It’s easy to plan things like family birthdays, anniversaries and gift giving days. It’s also easy to organise a thank you for your clients, especially around the end of the year. We know when these events will happen, so we add them to our calendars well in advance and action at the appropriate time.

What we would like to talk to you about are the other kinds of “gifts” you can consider as part of your gift giving year.

Just remember that as part of your gift giving year, you also remember to take care of yourself and opt for those things that suit your business and / or lifestyle. You can spread yourself too thinly otherwise.

Giving Time – Volunteering:

If you do have time and are willing to spare some of that helping others, there are many organisations who will gladly use your time and your skills. Just choose something that matters to you.

If you don’t have a lot of spare time, but have a little bit of extra money you can spare – then

Monetary Donations:

Anything over $2 is tax deductible so it’s a nice way to give and to receive.

While we are on the subject of monetary donations to charities and fund raising programs, it is a good idea to set a budget at the beginning of the financial year so you know what you will be outlaying for the year. It is nice to give, but you also need to ensure your own welfare and that of your business as well.

Non-monetary Donations:

Clothes, books, furniture and other household goods can be sold, but if you don’t “need” the money there are charities who will gladly connect your gifts with recipients. Or you can do that yourself through the many organisations such as Freecycle or Gumtree.

In the light of the recent bush fires there have been some fantastic things happening that we’ve come across recently.

A gentleman was going to sell an old car. Then the Yarloop and Waroona bushfire happened and he decided that instead of selling it, getting a couple of grand and maybe paying off a few bills he would donate his car to a family who had lost everything in the fire. His story prompted 13 others to do the same and he says there are another 40 flagged for donations. This story keeps growing however as the generous Mr Latham has set up a facebook page Cars for a Cause and has plans to set up a not for profit organisation to continue assisting others in times of need.

The other story that really inspired us this week came out of Iran – A citizen led project called walls of kindness. These walls have hooks where people can hang clothes, scarves and blankets for people to take so they are not cold during the winter.

Here in Australia there are many initiatives including the annual CEO Sleep Out that raises money for charities supporting those people who live on the streets. These are all fabulous ways of raising awareness, funds and other things that others need but cannot obtain for one reason or another. But with so many it is important to choose those things that resonate with you. It can be easy to go overboard – which is why it is important to plan your gift giving year.

Other Donations:

Blood and Plasma Donors – There are strict rules for donating things like blood and plasma and you may not be able to – most of the team at NE can’t because of the UK rule. But if you can – the personal reward for donating these life giving supplies is immense. If you can make a regular donation and they can be slotted into your schedule all the better as it helps the blood service to know whether or not they will have enough supplies on hand for surgery and in case of emergencies.

This is of course a very personal gift and is entirely up to you to do if you are comfortable doing so.

When you are planning your gift giving year, remember to budget time as well as money and you will get the rewards without the stress of overstretching yourself and your business.


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