Friday, November 16, 2012

Give Differently This Holiday Season

Posted by Kristin Barclay, Marketing Director Plan International USA

As soon as the calendar flips to November, it becomes Gifts of Hope time here at Plan… and the office bubbles with excitement about how much change we can make together this year.

To our dedicated supporters who have been with Plan for years, you continue to impact families and communities all around the world each holiday by giving them the means to gifts that can change lives.

Sometimes it’s as simple as paying for a school uniform for a little girl in Ghana, supporting the construction of a village well in Burkina Faso, or giving the gift of baby chicks to a family in Vietnam. Whatever the gift, you have given the gift of hope and we can’t thank you enough.

The incredible dedication of our donors got us to thinking that this campaign could be, really should be, bigger. You have chosen every year to give differently in order to help others. That’s why this year we are launching our Give Differently campaign with Gifts of Hope at the center. We are hoping that the momentum that you have built over the years will evolve into a bigger, more impactful campaign; one that will move more of us to give differently.

The structure of the Gifts of Hope campaign hasn’t changed so much -though we’ve updated it with some incredible new gifts and programs for you to support- but what we’ve added for the first time are free gifts that complement the Gift of Hope you choose. So, for the first time, if you gift a water project in Burkina Faso for your mother, you will receive a free Plan water bottle to wrap up for her.

Or if you gift an education project in Ghana for your sister, you will receive a free handmade leather notebook, or choose to donate our cover animal this year, an alpaca, for a family in Peru, you will receive the very cool “Fleece, Love, and Happiness” alpaca tee (perhaps you’ll keep that one for yourself…). So it’s a little something for everyone, and a great alternative gift option than that sweater, tie, or fruit cake.

We’re frequently asked how we determine what gifts to offer and where. It’s actually a pretty strategic and detailed process. We work with our colleagues in our program offices, who in turn work closely with the local villages, to determine what gifts are the most beneficial for the long term success of the entire community. Once the needs are determined and the paper work is processed, we include those gifts in the Gifts of Hope catalog.

If you are a new donor or a donor thinking about joining us in the Give Differently campaign this year, welcome to Plan. And if you are one of our loyal donors, welcome back. We need you, and as many people as you can tell to join in our quest to give differently this year. Please help us deliver 20,000 gifts of hope to communities in need this year.

Visit our site at GiveDifferently.org for more information on each of the programs and free gifts we’re offering this year.

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