NFPs Launch Annual Christmas Gifts Campaigns
Thursday, 22nd November 2012 at 9:31 am
A sewing machine to help women earn a reliable income is one of the many gifts featured in this year's World Vision Christmas gifts catalogue.
Not for Profit organisations around Australia are preparing for what is traditionally the busiest time of the year – with many charities launching their annual gift appeals in time for Christmas.
And while the online approach is gathering momentum, it appears that the tried and true Christmas gift catalogue remains popular.
According to online shopping and auction website eBay, Australians received $16.7 million worth of unwanted Christmas gifts last year, valued at over $500 million.
Research carried out by eBay and online classifieds website Gumtree revealed over half (56%) of Australians received at least one unwanted gift.
World Vision Australia’s head of marketing Anne Stout said that in the midst of hectic Christmas shopping it's easy to make last minute purchase decisions that lose sight of the real spirit of Christmas.
“Over the past five years, we have seen increasing interest in our gift catalogue as people choose to give a goat, chicken or school equipment to a community in need as they look for ways to put the meaning back into Christmas,” Stout said.
Not for Profit organisations around Australia have already launched Christmas gift catalogues for 2012.
The Salvation Army’s Just Gifts catalogue includes gifts relating to eradicating human trafficking and assisting the marginalised with income generation tools.
The Salvation Army says the gifts in the catalogue “will create livelihoods, better living conditions, education and work opportunities, and in some situation freedom for our neighbours in some of the neediest parts of the world”.
International development organisations World Vision Australia, UNICEF and Oxfam Australia offer gifts to assist people in developing countries with much needed essentials such as education and disease prevention.
“Every year hundreds of trees are delivered to homes across Melbourne and Geelong with the proceeds making an enormous contribution to Oxfam’s work around the world,” Oxfam Australia executive director Andrew Hewett said.
A UNICEF spokesperson said that this Christmas UNICEF is encouraging Australians to spend quality time together and think carefully about how they spend their hard-won savings.
“Christmas time is an opportunity to be grateful for what we already have and show generosity of spirit. By giving a charity gift, particularly a UNICEF Inspired Gift, it’s a chance to honour and celebrate a special season and a special someone with a ‘gift’ choice you can know has been carefully selected to ‘give good’,” the spokesperson said.
In what has been described as a first of its kind, the Not for Profit organisation that supports social enterprises, Social Traders, has launched its Good Gift Catalog to encourage and enable Australians to purchase gifts from the many Australian social enterprises.
Social Traders says that Christmas is by far Australia’s busiest consumer period of the year with an estimated $25 billion to be spent in the lead up to 25 December.
Social Traders managing director David Brookes said that the catalogue includes over 150 products and services from social enterprises across Australia ranging from indigenous bush soaps and up-cycled fashion to social enterprise wine and coffee.
“This year, we hope that people will give a gift that gives good and use the catalogue to find the perfect Kris Kringle,” Brookes said.
“This is a great opportunity to let people know that they can use their purchasing power to make a difference, and support businesses that benefit the community,” Social Traders’ Mindy Leow said.
World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said he was hopeful in 2012 that consumers would follow the growing trend of charity giving experienced last Christmas.
“Christmas is a time of joy and giving and it gives me great hope to see so many Australians opting for more altruistic giving during the festive season,” Costello said.
“I am hopeful that Christmas 2012 will see even more children and families around the world benefit from the generosity of Australians.”