My little brother works at Kenneth Cole (he is currently the best-dressed of the 4 siblings.) When I made a purchase at his store, I received a nifty invitation in a thick cream colored envelope. The invitation offered me a code, to choose a charity to which to donate $10.
The site that partnered up with Kenneth Cole for this promotion is Network For Good. I could go browse - causes from cancer research to autism treatment, relief organizations to local schools - and pick any charity to receive the $10.
Admittedly, it's not a lot of money. But one of the charities available was UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) which annually gives more aid to developing or disaster-stricken locales than even the Red Cross. It's the organization closest to my heart; I know from experience how much even $10 can do. I was thrilled that they were an option, since UMCOR's obviously not a secular group
Still, you can choose UMCOR, the Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Atheist Alliance, Sierra Club Foundation, your local Zoo, or Invisible Children - or any other of thousands of charities. And you can use the standards of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to make sure your charity passes its analysis.
The best part is, you can give holiday gifts via email. Just purchase a "good card" with a variety of dollar amounts, and let the gift recipient choose his or her own charity. There are resources to research the charities, to find out about tax write-offs, and to volunteer.
Mostly I'm a Heifer, Intl junkie, but you can give a Heifer donation through Network for Good, too! So, for those of you who still have one or two (or thirteen) people on your Christmas list, head over to NetworkforGood.com.
(Also, check out A Kid's Guide to Giving.)