FUNDRAISING NEWS: Good Gifts to aid charity projects

Emma Maier

A gift catalogue which aims to get people to donate to a charitable project on behalf of friends and family, rather than buying a traditional gift, is set to raise money for more than 30 charities.

The Good Gifts Catalogue, to be launched this week, contains more than 75 gifts priced from £10 to more than £1,000. Presents include a trip to the pantomime for a deprived child, £30, computers for African schools £85, and a village library in India £1,200.

A keepsake card, describing how the money will be spent, is provided and can be passed on to the recipient to mark special occasions such as birthdays or wedding anniversaries.

Each gift contributes towards a project run by a specific charity or community group. For example, the 'Life Cycle' package, which costs £30 and provides bicycles to midwives in villages in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, is run by Marie Stopes International. The National Literacy Trust provides 'Lit Kit', a £15 package of books for under-privileged youngsters.

"Good Gifts is a very interesting initiative that offers potential benefits to charities," said Jonathan Chambers, head of trading at animal charity The Blue Cross, which is offering its scheme to re-house homeless dogs. "Most charities are good at tapping into mature donors, but the catalogue, with its informal approach, will be a good way of reaching younger people."

The online and mail-order booklet is the brainchild of Hilary Blume, director of the Charities Advisory Trust, which helps other charities to trade efficiently and also runs various charitable trading enterprises.

The Trust guarantees that every penny of the payment for each gift goes directly to the charity running the project. As the scheme attracts Gift Aid, the refunded tax will be used to cover all administration costs.

Donors can pay in instalments if they spend more than £100, and can register a wish list of products for friends and family to buy.

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