A List for Santa that Will Make Everyone Smile
A List for Santa that Will Make Everyone Smileback

Every year, organizations like Heifer International urge people to give their loved ones cows, goats or chickens that will be used to create a sustainable living for people in third-world countries.

Giving a donation to someone’s favorite charity is not uncommon, especially if the “someone” is hard to shop for or has everything they need.

Now comes a twist on that concept: Start your own fundraising campaign instead of making a list for Santa.

The first such campaign that I’ve seen is the Jingle Wells program of MyCharitiesWater, an organization dedicated to providing clean water to people in developing nations.

MyCharitiesWater has set up a web page to facilitate telling all your friends that what you really want for the holidays is a donation to MyCharitiesWater. When the wells are dug, you and your friends will be notified about where your money went and how many people you helped.

It’s an innovative way to tap the holiday spirit for good will and one that will produce tangible good for years to come.

You don’t even have to set up a web page. Just do an e-blast to your friends and family, asking them for a donation to your favorite charity in lieu of a gift.

They’ll be happy: No shopping and they’ll be able to say they got you exactly what you wanted.

It’s a way for non profit leaders and social entrepreneurs – well, actually anyone – to set an example of what really counts. Start a fundraising campaign, however small, for the cause of your choice. Once that first email goes out, who knows how many other people will say, “What a great idea!” and start fundraisers of their own.

Why not try?

It’s one way to extend the holiday spirit and, besides, do you really need another sweater?

Do you have other ideas for tapping the holiday spirit to help others? Let us know before the season passes!