A group gift, given BY a group or TO a group
makes nicer gifts affordable for everyone!
Group Giving - BY a Group
This giving strategy turns a gift idea that is too expensive for one individual to buy into a gift idea that's affordable for everyone.
For example, I'm enjoying a pair of season tickets to the opera (with great seats), a well-chosen group gift
from my children.
The subscription was an extra-nice birthday gift for me, and it didn't send any of them to the poorhouse.
Bonus: I haven't had to find space for gift items that I'm sure I would have liked, but don't really need at this point in my life (...now where did I put those tickets?!).
A group gift is a good solution for:
- a Christmas gift for the boss from the whole department
- teacher appreciation gift from the whole class
- a major housewarming gift for renovations or new furniture
- a moving-away gift from local friends/neighbors
- a 50th anniversary gift of some long-awaited luxury
- a family gift to my son Stephen, who wants a new computer more than all other gifts put together!
You will all need to decide whether your gift will be cash, gift card or certificate, or an actual purchase. If you decide to purchase a gift, you'll need to decide exactly what to purchase and how much to spend.
And …this is very important!... consider whether everyone will contribute the same amount. Your gift should be presented from all of you equally, even if some are not in a position to contribute as much as others. Perhaps those who contribute less money will do the legwork (often well worth the difference in funds contributed) of shopping, wrapping, and arranging the presentation.
Approach group gift giving with care. If you pick up vibes of resentment or awkward feelings, get them frankly and politely ironed out at the start - to everyone’s complete satisfaction – or else don’t participate. It’s a lot easier to come up with affordable gift ideas on your own than to end up with feelings of ill will among friends or family.
Group Giving - TO a group
The economy-of-scale principle works beautifully in reverse, too. One affordable gift idea is to host several people for an occasion such as dinner and a show. For several years running, my brother and his wife hosted a family dinner and outing as their Christmas gift to all of us, which we eagerly awaited as winter approached.
Get a block of tickets (ask about a discount) for a play, holiday concert, ball game, or other event. You can choose a known favorite or introduce your guests to a new experience.
Serve a buffet or sit-down dinner at home, either before or after the event. Plan a simple menu to keep the event affordable, and the fuss to a minimum. Your nice dinnerware, along with flowers and candles on the table, will make it a festive occasion.
Dinnertime will give your guests a chance to interact and enjoy each other’s company. If you schedule an afternoon event, they can discuss that at dinner, too.
A hosted group gift is more affordable than entertaining everyone separately, and it eliminates shopping and gift wrapping for each individual. Be sure to ask your recipients well in advance to save the date, especially during the holiday season. Don’t be surprised if everyone wants to make it an annual tradition!
For more group ideas, please visit Family Gift Ideas - many are suitable for non-family groups.
Get more mileage out of your gift budget:
Kick in with others for an extra-nice gift, or
gather several recipients to share a gift!
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Photo credits - logo: Jane M. Sawyer; Fenway: "hoodsie"; buffet: Emily Roesli;
theater: "clarita", all courtesy of morguefile.com. Group photo courtesy Microsoft.