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Black Friday, The Giving Partner Way: 3 Deals that Also Benefit Our Community

November 29, 2013

By now, some of you are snuggled back in your beds after venturing out in the wee hours of the morning to snag some deals for the holidays.

Whether you are in that group or in the anti-shopping group, we have some fun suggestions for treating your friends, your loved ones and even yourself to amazing finds while supporting local nonprofits.

  1. BOGO deal: Go for an experience.
     Take a short search through The Giving Partner using search terms like “museum,” “theater,” “arts,” “history,” or “environment” and you will gain an appreciation for the number and diversity of arts and cultural organizations, attractions, and natural treasures in our community.

    Purchase a gift membership to a museum, tickets to a performance, or a class at an art center.  If you buy one for your friend or loved one and also buy one for yourself, you are guaranteed to build priceless memories with the time you will spend together.

  2. Alternative deal: Go for feel-good.
    Use the money you saved on traditional Black Friday deals to support local nonprofits, says The Giving Partner Facebook friend Susan Barber. “Save 35 dollars on a TV? Donate even a portion of the savings and it becomes a win-win for everyone.”Or “skip the stores and donate [gifts],” says Betsy Mitchell. Consider giving clothes or toys, or iPads to local organizations.

    Another alternative deal idea: make donations in your loved ones’ names to their favorite nonprofits. If you know the missions that are near and dear to their hearts—homelessness, child abuse prevention, literacy, conservation, animal welfare, etc.—and want to see what all of your choices are in the local charitable marketplace, do your homework online at www.thegivingpartner.org. You can see the different missions and accomplishments of organizations in Southwest Florida and make informed choices about where you choose to give.

  3. Gift card deal: Go for the gift of choice.
    If you’re a gift card sort of boy or girl, check out the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Giving Spirit Cards, available in $25 increments, redeemable for cash donations at any 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the country.  You can also buy gift cards from Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Gulf Coast Gives, allowing your favorite peeps to fund specific projects at local nonprofits.

Now if you still want to buy more traditional gifts for the special people in your life, you might want to check out some of the alternative gift fairs selling goods and crafts made locally, with proceeds benefiting local nonprofits. Special thanks to The Giving Partner Facebook fan Linda Craig for the suggestion!

Wishes for a wonderful weekend and happy (charitable) shopping.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

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