10 last minute ‘good gifts’

‘Tis the season where nonprofit organizations try to meet the holiday giving rush with equally fervent energy. With only hours before the holiday, here are some quick & easy things you can do and give…all that spread cheer and help others.

(In full disclosure- some are connected to the org/issue I work with)

1. Use your tweeting power for good

Do a quick Twitter contest to build awareness for causes and see what happens. (Thanks @PeteThePlanner)

2.Find someone who needs help

Help someone directly like Ann Richards did. Kids and adults – make sure you are careful, appropriate, and respectful with this…

3. Add some ‘good’ to a normal gift

For example buy homeless kids the things they need for their education in honor of someone, then gift “Pursuit of Happiness” with a note about what you did. Or two sweaters, one for grandpa and one for the shelter down the street.

4. Commit to giving in February

Many organizations see a strong ‘uptick’ in December when everyone feels the holiday season and want their tax deductions.  Set a reminder on your calendar to donate to your charity of choice in February and July when they might need it most.

5. Use what you’ve got

Don’t have cash to donate? What do you have? Rocky & Zach at 12 Stars Media do video and do it well. So we had some fun and raised some awareness together.

6. “Gift” your brand

Give a few minutes of your time and your personal/business brand and blog about the awesomeness of a nonprofit you’re involved in – awareness is a great gift.

7. Give the gift of memory

The online-giving options of most charities include an option to make a gift ‘in honor’ or ‘in memory’ of someone.   If your family or friends lost someone recently, make a gift in their name, shoot them a note and light a candle Christmas eve to remember their missed presence around the tree.

8. Plan for cause-marketing

If you help run a business (large or small) include giving back as a serious part of your marketing plan for 2011.  Get creative and sell candles that smell like your best product. Not only does it make you and your company look good, it does good. For more ideas, see the best & worst of 2010.

9. Make a real “greeting card”

Didn’t get your standard cards out yet w/ the pretty picture and you’re wondering if they work as a ‘New Year’s Card’? Make a quick personal video card for that friend a few miles away – the personal part is what’s best.

10. Resolve to do more good in 2011

“I _______ resolve to help more people and causes I care about in 2011.  I commit to increasing my personal and/or business philanthropy in both time and resources knowing that together, we can make a difference for those in need.” Then tell the world about it so we can keep you accountable…and no quitting in February.

Agree? Disagree? Something to add?

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