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Good Gifting - Philanthropy For Frugal Times

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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 last year 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 "Redefine Christmas." As the site notes:

"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 radio series devoted to frugal tricks for the holidays, websites devoted to making frugal chic (Frugalista is a 2008 word of the year!), and consumer columns that are now focusing on giving in non-consumer oriented ways. Here's a Good Gift gift guide 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.....

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