When I started this blog a while back I decided that the best gift I could give to the world would be to sort my own life out. This is true of most people actually- by remaining solvent and healthy we give our friends peace of mind.
This does not mean it is not a good idea to make cost free donations when we can.
Here is an account of my past three months.
Five cups of miso soup and three almond croissants from Prett a Manger. Total cost £9.55. Charitable donations made by the company (including gifts in kind and other benefits) of approximately £1.
Goods given to local charity shop. £5.00
An order for a wine bag and some luggage tags through Orvis- an upmarket US outdoors chain. This came to £83.95 which is clearly expensive especially as only about 30p of this went to charity. A luxury purchase that I hope I will enjoy.
Total charity value is £6.30 from an expenditure of nearly £100. Not bad but not good either.
The way to get maximum charity value is to go for those companies that give benefits in kind.
Do not confuse '10% of profits go to charity' with '10% of purchase price to charity'. The latter is far better.
Do not forget the staff! Retail workers are poorly paid and an ethical employer will treat them well.