Make your Secret Santa gift count this year by choosing to receive a charity donation instead of a gift.
Secret Santa gift giving can be a great way to keep costs down at Christmas, but it can also lead to a huge amount of money wasted on small gifts that end up unused or in the bin.
UK Money Bloggers, a network of leading personal finance and money saving content creators, has partnered with charity KidsOut to offer you an alternative use for your present fund.
Instead of your Secret Santa guessing what to buy for you when they pick your name out of the hat, you can make it easier by asking for a donation to charity instead using #GiveOrGift.
When you factor in Gift Aid, it means for every £5 donation made, £6 will go to a good cause.
You can choose your own charity to support, or donate direct to our chosen charity KidsOut.
With #GiveOrGift, the thought really does count.
Who are KidsOut?
Our partner charity is KidsOut who support children in Women’s Aid shelters that have escaped domestic violence.
These children often arrive in the refuges with just the clothes on their back and having experienced physical and emotional abuse.
Your donations will provide them with toys or experiences to help them remember what it’s like to be a child and just have fun. By taking part in #GiveorGift, you’ll ensure these children receive at least one present this Christmas.
How does #GiveOrGift work?
If you want to run #GiveOrGift at your workplace or with friends and family, download our Secret Santa pack.
Here you’ll find sign up sheets that allow the Secret Santa organiser to list everyone taking part. You then get to tick next to your name if you want your Santa to give to charity on your behalf, or if you’d like to receive a gift.
When your name is pulled out of the hat, your Santa will see if you want a gift or for a donation to be made on your behalf.
If it’s the latter they can donate via our JustGiving page. There’s also a gift certificate you can print out or email so there’s something to actually hand over.
How do I donate?
If you’ve been allocated someone who wants you to give to charities on their behalf, simply donate the present fund at justgiving.com/page/give-or-gift-2023.
The money raised here goes to KidsOut for them to buy toys for the children. If you’d like to support a different cause you’ll need to donate directly with that specific charity.
You can also print out a giving certificate from our Secret Santa pack so there’s something to handover on the day everyone exchanges presents, or email over if you’re joining in virtually.
How much should I donate?
Generally, a Secret Santa has a price cap of between £5 and £10, though it can be higher. It’s really whatever you decide as a team or group of friends.
Sorry, go back a bit – how does Secret Santa work?
Generally, everyone taking part in Secret Santa puts their name in a hat. Everyone is then randomly allocated someone else’s name, and that’s who they need to buy a gift for. It’s “Secret Santa” as everyone keeps to themselves who they buy for. We’ve explained more in our #GiveOrGift Secret Santa pack.
What’s wrong with Secret Santa?
Secret Santa isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Among close friends it can be a fun and thoughtful way to exchange presents without breaking the bank. But it can also lead to people buying for someone they don’t really know, resulting in presents that don’t get used or thrown in the bin.
Research by Smart Money People in support of the campaign found that a third of workers receive unwanted presents which they give away or throw out. Just those gifts are worth a total of £60m each year.
We think that’s a waste of money and we wanted to find an alternative way for that money to make a difference.
What if I work remotely?
With so many people no longer going into the office, it might mean you no longer get together to exchange gifts. But that doesn’t stop you running a virtual Secret Santa.
In fact, #GiveOrGift is a perfect way to run a remote Secret Santa as you can email over a #GiftOrGift certificate.
Can I only donate if I’m taking part in a Secret Santa?
No, if you’d like to ask other people for a donation instead of a gift, that’s fine. Just send them to justgiving.com/page/give-or-gift-2023 to make their donation.
They can print a #GiveOrGift certificate if they’d like to give you something when you exchange gifts. You can also donate directly yourself – perhaps instead of sending Christmas cards or just because you want to!
What else can I do?
It would be great if you can spread the word. Tell your friends and share this post on social media with the hashtag #GiveOrGift. You can follow UKMoneyBloggers on Instagram or Twitter too to keep track of the campaign.
What if I want a gift?
If you and your colleagues or friends are taking part in #GiveOrGift for Secret Santa and you would like your Santa to buy a present for you, just tick “Gift” on the #GiveOrGift sign up sheet.
What is UK Money Bloggers?
UK Money Bloggers is a community of money saving, money making and personal finance content creators – whether bloggers, influencers, podcasters or YouTubers.
We work together through collaborations, events and campaigns to help our readers with their money matters. Check out our blog to learn more about some of the bloggers involved.
To make your donation, head over to justgiving.com/page/give-or-gift-2023