This Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year is not only expected to top $1 billion in online spending for the second year in a row, but this year World Vision, the international Christian humanitarian organization, says virtual shoppers could make a significant contribution toward helping those in need with online giving.
Last year, World Vision found that more than half of the $32 million contributed through the organization's annual holiday Gift Catalog were funds raised through its online catalog WorldVisionGifts.org. The virtual store features more than 250 untraditional holiday gifts including cows, chickens, mosquito nets and microloans that are purchased on behalf of families living in impoverished communities.
"A gift given from the Gift Catalog significantly improves the life of a child or family in need by providing tools and opportunities to overcome extreme poverty, while at the same time honoring your friends and loved ones," says Traci Coker World Vision Gift Catalog national director.
For each World Vision gift, the giver can make the purchase in the name of a friend, family member, or business associate. World Vision then sends special cards to those individuals, describing the gifts and their impact. In the months that follow, the gift itself or intervention reaches a child or family in need.
Last year alone, World Vision U.S. online giving Gift Catalog helped provide assistance to more than 800,000 people around the world.
World Vision launched the Gift Catalog in 1996. Since then it's raised more than $162 million. And while a goat ($75) may be World Vision's number one seller, there are many affordable items under $35 to choose from.
"This year, World Vision is issuing a challenge to all Cyber Monday shoppers to consider items in the Gift Catalog," says Coker. "We know times are tough but we also know shoppers are looking for gifts that are impactful. As long as you're going to be doing some shopping online, why not do some online giving and include a meaningful gift?"
According to a new 2011 World Vision Gift Giving study conducted by Harris Interactive, the charitable online giving trend is expected to continue despite another holiday season faced with a struggling economy.
More than half (51 percent) of those surveyed say they're now more likely to give a charitable gift as a holiday present this year. And 4 in 5 adults (80 percent) say they'd prefer to receive a "meaningful gift" that would help someone else instead of a traditional holiday gift like clothing or electronics.
To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, visit WorldVisionGifts.org. To order by phone or to request a print catalog, call toll-free at (888) 511-6511.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor, regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit WorldVision.org.