How the Mumsnet Christmas Appeal works
OK, so it all looks a bit complicated but, as long as everyone's paying attention <ahem>, it's not really. Here's what happens...
Every year towards the end of October, MNHQ begin a NOMINATION thread and a DONATION thread. Everyone is welcome to post on either or both.
- The nomination thread
For about two weeks, you have the opportunity to nominate a fellow Mumsnetter who you think might need a little help this Christmas or whom you'd like to be recognised for great help and support she's given to others or her general all-round luffliness.
The only thing we specify is that, whoever she is, she has to have been a Mumsnetter for at least a year to qualify for nomination.
You should include the Mumsnetter's Talk name (correctly spelt, please) and the reason for your nomination. It doesn't matter if your nominee (or you) subsequently change nicknames; we will be able to find you/them.
On the given deadline day, we then close the nomination thread and contact all of those nominated and ask them for their address and age/sex of their children, plus any personal family info that they'd be happy to share with us to help us in the matching process.
- The donation thread
Absolutely LOVE this and it is one of the best bits of my Christmas. NorksAreMessy
I think I've got something in my eye. <sniffle> Snapespeare
At the same time as the nomination thread opens, so does the the donation thread, prompting, we hope, as many of you who can to pledge a donation for a fellow Mumsnetter.
You can donate vouchers or actual presents. Vouchers are easier for us, in terms of making matches, but we have had all sorts of other donations in the past, from Christmas trees to hampers, regifted items, new toys and 'nice smellies' for adults. Secondhand toys/clothes are fine, too, but do really need to be in very good nick, please. Nothing is too small.
We scrabble together an enormous spreadsheet and match up our nominees with donors. We will send those who have pledged to donate their matched nominees' addresses (but no other identifying details) so that gifts can be sent well before the final Christmas post.
Parcels are addressed to "The Mumsnetter of the House" with a MN code allocated by us to try to maintain anonymity. Donors and nominees can use this code to say thank you to one another on the MN Thank You thread following the gifts being sent out.
This whole process is anonymous, we do not pass over real life or Talk names.
Once all the emails to donors have been sent, we start a Thank You thread.
Those who have received gifts can post on this thread using their MN code to identify themselves and say thank you to their donator for their gift.
This is the bit that makes most of us cry.
That said, it's worth knowing that it's not compulsory for recipients to post their thanks on the Thank You thread. Many of those who are nominated are, sadly, going through very tough times – and, because of that, some may struggle either to get to the Thank You thread or to find the words to express their thanks.
If you have any further questions, please check out our FAQS page. We think we've covered most of the bases there...