In the Spirit of the Season, I’m going to veer off topic for a while and post links relating to gift-giving, and maybe some other consumer issues.
First up is an interesting idea called Charity Checks. The basic idea is that you buy “Giving Certificates” from this site, and give the certificates to your friends. The friends can redeem the certificates by making donations to their favorite charities. You get the tax deduction, and your friends get the pleasure of making a donation to the charity of their choice. As the site explains:
Giving Certificates are like gift certificates, but with a gift certificate you can buy goods; with a Giving Certificate you can do good. Giving Certificates are redeemable for cash by any of the 850,000 IRS-approved exempt organizations. You can give them to charities or give them to people you care about, and let them choose the cause.