The advent of web 2.0 is often discussed from a business perspective. However, there are a number of non for profit start-ups that are beginning to make some positive progress by adopting the 2.0 web revolution.
Changing the present is a website that fits into this category for sure. The site is operated by Important Gifts Inc and has a classy board of advisers including 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams. Joining Williams on the board are the heads of more than 125 nonprofits, including Teach for America, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Sierra Club, and Sesame Workshop.
The website itself centers around a simple proposition of giving gifts to charities that are accepted members of the Changing the Present community. The content is clearly aimed at getting any capable person to re-consider their options when passing on a relatively (in the context of the human race) insignificant gift to a family member or friend.
Why not honour your friend of family member by donating a gift to a worthy charity. As Changing the present suggests, “Who really wants another pair of fuzzy slippers?”.
One specific feature of the site that I found particularly stick and amusing was the Stupid Gifts section. Once I had grasped the purpose of the site I was initially taken back by this tab labelled ‘Stupid Gifts’. The tab had that ‘don’t click here’ effect on me. Naturally I had to click 😉
The Stupid Gifts section represents a classic web 2.0 tactic in action. Labelled as ‘The Hall of Shame’ the site offers a function that facilitates visitors in up-loading examples of presents or gifts that are ridiculous, meaningless and pointless. There are some excellent examples such as the noteholder or the baby don’t cry. Other visitors can then submit votes on the stupidity level of these pointless gifts.
The objective here is to demonstrate how the average persons gift budget could be used so much more effectively via a donation using the Change the Present service. I think that the section does a great job of achieving this objective.
Apart from this site feature there are more conventional site features and marketing tactics employed. I suppose that the tell a friend feature on the site has a lot more potential given the ‘weight’ of meaning that the core value of the site carries. Most of us with a heart find it hard to overlook opportunities to help out worthy charities and causes.
The sites tag line of, “Changing the world one gift at a time”, says it all really. Do you think sites like this can really make a difference?