Some Thoughts on Payments Charity Before the Holidays

by guest on December 14, 2007

in Jacqueline Chilton, Writings

by Jacqueline Chilton

As you seek to find that special gift for that special someone this year, why not take a different approach? Recently, we’ve been working with several non-profit payments providers and discovered new payment services — and new ways to pay — that can help you find a unique gift and make a positive impact.

Make a Payment, Change the World

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Changingthepresent.org would like to help you send a donation as a gift this year instead of a physical present. Search their site for suggestions linked to causes of interest to you and the recipient. Gifts include anything from giving $5 for 14 school meals, $10 for a grape vine planted in a post war zone or $25 for corrective horse shoes from Best Friends Animal Society and horse sanctuary. After you have donated in a recipients name, you can create a gift card to tell them the details of what the money will achieve and the charity receives your donation. Best Friends Animal Society is awaiting the arrival of the Vick dogs which may make a donation to them particularly appropriate this holiday season.

27.jpgChange.org can help you connect to other individuals who have similar social issues interests as you… or your giftee. Each cause is linked to a ranked list of charities like Environmental Defense Fund or National Wildlife federation and you can donate directly or to the top three as ranked by the community. Donations are made through JustGive {www.justgive.org} another nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect people with the charities and causes they care about and to increase overall giving.

giftcerts.jpgKiva.org allows you to loan money to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world, helping them lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Micro-loans are considered one of the best strategies to creating sustainable development and modernizing troubled economies. Kiva has been featured on Oprah and in several blogs and publications. Kiva.org gift certificates (a great last-minute gift purchasable online) allow others to share the experience of selecting the entrepreneur and watching them build their business and make repayments. It is also a gift that keeps on giving as once the loan is re-paid, the funds can be used for another entrepreneur.

MySpace will soon launch a profile type called “Impact-Makers” with features including a viral marketing tool developed with PayPal. gifts-facebook.jpgIn the meantime, for those on MySpace look for Kevin Bacon’s charity – SixDegrees.org. If you have a profile on Facebook, you can switch your one dollar gifts to be meaningful donations through ChangethePresent.org and treat someone in your network to a present that makes a difference.

Finally, while you’ll see PayPal working with several of these players with lower rates for non-profits, Google Checkout has announced free payment processing services for non-profits until the end of 2008. If you use the Google Checkout basket, you’ll be sure all your donations are going to your favorite charity.

Happy Holidays!

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