As a project manager, I’m charged to make sure that my customers get the most bang for their buck. As we enter the biggest gift giving season of the year, we should consider the fact that many givers fail to get even the base value of their dollars when they buy something for their loved ones.
Joel Waldfogel, Wharton School Business Professor and author of the book, Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays, said in a recent Seattle Times guest editorial, “Givers don’t know what recipients want and hence often buy things that recipients don’t want, don’t need, and actually value below what they cost.” Through research he’s learned that, “…we value items we receive as gifts at 20 percent less…than the items we purchase for ourselves.”
My suggestion: Get the most bang for your gift giving buck by giving it to people who will likely value it much more than the eighty cents on the dollar that the professor cites. During these challenging economic times there are organizations that can put your dollar to good use, and honor your gift recipient.
I recently had an opportunity to deliver a donated bed to a woman who had been sleeping on the floor in her tiny, studio apartment. With the help of local organizations, she had turned away from a life of addiction on the streets and was on the road to recovery. She would have been grateful for a mattress; the gift of a nice twin bed lit her face up. It’s something she’ll greatly appreciate for years to come.
Personally, I support His Ministries, an Auburn, Washington based non-profit dedicated to providing people with food, clothing, and support to get them off the streets. Almost every time that I volunteer at the meals program I see parents come in with their kids. It’s tough to see these families living on the edge. I know that supporting His Ministries as they labor to give these people a brighter future is a great use of my dollar. My sister-in-law suggested that this year we ask for donations to charities, rather than for things that we really don’t need. What a great idea.
Charities around the world are struggling in the current economy. Food bank shelves are bare, shelters are turning people away, and some non-profits are closing their doors. Why don’t you ask those that will be getting gifts from you if they would consider asking for a charitable donation in their name. Put your gift giving dollar in the hands of organizations that can make sure you get true value.
You can reach them by phone at 253.315.9570. For more information see their website at www.hisministryfellowship.org