Charitable Gift Giving

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The Best Last Minute Christmas Gift for 2010 – TisBest Gift Cards

December 22nd, 2010 · No Comments · TisBest

TisBest charitable gift cardOh oh. It’s three days to Christmas and you haven’t found anything for that special someone in your life. What to do?

You could go for a last minute gift sent from a company like 1-800-FLOWERS.COM or FTD.com, but as someone who’s worked in the florist industry before, your chances of getting a gift that will “wow” them is about 50-50 (florists often close early before Christmas and/or they run out of supplies to make the best arrangements).

You could send an email gift card from Amazon. But let’s face it, you might as well write “Sorry I put your gift off to the last second. Happy Holidays!”

No, the best last minute gift I can think of are TisBest Charity Gift Cards.

Buying a Gift Card

The concept behind TisBest is simple. You give a gift card of any amount you choose (either a physical gift card that’s mailed or, if you want them to get it before Christmas, a gift card you can print on your printer or email to your receipient). But instead of your gift being used to buy another to add to the pile of Christmas gifts they’ve gotten, it goes to help charities in need.

And charities are in need more than ever these days. Whenever the economy turns south as it has recently, charitable giving tends to suffer as people hunker down and limit their spending. ¬†This has happened to charities this year, and they’re hurting. Americans are a giving people. It’s easy to give out of abundance. But when times are tough, that’s when giving really counts the most (the widow’s mite comes to mind).

The experience your recipient has with TisBest cards (whether you’re giving to an individual or to a group of people) is far, far superior to the old system where you’d write “A donation has been made in your name to such-and-such charity” because it puts the recipient in charge. ¬† Instead of passively reading your card and throwing it into the trash, with a TisBest charity gift card they can go to a Web site and apply your donation to up to three charities which mean a lot to them, whether they have a loved one suffering from an illness or have a particular cause which they are passionate about.

Your Recipient’s Experience Redeeming the Gift Card

Once your recipient gets the gift card, they can go to the TisBest site and enter the gift code:

TisBest charity gift card code

On the next screen, they’ll be able to choose from a number of well-known charities in these areas:

– Animal Causes
– Art and Culture
– Building Community
– Children
– Disabilities
– Education
– Environment
– Faith Based
– Health
– Homelessness
– Human Rights
– Humanitarian
– Hunger
– Peace & Non-Violence
– Senior Citizens
– Sports & Recreation
– Women’s Issues

The site is easy and fun to use, and your recipient will definitely be able to find many charities they’d love to support. And having gone through this myself, it’s definitely a wonderful and heartwarming experience to go through the list of charities and decide where the donation should go to (your recipient can choose up to three, and the amount will be allocated across all three). There are a few charities which I would have liked to see (namely, the Lupus Foundation and the American Liver Foundation), but even so, there are definitely plenty to choose from.

TisBest Charity Gift Card - Selecting a Charity

On the next screen, your recipient can optionally write a note back to you which will tell you which charities they donated to.

thank you note

On the last screen, your recipient can optionally submit their email addresses to the organizations to be thanked personally by them.

TisBest Charity Gift Card - Last Page

That’s it. It was literally one of the most pleasant Web site experiences I’ve had.

TisBest reports that this year, Americans will spend $510 on Christmas gifts. There’ll be the usual gifts, sweaters and ties, iPods and Kindles, gift baskets and toys. But TisBest issued a challenge–what if we were to take just 10% of that, $51, and help out a charity? The money we spend would last much longer than any of those other presents, as would the great feeling of helping those who are less fortunate than us.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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