This is the time of year when many of us start thinking about ways to thank the people who support us all year long – staff, volunteers, board members, contractors, members, and the list goes on.
A couple of years ago, I created a list of resources you could turn to for creative gift-giving. I’m sharing it with you again in hopes that it might serve as a springboard as you express your gratitude to others this year.
1. Café Press – CafePress is a great resource for apparel items, mouse pads, notebooks, phone covers, etc. Try searching the marketplace there for things that have already been created in all sorts of niche interests.
Hint: Keep in mind that you can even set up a store for your organization and offer items for sale. There’s no inventory to stock. Café Press takes care of the ordering process, printing, and then ships the items directly to those who purchase.
2. Fiverr – There are so many talented artists and other service providers on Fiverr! How about personalized sketches for your team, a custom written jingle, poem or rap, or a perfectly designed mug, notepad, etc.?
3. GlobalGiving.org – While giving a charitable donation in someone’s name is a beautiful tribute, it doesn’t really work if you don’t know for certain what cause is most meaningful to them. At GlobalGiving.org, you can give a gift card that allows the recipient to donate to the cause of their choosing.
If you are a nonprofit organization, you may wish to explore whether it makes sense for your organization to be listed on the platform as an entity that can receive funds. Crowdfunding is a popular concept now and GlobalGiving.org is one way to leverage that trend.
4. Udemy – Gifting a course from Udemy is a great way to show people that you support their special interests. In addition to all sorts of business topics, think about what the special someone likes to do – perhaps a vegan cooking class, or an art or music class. You’ll find lots of possibilities to spark ideas on their site.
5. Transformational Books – You can gift a hard copy of a favorite book or go digital with Amazon. Simply click “Buy for Others” when you’re checking out. That will give you the option of sending it to their email address. I’ve received a gift this way on a couple of occasions and I always appreciated that a specific book made someone think of me.
6. Baudville – Baudville offers a wide array of recognition tokens that are perfect for showing appreciation – mugs, bags, desk-top items, and more. I love the team-oriented themes.
7. Greetabl – Greetabl is a unique site that allows you to fill a delightful little box with items that are sure to make the recipient smile. You can custom design the box to have photos on it, so you could put your organization’s logo or photos from your last fundraiser, or something related to your overall mission. Choose from tiny items custom curated to feel special.
8. Baked by Melissa – What could be better than opening a box full of beautifully decorated bite-sized cupcakes? In addition to their standard cupcakes and macarons, they also offer vegan, gluten-free and no-nut varieties. They ship nationwide.
9. Holiday Pies – My husband has a tradition of giving holiday pies to his Board and staff. He always chooses a type that is beautifully decorated. If someone doesn’t like to eat pie themselves, it gives them something that they can take to a holiday gathering. Typically, Bakers Square and Perkins will create pies decorated like wreaths or something else extra holiday-ish, or you can try a local bakery to see if they create anything special for the season.
10. Canva – Canva is a graphics software that is remarkably easy to use, even if you’re not a graphic artist. You can use it to create a special framed quote, set of greeting cards, desktop wallpaper and more. You can print what you create on your own printer or use Canva's online service and have it professionally printed and shipped to you.
I’d love to hear about the most creative gifts you’ve given over the years. Hit reply and let me know!
Have a great rest of your week!
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Joy Duling is Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership. Since 2005, Joy and her team have helped associations, trade groups and membership-based nonprofits run their programs more easily and deliver exceptional member care.
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