Tangible Love

Courtney Sakre - 06.15.2009

I am a visual person and a bit of a dreamer.  I have to take notes to let things sink in.  Therefore, I have a tendency to give, or get passionate about something because I am moved by the feelings that pictures on websites/ads/emails evoke.  I also believe that my donation can help more when I can see why I am giving.  The recent shift in donation pages from “giving streams of $10 dollars” to the more tangible “provide ‘X’ item to do good” has not only increased my giving activity, but also piqued my interest in things I had not thought about before. 

I recently found out from the Malaria No More web site that malaria kills a child every 30 seconds…that’s right every 30 seconds. Who knew that a bed net for 10 dollars can help prevent an entire African family from getting bitten by mosquitoes while they sleep, therefore preventing malaria?  Yes, it makes sense after you know this, but would you have thought that giving 10 dollars could do that? 

I love the idea of giving a bed net to help protect a family against malaria.  I can see it, I can feel it, and I can almost touch it.  Hats off to Malaria No More for making me think, and being great stewards by showing me the exact breakdown of my ten dollar donation.

Giving this mosquito net really engaged me and got me thinking…Am I bored with plain old online giving since I have been doing it for five years?  Did I need something new to spark my interest and get me back into giving online?  Have nonprofits been forced to be more creative because everyone now offers the option of online giving? 

I don’t know, but I think giving a tangible item like a mosquito net, school supplies or a flock of chickens to those in need is brilliant.  For whatever reason this new way to give has arrived, I think more nonprofits should do it.  For some ideas, inspiration, and credit where credit is due here are a few of my favorites (besides malarianomore.org):




UN Refugee Agency: 

Their asks are specific and thought provoking all at the same time.  Did you know that $12 can provide textbooks, writing exercise books and pencils for a student for an entire year?

Heifer International:

Who doesn’t think that giving a flock of chicks is a good gift idea? A flock of chicks can help families from Cameroon to the Caribbean add nourishing, life-sustaining eggs to their inadequate diets. 

Feed My Starving Children: 

Do you want to feed a child for 6 months for only 30 dollars?  I sure do. 


What is the most interesting tangible item (besides money) you have given in the past six months? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.

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