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Good Gifting - Philanthropy For Frugal Times

As everyone seems to be watching pennies this holiday season it follows that we might see a swing away from giving "stuff" to giving something more meaningful.
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We all know what re-gifting is -- passing on a gift that was given to you. Think of all those unwrapped secret Santa presents, sweaters that don't fit, baby gear, and fruitcakes. "Good gifting" is the feel good equivalent of re-gifting. It involves giving a philanthropic gift in someone else's name or giving them the choice of a charitable donation instead of giving them more "stuff."

This idea has been around for awhile. Hints of it appeared
around this time, but the new hipness of frugality may be the catalyst this kind of behavior needs. Consider The Dalio Family Foundation's promotion of "
." As the site notes:

Redefine Christmas is neither commercial venture, nor money-maker. It's simply a charitable idea, shared by many, that our holiday gift giving could be more meaningful and do more good. In addition to the gifts we enjoy shopping for and giving, we're often compelled to give gifts that aren't so meaningful. Imagine if we replaced those gifts by giving others donations to their favorite charities. And we just request that others do the same for us.

It's easy too. Check out

"Consider that the amount of money spent on candy alone during the holiday season is greater than the annual budgets of the American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association and Habitat for Humanity combined."

As everyone seems to be watching pennies this holiday season it follows that we might see a swing away from giving "stuff" to giving something more meaningful.We've already got
tricks for the holidays, websites devoted to making
is a 2008
!), and
that are now focusing on giving in non-consumer oriented ways. Here's a Good Gift
from OneWorld

The Good Gifting phenomenon takes embedded giving (queen of the 2007 buzzword list) another step down the road to a total remix of commerce and philanthropy. As the president of one charitable gift card supplier noted last year, ""Philanthropy and commercial products are converging with each other...We're offering a charity gift card as basically a commercial product."

Of course, economic fear is driving a good part of the attention to both of these concepts, but those who care about these ideas are to be commended for being ready when the tide turned in their direction. Retail sales numbers for this coming Black Friday and Cyber Monday will reveal much about the general consumer mood, but I'm willing to bet that Good Gifting (which I also considered tagging as frugal philanthropy) will definitely be the buzz for this giving season. Is there a Black Friday/Cyber Monday equivalent for Good Gifting? If one emerges, we'll note it here on the 2009 Buzzword list!

For those of you keeping score, here's the 2008 Buzzword list so far:
1) Mobile Giving,
2) Labs,
3) Outsourced Program Advising,
4) Design,
5) Micro -,
6) Good gifting and
7) Charitable gift cards.

Buzzwords 2008.8, 9 and 10 coming soon.....