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You know those gifts where you buy an African family a goat or something?

(82 Posts)
ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 19-Nov-17 12:13:23

Does the family actually get the goat or is it more of a symbolic thing and they get given some money, or the charity gets the money and spends it however they see fit?

PoppyPopcorn Sun 19-Nov-17 12:19:26

www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped/how-we-spend-your-money

"GETTING FUNDS TO WHERE THEY'RE NEEDED MOST
Whatever gift you decide to buy, we'll ensure that your money gets to the people who need it most. Also, to ensure funds have the best possible impact we'll use some of your money for vital added extras.

Here's an example of what that could look like when you buy a toilet:

Tools and labour to help build the toilet.
Public health training to teach people about improved sanitation.
Lobbying governments to encourage them to invest in water and sanitation facilities.
Oxfam programme staff implements the programmes and ensure long-term benefits are delivered. Local office running costs are also covered.
Oxfam Unwrapped. Finally, your gift also helps cover the cost of publicizing and producing Oxfam Unwrapped gifts. Helping us raise more money."

LastNightMyWifeHooveredMyHead Sun 19-Nov-17 12:19:36

Depends. The original inventors of this, FarmAfrica, literally give the animals: those who've jumped onto the bandwagon in more recent years don't always (you often need to look at the small print to find this out, though)

PerfectlyDone Sun 19-Nov-17 12:23:34

It's basically a donation in a form that you can gift it to somebody else.

My DF enjoyed 'his' toilet very much a few years ago (running family joke about quite how much time my father spends in the smallest room in the house with the door closed) and approved of not getting any tat he did not want (my dad is impossible to buy for) and he liked the idea that somebody somewhere may have got something out of his Christmas present IYKWIM.

Notreallyarsed Sun 19-Nov-17 12:25:57

My (very prim and proper) Mum’s face was an absolute picture when we presented her with a gift of 10,000 condoms for an area hit hard by HIV and AIDS (along with medication, doctors and education).

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 19-Nov-17 12:35:38

I'm thinking of something like this for a very hard to buy for family. Either an animal or maybe polio vaccines or pencils for a school etc. Does anyone have any recommendations of charities who will use the money in the best way?

picklemepopcorn Sun 19-Nov-17 12:43:23

I think they are great. Pick something close to the heart of the recipient, so choose a country or cause they relate to. They give a suitable gift to a suitable place, so rather than buying a goat, your money may contribute to a cow for example, where a cow is needed.

Mosquito nets are a great one for people who care about children, farm animals for people with a farming connection, you can get beehives too.

We've sponsored a toilet or two in our time. Really important work! I’ve just bought a big box of ethical loo roll, half the cost of which goes toward sanitation in the developing world.

crunchtime Sun 19-Nov-17 12:45:29

i nhate these 'gifts'

it's not a gift-it's a donation to a charity i haven't chosen

if i went to the effort to buy you a gift that i thought you would like and you presented me with a card saying you'd bought a goat i would be very cross

and indeed i was when it happened to me

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 19-Nov-17 13:06:58

crunchtime I understand what you are saying but this is a family where we would normally put a tenner in a card for the kids and buy some wine/chocolate for the adults. Far more thought will have been put into this gift than anything we would normally get them.

sonjadog Sun 19-Nov-17 13:09:29

You might be interested in this charity, OP:

www.kidsforkids.org.uk

crunchtime Sun 19-Nov-17 13:13:19

but it's not a gift for them

wine or chocs much better
if you want to make a donation to a charity in your name then do so but don't disguise it as a gift-it's not a gift

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sun 19-Nov-17 13:18:14

If anyone wants to get a thoughtful gift for an ex partner they don't much like, you can donate 1 gelding procedure through the My Lovely Horse charity.

picklemepopcorn Sun 19-Nov-17 13:19:06

It does depend on the recipient, crunch. My dad was more pleased with his than with any other gift. My FIL is prediabetic, non drinking, uni terested in clothes, has enough gardening equipment to see him out, has no interest in personal hygiene/aftershave etc. He doesn’t like 'stuff', or experiences... I'm starting to think about this kind of gift for him..,

Emily7708 Sun 19-Nov-17 13:20:01

You might be putting lots of thought in but you aren’t getting a gift for them - you are donating to charity and bragging to them about it at Christmas. Donate to Oxfam if you like, but getting a charity gift is in no way comparable to giving gifts like money to kids and wine to adults.

Notreallyarsed Sun 19-Nov-17 13:22:21

My parents, aunts and uncles all do this for each other and as we’ve all grown up and become financially independent we get them too. I think they’re brilliant, a really good way of avoiding the “grabbyness” of Christmas and gifts and making it about doing something kind and not about “I want stuff”

EssentialHummus Sun 19-Nov-17 13:29:54

I really like them, and the GoodGifts website in particular.

I had a really good birth experience but my local PCT doesn’t allow gifts to individual midwives. I ended up buying something like this for them which related to the training of midwives in s. Africa (along with a fuckton of pastry to drop off).

There are lots of occasions when a conventional gift isn’t needed or wanted, and most of us have waaaay too much stuff.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 19-Nov-17 13:30:26

Hmm some interesting points of view. I think tit for tat buying is pointless and I would be more than happy with this sort of gift especially if it meant I didn't have to find a home for yet more smellies that will hang around the house until I donate them to the school tombola. The family are Catholic and Christmas for them is a lot more than the receiving of presents. I would make the gift into a little gift for them so they won't literally just get a card saying 'I've bought a goat'. I was thinking a gift box with some chocolate coins and mini candy canes etc along with the 'gift card's just so the kids are still happy, the adults I hope would be mature enough not to mind missing out on a bottle of wine they could more than easily afford for themselves.

crunchtime Sun 19-Nov-17 13:34:59

in which case you say to them-let's donate to charity instead of buying each other gifts this year.

because otherwise you will get a nice bottle of wine from them and they will get a goat

Emily7708 Sun 19-Nov-17 13:42:44

In that case you should just say to them do you mind if we don’t exchange presents from now on and donate to charity, then you can both donate to the charity of your personal choice. They might rather donate to a small Catholic charity instead of Oxfam. I certainly wouldn’t choose Oxfam myself. Then just get the kids a selection box or token if you wish.

RavenWings Sun 19-Nov-17 13:49:02

I like these kind of gifts, as long as it's a charity the receiver likes. God knows as a teacher, I'd rather have a donation to Guide Dogs or something than the latest "Best Teacher" tat/ mini wine bottles at Xmas.

LookImAHooman Sun 19-Nov-17 13:50:54

To those moaning that it’s not a gift, how about looking at it like ‘My having some sort of relationship with [giver] ultimately means someone in need is better off; don’t I feel lovely for knowing that?’

On a practical note, these things are bloody brilliant when gift giving is ‘needed’ but there really isn’t anything to give. Far better a donation to charity than buying for the sake of buying. My DF is a case in point.

Second time today I’ve gone confused at a MN thread involving expected gift-giving and materialism at Christmas.

CurlyRover Sun 19-Nov-17 13:55:35

If you want to give this sort of gift then I think you should have an upfront discussion with them about it and guage their opinion. I like the idea of these gifts but personally I'd rather donate to a charity other than Oxfam and the like. Some people may be like me and rather have the donation to a charity of their choice, some may love the thought of you buying them a goat and others still would rather the wine but the only way of you knowing which group your particular family member falls into is by talking to them.

MrsHathaway Sun 19-Nov-17 13:58:41

Depends whether you choose a charity relevant to the recipient's interests, or only your own.

If you know aunt Susan spends her Thursdays volunteering for Oxfam then an Oxfam gift would be appropriate; someone who helps at the animal shelter might be less impressed with a Goat. Educational charity for a teacher; midwife training overseas for the postnatal ward.

But don't just send a tenner to the charity you personally bang on about all year and pretend you've done your dad a favour. If you want them supported, ask your friends and family to buy you a Goat/ rescue a donkey/ sponsor a tree.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sun 19-Nov-17 13:59:21

I second the idea of suggesting to them that there are no gifts and a donation instead, this is what I did with friends last year and did a collective donation to a local charity we'd all decided on.

BewareOfDragons Sun 19-Nov-17 14:07:41

I agree with crunchtime. Donating in someone else's name is not a 'gift'. It's a 'make yourself look good and charitable' moment for the giver; it has nothing to do with the recipient at all UNLESS they have asked you to donate to a charity in their name.

I don't want people donating in my name to a charity I may not support. A lot of these charitable things haven't been thought fully through to the end and cause more problems than they solve. I prefer to pick my own charities for this reason.

If you don't want to do gifts, don't do gifts. But don't do this to people, especially if you're providing them with other people's contact details for them to be pestered forevermore by charitIES you don't support ... and they always share their mailing lists.

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