Firms can spend between ‚€40 for a share of a dairy cow and ‚€1,800 for a whole one. Other options include buying a flock of 50 chickens for ‚€190, a pair of yaks for ‚€380 or a dairy camel for ‚€200.BÃ³thar, whose marketing budget is provided by a single American donor, recently began a comprehensive Christmas campaign, inserting glossy promotional brochures in broadsheet newspapers and advertising on TV and in cinemas.In the past week, the charity received its first large corporate orders of the season.One was from a Dublin-based leisure store, which donated ‚€3,000 and asked for 30 cards so they could inform people on their gift list that this had been done on their behalf. Another donation was for ‚€4,000 from a Limerick-based construction company.Apart from the ethical issues, there is a practical incentive for companies to choose this route, said Moloney.Companies avoid corporation tax on charity donations of up to ‚€5,000. It makes sense when you think of the cost of sending a rep out for a couple of weeks with a bootload of bottles of whiskey, he said.Oxfam Ireland has taken its corporate marketing efforts a step further. Its gift website, Oxfam Unwrapped, has a special section aimed at corporates: gifts this year range from goats (‚€36) and toilets (‚€45) to water for 3,000 people (‚€3,240).It has also just taken its first big corporate order of the season from a Co Down-based firm of architects, which is spending ‚€2,500. The charity is hoping to raise ‚€100,000 from Irish firms before Christmas.Oxfam’s generic Unwrapped catalogue was launched last year and raised over ‚€350,000 in Ireland. Over 15 per cent of these donations came from staff, managers and directors who gave gifts to suppliers, colleagues, friends and family. Companies on average spent ‚€300 each, while one company donated ‚€10,000 for two water tanks and a school building.Zahra Publishing, which publishes Easy Food magazine, was among the donors last year, giving around ‚€1,500 in buckets, mosquito nets, goats, bicycles and other items for clients, suppliers and staff.Gina Miltiadou, who co-founded Zahra, said the company had an ethical bent and had established its own charitable foundation.People get so many presents and it’s a very novel thing for them to get something quite different, she said.This year Zahra is doing something different by handing out individual hand-made Christmas decorations from Sri Lanka and Mexico, each representing a donation to a women’s charity.We wanted to do something a bit different and give something more tangible. But we may well go back to Oxfam next year.This year, Oxfam has added another gift option aimed to appeal directly to the corporate market: small, medium and large loans to help someone start their own business in Africa. Oxfam fundraiser Siobhan McGrath said the whole venture had been a phenomenal success”.It seems to really capture the imagination – if people can physically picture what they’re giving, it makes a massive difference.Trocaire, which raises millions each Christmas, has yet to target corporate buyers, probably because it has been doing well without them. The charity has raised more than ‚€11 million through its Global Gifts campaign since it was launched in Britain and Ireland in 2000.Last year, over 81,000 gifts were sold – from worms for ‚€15 to a house for ‚€200. Chickens for families in Central America were the most popular gift, with 30,766 purchased.Trocaire’s communications manager, Emer Mullins, said corporate buying accounted for only 1 per cent of their sales last year.This year, the charity’s offices in Cork and Dublin have targeted companies in their areas, but there has been no coordinated campaign. We may look at it in the future, she said.Meanwhile, local charities are trying to play catch-up in this trend and homelessness charities the Simon Communities of Ireland and Threshold are inviting gifts for specfic aspects of their work. The Simon Communities will offer specific gifts for $20, $50 and $80. Orders can be filled by using a dedicated phoneline and special website. Howard Lake | 1 December 2005 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis 41 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Christmas charity gift trend increases The trend towards charities soliciting donations through gifts for specific items for the Third World is increasing in Ireland this Christmas with more emphasis on corporate involvement. Other local Irish charities are also trying to get in on the act.Charities, particularly smaller ones that specialise in supporting the Third World, are beginning to capitalise on companies’ annual gift dilemmas.It’s certainly becoming more of a trend, said David Moloney, deputy chief executive, of Limerick-based charity BÃ³thar, which is keen to convince firms to buy from its gift list. The charity focuses on buying animals for farmers in the developing world – last year it shipped out 490 heifers to Africa and helped 4,500 families. Advertisement Tagged with: christmas Individual giving Ireland About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.