The Gift Giving Guide for the Selfish Philanthropist and Humanitarian

AKA How to get gifts for other people that don’t make you look like you care about the rest of the world exponentially more than your friends or How to slowly sucker your friends into becoming humanitarians and global citizens

You volunteer all the time, sponsor children and animals and collect donations instead of gifts. However your friends don’t do the same. And similarly to how obese people don’t want to be reminded that they are fat, it’s endangering their lives and they should be going on a diet and exercising during Christmas, people don’t want to be reminded that their shopping habits and consumption patterns are horrible for the environment, are contributing to global poverty and are increasing corporate power. They also may not really want a picture of a goat that’s been given to someone in a third world country. Here’s how to buy gifts that your friends will enjoy and will also be endearing to your humanitarian selfish self.

1)    Buy Fair Trade- By buying fair trade you ensure that the farmers and artisans that have made the product get paid a fair wage, money is put into a community fund for things like schools, there’s no child labor used and efforts are made so that the product is produced as environmentally sustainably as possible. Unlike a picture of a goat or a regular donation, the person also gets a concrete and usually well made, handcrafted and unique item out of it. Some good fair trade Christmas gifts include chocolate, jewelry, coffee, sports balls and bags. Fair trade also usually includes information about where they are from and how they benefit the community and the people that make it, so it’s a great way of getting people informed about other regions and how what they buy can help the world. Fair trade is also an easier sell with the many recent factory fires and deaths in the news with people being receptive to means of manufacturing that ensure that the people that make them are fairly treated.

2)      Buy products from charities- Large unisex shirts with the charity logo cheaply screenprinted on are no longer the only thing that charities sell. With the new focus on social enterprise, many charities have upped their product lines and online stores. Many charities have a good selection of nicely designed apparel, keychains and stuffed animals. This combined with charity products like Livestrong bracelets catching fire a few years ago mean that items from charities can be fashionable and trendy. As showcased on the movie 21 Jump Street, caring about the world is also in.

3)      Buy them tickets to a charity event- Food, drinks, movies music, art, sports, celebrities and more.  Charity events have it all these days. Fundraisers are fun, innovative and often the best party or event in town nowadays. Not only will the money go to a good cause, your friend will have a good time and end up learning more about the charity at the event.

4)      Charity Gift Cards- For the slightly more involved friends and family, get a charity gift card. Not one for a charity that you love but one where they can choose which charity they want to give to. They are sure to find something they are passionate about whether it be cancer, animals, the environments, kids, sports, art or music or anything in between. By letting them make the choice they are empowered and will become more knowledgeable about different charities.