Charities missing an $8 billion gift token trick.

I can’t bear gift tokens. I usually forget to spend them. According to Seth Godin that is true of $8 billion dollars worth each year in the US (not sure of the source for his number).

Seth wants two things: For us to stop believing that gift tokens are more thoughtful than cash and for

a creative non-profit [to] start marketing alternative gift cards. They would consist of PDF files you could print out and hand over to people when you give them cash. It could say,

“Merry Christmas. Here’s your present, go spend it on what you really want. AND, just to make sure we’re in the right holiday spirit, I made a donation in your name to Aworthycause.”

Mommy CEO is uncompromising about all of us making an effort to not waste that $8 billion:

Think of what we could accomplish as a country of all that money was donated to a cause? Can you even imagine?

Yes I can – but if you do give someone a voucher make it an online voucher. Amazon sells just about everything so it’s as good as cash and then encourage people to spend it through your favourite charities online affiliate.