Receiving charity Christmas gifts "adopt an animal" etc, How do people feel about this?

Just interested as to how many people would feel disappointed if they were given a certificate for 'adopting a donkey' say, rather than a physical or monetary gift of the same value? Given that many charities are down on donations this year, and some Christmas gift recipients are saying they don't really 'need' anything ( and they really don't) would you feel short changed? 


  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,577 Forumite
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    I am not keen on donating to charities anyway, particularly where I feel that little of the money goes to good causes. A relative insists on donating each year to a charity for my birthday, doesn't bother me as I don't want a gift but I do wish they wouldn't do this, would rather just have a card and good wishes 
  • maisie_cat
    maisie_cat Posts: 2,068 Forumite
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    I've have been gifted such things in the past, we don't do family gifts now. I always thought it was far better than buying me naff gifts that I neither needed or wanted.
  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,556 Forumite
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    In the past I have bought : 
    a mosquito net
    a virtual football
    3 x puppy sponsorship
    a bale of hay
    a goat

    the recipients seem to like the idea. They didn't need anything , and this way a charity benefited.
    Win win
    They got a card and good wishes anyway.

    These days the present list has been severely pruned so I hardly buy anything.
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  • annabanana82
    annabanana82 Posts: 3,023 Forumite
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    I don't receive gifts from many people, but I think I'd rather someone just donated to a chosen charity under their name rather than mine and say its a gift.n

    I give already to a select few charities both in time and donations,. 

    It's also not something I'd gift to someone. Who I gift to is because I want to give them something nice that they may not have bought themselves.

    The type of person that would probably really appreciate such a gift could quite possibly be someone that already goes above and beyond for charities. 

    Second thoughts, some small children may well like adopting an animal, but some of these is more of a package with teddies, newsletters etc so I would consider this.
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  • We've gifted woodland and trees, the person was thrilled and the following year used that idea themselves and did token gifts. 
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  • ellie99
    ellie99 Posts: 1,550 Forumite
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    I wouldn't be disappointed that I wasn't given a gift as I don't really need anything (I do like to receive cards though).
    But I'd much rather the giver just donated to charity in their own name, don't use my birthday/Christmas gift as the reason. To me, it looks like the giver gets all the kudos for doing "a really good thing", but the receiver doesn't get anything. Just give a card, and do your donating in private, no need for everyone else to know. 

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  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,707 Forumite
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    I have done this in the past and whilst it was appreciated I would not do so again. I get annoyed at mail outs from various charities who spend money on pens coasters etc trying to guilt trip you into making donations. I support charities in my own way so unsolicited post outs go unopened
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,150 Forumite
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    Tbh Charity is a very personal thing. There's a local charity to me that a lot of people support. I don't after hearing some stories from 'insiders'  that I know well. so believe what they have said. . I would dislike very much if someone bought me a present from there when I actively don't support them. 
    I know this isn't as likely as the national 'adopt/supply  a whatever' but I would be very mindful that just because I wanted to do it, the recipient might not be as keen on the chairty concerned.  I know I could buy my DD an adopt the animal and she'sd be thrilled but other than that I'd have to know someone really well.  
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,011 Forumite
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    I'd be happy that someone remembered that they were supposed to get me something.

    We do a "name out of the hat" for our family so we each have only 1 present to buy - which is fine.  But some the gifts are garbage. (1 of my brothers gave my OH a sandwich box a few years back, unwrapped, nothing in it.  Bro thought it was witty, OH looked at it and didn't say anything, I ended giving it to a friend for her young child). 

    And sometimes things get left too late to post (we live in different countries) so I've had things arrive in March, obviously posted late January that should have been received in time for Christmas.    

    So going onto an Oxfam or whatever site, on 23rd Dec, buying a chicken for somebody in Africa or wherever, seems a great alternative.
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  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    A couple of Christmases ago a lovely friend received a windfall and instead of spending all of it on herself, decided to buy all her friends, including me, a donkey adoption. I thought it was a great gift at the time.

    BUT then I started receiving lots of begging letters from the donkey sanctuary and I was worried because after the 12 month period my friend had paid for, I felt that they'd want the donkey to receive ongoing support. It stands to reason. Buying an annual adoption subscription would cost me £36 (which isn't a fortune I know but it's more expensive than any gift I would buy for a friend and it's a big chunk of money when you're on a pension) and I was concerned about what was going to happen the following year - and all the years after that when I didn't subscribe. An awful position to be in.

    Although I did feel it was a great idea, it caused me quite a bit of anxiety. It was only when I discovered that more than one person 'adopts' any animal did I feel I could opt out of subsequent donations since all the donkeys would be equally supported by other donors.

    So I do think that if people are going to give this kind of gift to someone, they do need to think long and hard about what will happen when the period of their adoption ends - as well as the effect this will have on the recipient of their gift. I was happy for the donkey but quite miserable knowing that I couldn't possibly keep up the subscription when the 12 months was over. Obviously the sanctuary hopes that people like me will keep up subs but sadly I wasn't able to. I had to ignore all the mail they sent me (and they sent a lot) and it all became quite upsetting in the end.

    Now my daughter and I make a joint donation to a different, small, independent charity every three months. We buy hay bales and carrots direct from the supplier and know that these donations will actually make a difference to neglected animals. There are so many different charities that it's difficult to choose which one and how to support it so we just do our best. We wish we could do more for more charities but on limited incomes it's just not possible. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
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