Nonprofits Gear Up to Capture $250 Billion Fortune

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Leading nonprofits join forces at ChangingThePresent.org to capture some of the $250 billion Americans now spend each year on presents. Instead of buying more stuff, visitors are choosing what they want to accomplish from among thousands of donation opportunities and making donations in a friend's name.

Imagine, for one delirious moment, what we could accomplish if even a small percentage of that gift money were redirected to nonprofits working to make the world a better place.

ChangingThePresent.org, a new nonprofit website, is helping nonprofits capture some of the $250 billion that Americans spend each year buying presents for one another. Instead of buying more stuff, visitors are choosing what they want to accomplish from among thousands of donation opportunities and are making donations in a friend's name.

Every year, Americans spend $250 billion--$100 billion during the holiday season, alone--buying presents for one another. "Imagine, for one delirious moment, what we could accomplish if even a small percentage of that gift money were redirected to nonprofits working to make the world a better place."

This notion isn't so farfetched. In fact, it's already happening, and a nonprofit website, ChangingThePresent.org, is accelerating that trend.

Many of us, and many of our friends, don't really need another fruitcake, toaster, wallet, tin of popcorn, pen & pencil set, or necktie. Still, our friends expect a gift.

Since most people are passionate about a favorite causes or favorite nonprofit, it's no wonder that more and more people are giving donation gifts, that is, a charitable donation made in a friend's name, in lieu of giving store-bought presents. What better way to honor the people we care for than by making the world a better place.

ChangingThePresent.org offers thousands of specific donation gifts from hundreds of leading nonprofits, so visitors can choose exactly what they want to accomplish. You can protect an acre of the rainforest or fund an hour of a cancer researcher's time. You can provide a child with a first book, an AIDS patient with life-saving drugs, refugees with shelter, or a hungry family with a nourishing meal. The site offers something for virtually every cause.

Visitors can browse by cause, search by name to find almost any nonprofit, or peruse friends' wish lists and registries to find exactly what they would find most meaningful. They can then create personalized greeting cards, which will be mailed the next day to announce the donations made in friends' names.

ChangingThePresent.org is not just for gift donations meant as an alternative to traditional presents; a wide range of features also makes it a more attractive channel for some of the $199 billion that Americans already donate each year. Visitors can create their own profile page to show what causes and nonprofits they most care about, allowing them to share their passions and interests with others. Those who wish to do so can earn recognition for the donations they make. For those who want to know that their dollars are being used effectively, the site provides extensive information on causes and nonprofits. Those who keep an eye on their own finances will appreciate that, unlike merchandise, donation gifts are tax-deductible. They will also enjoy the ability to support any number of nonprofits with a single credit card transaction and to find receipts in one place for all their giving.

Every cause needs an enemy to challenge. For ChangingThePresent, it's the preposterous gift that absorbs money that might better be used for more meaningful purposes. Visitors are encouraged to submit their favorite (least favorite?) examples to the Stupid Gift Hall of Shame, where voting will determine who wins a sweet prize--50 pints of Ben & Jerry's.

The Board of Advisors for ImportantGifts, the nonprofit that is launching this website, includes over 150 of the best known and most respected leaders in the nonprofit world. This group includes the heads of Amnesty International, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Ashoka, the Global AIDS Alliance, Grameen Foundation USA, the Rainforest Alliance, Refugees International, Save the Children, Sesame Workshop, Sierra Club, the United States Fund for UNICEF, and others.

By bringing the best practices of the internet to the nonprofit sector, ChangingThePresent.org will change not only the way money is raised, but also the way giving fits into people's lives.

ChangingThePresent.org

Changing the World, One Gift at a Time

Contact Robert Tolmach

212 972-2368

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