Giving” and How Does it Work?
Honorary donations are a one-time sum of money given by you on behalf of someone else.
Honorary donations can be easily purchased on companies’ websites through a simple process that allows you to choose the donor and the amount of money you wish to donate. Once you give your honorary donation, the organization will send a certificate to the honorary donor, letting them know that you’ve donated for them.
Many companies also send yearly updates letting your loved one know what your donation money went to and the difference it has made, so that feel-good feeling lasts beyond just the holiday season.
Kiva is a non-profit organization that helps fight poverty through loans. Kiva allows the donor to choose the recipient of his/her donation and provides a biography on all people who are currently in need of a donation through Kiva and its partners around the world.
Kiva offers an option called the Kiva Card, which allows the recipient to choose the borrowers to support. What’s really unique about the Kiva Card, though, is that the borrower will pay back the loan the Kiva Card owner has given; this money goes back onto the Kiva Card and can be used again and again to help different people in need. Talk about a gift that doesn’t stop giving!
Oxfam is an organization that helps to fight poverty and injustice around the world. There are 17 organizations in Oxfam, and their influence spreads across 90 countries.
When donating to Oxfam, you can personalize your donation by browsing their Oxfam Unwrapped catalogues. Instead of just giving money, you can choose directly what you want to donate — a goat or cow, for example. The different gifts in the catalogue come with descriptions about how they will help those in need, and your loved one will receive a certificate telling them how their gift has helped others as well.
The ASPCA helps to fight animal abuse and rescue stray animals. The ASPCA offers the option of Honor Gifts that allow the giver to select the amount they wish to donate. After the donation is given, the ASPCA will mail a certificate to honorary donor letting them know that they’ve helped save animals’ lives.
Sophomore Olivia Nourie was given an Honor Gift for Christmas last year and loves the idea of it.
“It just made me feel like I was making a difference. I feel like a gift like this, whether or not it’s to animals or people in need, reminds us of what the holidays are really supposed to be about,” Nourie said. “It just made me more thankful for what I have, and I knew that it was actually helping save lives.”
Photo by Shantelle Williams