This season consider doing something a little different when it comes to your corporate gifting or personal holiday shopping – give a gift that will continue giving, long after the season’s finished.
If you’re thanking clients and colleagues for a great year of business and working together, consider funding something in their name? Kickstarter, Razoo, and IndieGoGo are just a few of the platforms offering a plethora of innovative and interesting socially conscious projects requiring financial assistance to get started. If you’re donating on behalf of a valued client consider a project that has similar brand values and is keeping with their mission statement. For a colleague, ensure the project falls in line with their world view and social values.
For folks who actually like to receive a physical thing (myself included) consider the option of supporting social enterprises with unique, fair trade, and often hand-made products that support critical ventures in developing countries.
Here are a few suggestions for your seasonal holiday gift list this year:
Embrace is the ingenious creation of four Stanford students who, after countless interviews of mothers in Nepal, developed an efficient and inexpensive way to save premature babies – a tiny sleeping bag unit that swaddles the baby, and a sealed pouch of wax that is heated via an electrical heater (which is included in the unit). The heated pouch of wax is placed in an adjacent compartment in the sleeping bag.
Embrace has created the gift collection and all purchases will benefit Embrace and their mission to save babies around the world.
Justlink exists to provide professional health care, support, advocacy and education services to people of all different walks of life in the greater Mumbai area and India. It was formed in order to link people to others in their immediate community and beyond, connecting them to a network of people who can support them in living healthy lives.
Their store features a variety of baby related products from slings to diaper bags; to order click the contact link for their email address.
Newsmotionis a communication platform featuring stories produced by professional journalists and trained citizen reporters around topical issues. This diverse network of journalists, artists, technologists, educators and scientists is harnessing the power of independent voices, technology, and collaborative storytelling to ensure critical stories–locally and globally–are making your radar and engaging new audiences. Striving to diversify and enrich the media landscape, Newsmotion offers a new model for civic media, public art and documentary reportage.
Newsmotion, a non-profit, is currently conducting a Kickstarter campaign to raise the first (of many) rounds of funding necessary to complete this framework for transparent and inclusive news reporting, distribution, and consumption. Their goal is to raise $35,000.
Click here to learn more about what you will receive in return for donating to their project (beyond good karma and shifting the media industry).
Fonderie 47 is a new social enterprise that buys AK-47s in conflict zones and, with the help of master craftsmen turns them into exquisite high-end jewelry. A set of cufflinks destroys 100 assault rifles in Africa; a set of earrings, 500.
MAG (Mines Advisory Group) is an international organization that saves lives and builds futures through the destruction of weapons in conflict-affected countries. Since 1989, MAG has worked in over 35 countries and in 1997 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. MAG works closely with at-risk communities to make their lives safer, responding to their most urgent needs by providing safe access to water, shelter, food, and emergency aid, as well as through the delivery of life-saving information to those at risk. Their work boosts economies in affected areas by opening up land for agriculture, trade, and infrastructure development and by training and employing local staff from affected communities.
Their shop features great t-shirts and hoodies all sporting the MAG logo.
Ellie Fun Day designs baby blankets that change the lives of marginalized women in India. They are designing beautiful, luxurious baby blankets made with natural and/or organic materials while providing a fair wage and a dignified living by employing marginalized and under-resourced women. Their goal: to change the world one blankie at a time. You can donate to their cause here or purchase a blanket and change a life.
So which one am I supporting?
I’m definitely supporting Newsmotion, Embrace I’m considering for a friend that just had a baby, and I think I’ll be sending a pointer to Fonderie 47 to my other half. See if he takes a hint.