Gift-It-Forward ~ A Better Way of Gifting
November is the month of AJ’s birthday. I planned birthday parties for him since he was primary 1. I’m not sure if we will continue to have birthday parties next year when he will be in primary 5, but this year, we did have a hassle-free one in Pastamania’s DoughWorkz.
Since primary 2, we had already requested our guests not to give birthday presents. We find giving birthday presents a waste of their money and resources. Sometimes, gifts received were not suitable, sometimes gifts received were not well-received by the birthday boy. To avoid such things from happening, AJ agrees not to receive any birthday gifts. But for those who insisted to give some tokens, we have a collection box for monetary contribution which we will then forward the amount to our church as love gift. We told our guests specifically about this. So for the past 2 years, we have been doing like this until September this year … …
I received an email from Gift-It-Forward
Wow Oh Wow! It was like someone knowing we have been doing this and then came up with such interesting platform to ease our guests. Yup, you guess it right! I tried this for AJ’s birthday. Why not?!
Gift-It-Forward (GIF) is a unique online platform that helps birthday organizer to plan socially responsible and environmentally friendly parties with a charitable twist. It is a wonderful way to teach our children about generosity, to enable them to have a deeper understanding of ‘to give is better than to receive’.
GIF is seemingly similar to other e-invitation sites that offer card designs and manage RSVPs. What makes this site unique is that it also helps the host get the gift they really want while supporting a charity. The birthday child and parents decide on a gift the child hopes to receive, and commit to donating between 50-100% of their monetary gifts to one of the partner charities.
The guests can then give a monetary gift through the website’s secure system. GIF will pool the contributions and send the host their share to buy the child’s chosen gift. The committed percentage of the balance amount will be sent to their selected charity as a donation. To me, this facility is such a wonderful way to simplify party planning as well as educating our children the priceless lesson of social responsibility.
The platform is pretty easy to navigate. I chose a birthday e-card design, entered the necessary information for the invite, then send out the cards through the platform. I could invite more guests subsequently if I need to, the platform is flexible.
I could track the contribution as and when too. When the party was over, I closed the contribution manually. You could choose to close the contribution yourself or it will be automatically closed 2 weeks after the party. The designated percentage of the contribution that goes to the charity will be forwarded to them directly. The charity then drop us an email of acknowledgement and thanks. I also sent a thank-you note to all our invited guests who have contributed. It’s so simple, easy and sweet. Feedback from our guests was great! They all echoed this is an excellent way to teach our children about generosity and charity. I’m pretty sure our guests will start adopting this for their children’s birthday parties as well.
As AJ has designated 50% of the contribution to SPCA (the other 50% to our church’s ministry – Gethsemane Care Ministry which reaches out to ex-drug addicts), he was invited to SPCA for a tour. How nice of them!
So we were at SPCA yesterday! AJ and his friends enjoyed the tour so much! Through this mode of contribution, the children developed a deeper understanding how their contribution has helped these animals. It was such a meaningful deed. I'm so glad we have adopted this mode of contribution for his birthday party.
GIF would certainly love to have you trying on this meaningful platform. You can use this platform for any occasions besides birthday parties, like Christmas, Wedding, any Anniversary, etc. I really love this initiative and I am more than happy to help spread the word!