Holiday retail sales bounced back last year and are expected to turn even higher this year, while charitable giving has not done as well. In fact, according to barna.org, 41% of people have cut back on their charitable donations this year.
Americans spent more than $470 billion in just two months of holiday shopping in 2011, while total 2011 charitable giving amounted to $347 billion.
Don’t get me wrong – I am pro-capitalism. But I think that Americans should be giving at least as much to charity as they are spending on holiday gifts. So, we started a program called Holiday For Charity in 2002, and once again My Creative Team is promoting the program that provides some simple ways to help the less fortunate.
The number one thing you can do is ask friends, family and business associates to donate to charity instead of buying you gifts. Here’s why: a lot of people would donate to charity in someone’s name but they don’t feel right doing it unless they have that person’s approval. So, give them your OK and help someone who needs it more than you need a Christmas gift.
Here are some other ways you can participate in Holiday For Charity:
- offer to perform volunteer work in lieu of buying holiday gifts
- donate directly to charity in lieu of buying holiday gifts for clients and customers
- use Goodshop.com as a starting point for your holiday shopping. Each time someone clicks through from Goodshop to one of the 2,800 plus participating stores (including Amazon, Target, Toys R Us, Sephora, Macy’s PetCo and more), an average of 4% of the purchase price is donated to the shopper’s favorite cause (at no cost to them!). Plus, Goodshop.com has over 100,000 coupons so users can save money while giving back.
- or, register and shop at iGive.com, whose merchants donate a portion of each transaction to the charities of your choice
- use Goodsearch.com: Each time someone searches the internet with Goodsearch (powered by Yahoo!), about a penny is raised for the charity or school of their choice! You use it exactly as you would any other search engine
- register with Gooddining.com: Each time someone dines at more than 10,000 Gooddining.com restaurants across the country, up to 6% of the cost of the meal is donated to the diner’s favorite cause.