Your Holiday Gift Guide: Crowdfunding Edition

If you’ve run out of patience for the usual holiday offerings, or if you are looking for something that’s a little more unique than the typical gift fare, look no further. We have compiled a holiday gift guide to help you to find the perfect gifts no matter what your audience, and they come with the feel-good benefit of supporting non-profits and start-ups.

If, like many people, you like the idea of giving gifts to loved ones but are concerned about materialism or tired of the accumulation of objects around your house, consider creating a campaign on InLieuGiving.com. As the name suggests, the platform allows you to create a campaign to which people can donate money in lieu of buying you gifts. The money will then go to the non-profit, organization, social cause, or fundraiser of your choice, allowing you to spread the holiday cheer a little further.

If you simply want to spread the holiday cheer to social entrepreneurs in need, check out our very own launcht.org, which has campaigns running through Christmas. There is a group looking to fund a Hurricane Sandy relief project, a Midwest art restorer hoping to breathe new life into established work, and a company that helps students in India share their stories through online narrative. All projects are backed by great groups looking to help their respective regions become a little more vibrant.

Not ready to give up tangible gifts but still want your presents to have that social-good factor? Check out VoltCrowd or Vovation. These sites are offering great perks that can act as holiday gifts, and by buying the perks you support start ups that are hoping to create jobs throughout the country. On VoltCrowd you can find t-shirts of all varieties (organic, Christian, technical, the list goes on), notebooks, a weekend trip to Boston with a boat cruise included, a health cookbook, a lattice fruit bowl, or a 2013 Tough Mudder season pass. If none of that does it for you, look at Vovation, which is a beginning crowdfunding site for inventors and is featuring BendyBuds, a product that works to keep your earphones in your ears no matter how active you are.

Regardless of whom you are shopping for, think about leaving the big box stores behind this holiday season. You can do all of your shopping online, and you will support non-profits, startups, and the social causes you care about most. Happy holidays!

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