GIFT CHOICES - FOR EFFECTIVE USE OF YOUR MONEY
The Worldchanging blog (a group blog) is on a mission to propagate the worldchanging ideas, events etc. and I believe that many people would participate in their efforts. Be sure to check this site regularly.
Alan AtKisson's latest idea is a solution to your holiday giving problem. He writes:
Once a year, if you live in the Christmas-celebrating parts of the world, you may agonize over the problem of presents.
What do I give that's meaningful? Reasonable? Even sustainable? This recommendation is not about kids. Kids get presents, period. But adults understand abstract gifts. Particularly abstract gifts that actually do good in the world.
For the adults in your life, go to this website: www.globalgiving.com. Once there, use the very educational "Find Project Wizard" (this is the smartest little hermeneutic I ever saw on a commercial website) to figure out where to send your money.
And then send a lot of money. Directly to a project, somewhere in the poorer parts of the world. Not through some large-non-governmental-organization intermediary. But directly to, say, a school in Africa, or an organic farming program in India.
As I belong to the part of the world where many such projects are running (You would also find Bangladeshi projects here) and many are managed by the NGOs and UN organization. I know that some of these organizations employ highly paid employees who are more keen to their own development rather than development of the projects. One of the NGOs in Bangladesh now have a 20 storied commercial Complex, A Bank and other commercial ventures. Some of them use huge fund to find out feasibility of the project whereas if these amount were spent directly for the project, it would have achieved much fruitful result.
I am not canceling their successes in their fight against poverty etc., but I believe sometime giving to a project directly can be satisfying for the donors who can be sure of the maximum use of their money.
So why not give it a shot if you want to contribute in this Christmas.