This year (and next year by all accounts) I will be attending numerous weddings.All of my friends are currently living with their significant others, have purchased their first home and don’t really need a new toaster. They like most people want/need cash. But according to wedding books (which I haven’t read) you’re more likely to get screwed on asking for cash. This came up when I asked a friend of mine who plans on marrying later this year why he was going to ask for a toaster when he had one (I like buying the toasters, no idea why.) He said “in any event i can return the toaster and get the cash. As you’re right I don’t really need the toaster”According to him there is no way for you ask for cash nicely, and expect people to give what they would have bought anyways. I disagree. And here is my million dollar idea for someone else – well for the company I’m about to mention – send praise to me! :)I love Kiva.org.I’ve loved since it first heard Matt Flannery first speak about it two years ago (wow thats a long time.) And I loved it more when this Christmas instead of the usual trash I send my friends I sent Kiva Gift certificates. All of them are now watching as people around the world use the money to better their lives. Its probably the most successful gift I’ve ever given out.Here’s a necessary Kiva blurb. Kiva is in the micro-loans business:
Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.
I love how you can get your money back once you’ve (by just lending it out!) done good with it. I also love who you can watch the business grow successfully. So here was my advice to my friend:Instead of asking for a toaster or other things ask people to send you Kiva Gift certificates. Then a little over a year from know you can pull the money out and you have cash! But not only that your wedding has brought a whole lot of good into this world. You really can’t loose (well you could loose some money if it defaults – I have 5 loans no defaults – yet.)To this end if Kiva (I know you guys are busy – but this is a good idea) could design a gift registry for people to donate to – that would go a long way to making this easier, because not every donor would have to become a member.As I said I love kiva. There are probably numerous other ways people could get the cash they’d like rather than returning a toaster. But this is by far the most socially responsible. I encourage all of you, regardless if you’re going to a wedding, to try kiva out.