Gifts That Give Twice

Posted By: Katie Manter MANP News,

As you start your holiday shopping, consider looking beyond online and retail stores and look to your local nonprofits to seek out gifts that give twice. When you purchase gifts from nonprofit organizations, you’re not only treating your loved ones (even the hard-to-shop-for people!), you’re recognizing and supporting organizations that make our communities vibrant. Below are some ideas for you to consider this gift-giving season:

Gifts that Give Year-Round

Consider a membership to a local nonprofit. There are an awful lot of choices and here are just a few suggestions…Maine Island Trail Association, one of Maine’s many land trusts, and your local YMCA offer great member benefits that will keep giving all year long.

The Great Outdoors

For the outdoorsy person in your life, consider a season pass to Inland Woods + Trails or a visit to the Maine Huts + Trails to enjoy some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Bundle up and make a date with a loved one to explore your local land trust, or give a gift in their name to an organization that stewards Maine’s wild beauty.

Something that Can Go in a Box or a Bag

Many nonprofits, like your local museum, historical society, or nature center, have gift stores on-site or online. Check out the Abbe Museum's shop or the Center for Maine Craft, a retail shop run by the nonprofit Maine Craft Association that sells goods made by Maine-based artists. There are so many ways you can find a distinct gift, avoid the mall mayhem, AND support a nonprofit all at the same time!

Puppies and Kittens and Wild Animals, Oh My!

Cute animals are always a hit. Check out Animal Refuge League of Greater PortlandAnimal Welfare SocietyBangor Humane Society, Midcoast Humane, Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, and SPCA of Hancock County among many others to give a gift that the animal lover in your life will appreciate. (Warning: If you go to the animal adoption pages, we cannot be held responsible for your actions!) Interested in supporting a wild animal? Adopt an ambassador through the Center for Wildlife.

Extend Beyond Your Table

Many of our member organizations are anticipating an increase in residents facing food insecurity this winter. As we plan our holiday gatherings, keep in mind these organizations that help Mainers have access to the nutrition they need, and consider how you can contribute. This is a short list of some of the groups in Maine that are working tirelessly to end food insecurity: Augusta Food Bank, AIO Food and Energy AssistanceWaterville Area Soup Kitchen, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program,  Wayside Food ProgramsBath Area Food BankGood Shepherd Food BankLocker Project, and Catholic Charities Food Bank.

Fulfill a Wish

If you don’t see anything above that seems exactly right, search our new and improved member directory for other organizations around the state and seek out something that is right! You can search by county or by mission (or both!). Many organizations will have an easy way to donate or even a wish list of needed supplies.

So, make your list, check it twice, and don’t forget about all of the extraordinary organizations that make Maine such a unique place. Your gift will continue giving throughout the year.

Is your organization offering a gift options this holiday season? Please add additional ideas in the comments section!