It’s that time of the year again – the promise of coolness in the air, the festive season around the corner and the time to slow down a bit. (Except this year of course was nothing but slowing down.) Even though in India our whole year is chock-a-block with festivals, September brings with it a different joyous feeling around the country – Ganapati, Dussehra, Diwali and then to round the year up, Christmas. Everyone celebrates it in their own special way, with unique foods and customs, families and friends around and of course lots of gifts! 

This year though, we should take a small step back and rethink those gifts. Not the emotional value of a gift but maybe the carbon footprint of it or the actual value of it in the recipient’s life. 2020 has come with its fair share of job loss, revenue loss, depression and trauma. In a time like this, what could we do to create maximum impact in the world around us? 

Social gifting!

What exactly is social gifting and why should you do it?

Social gifting is a newly introduced concept where people choose to share their joyous occasions with those less fortunate by donating towards an NGO of their choice. By doing this instead of exchanging physical gifts, we can go a long way in reducing wastage in the gifting industry today. 

Slowly a lot of people have started realising that if they make a donation instead of exchanging a physical gift it makes a much larger positive impact on the world around them. The Gifter would have done something thoughtful and the Giftee would have the pleasure of knowing that without realising it they have done something good for someone else! What more could a gift achieve than that? 

Personal gifting aside, corporate gifting is a very large percentage of the gifting market in India. Massive numbers of sweets, candles, flowers, stationery and other such gifts get sent to clients from companies at Diwali. Most companies set aside a sizeable budget for what is probably their most important gifting of the year. Now imagine if this budget could go towards some charity – a deserving child’s college education, planting a 1000 trees, care of an abandoned infant, or skilling a young person who could then go on to get a job. Imagine the long-lasting positive impact that could make on our society. Will the client really miss that Godiva box or will the fact that he was part of something bigger make him feel like he did something meaningful? 

Corporate Gifting

As Anand Nagarajan of the Dexler Group put it, “By donating to Akshay Patra instead of sending gifts last Diwali, we feel like we made a double impact to society – reduced plastic junk going into the environment and made a difference to someone’s life. A lot of our friends and clients called us saying that they’d much rather be remembered this way than with a gift box!”

According to the President of a large pharmaceutical company, Anglo-French Drugs & Industries Ltd in Bangalore, Diwali gifting is their most important gifting of the year. It’s that time of the year when they like to reach out to their clients and stakeholders to show them that the relationship between them is valuable and the gift is simply a way to demonstrate that. In the past years, they’ve given gifts that they’ve felt would be relevant to the festival along with being useful to the recipients, like sweets or candles. One year, in an effort to move away from giving sweets (that simply add to the existing pile of sweets in most people’s homes) they gave a plant with the desire to make a positive difference to the environment. Then last year they realised that they’d like to go a step further and make a deeper impact in the world, so rather than give a plant, they decided to go with donation. In his words “We do realise that for most people (who would get our corporate gift) the box of chocolate would probably not really impact their lives. We wanted to do something more meaningful. The donation option would directly impact someone’s life and that’s why it appealed to me – whether it is an orphanage or an organisation that helped grow trees. The idea was that we would do something that would make the world a better place. And that’s why we chose an NGO that struck a chord with us and donated our entire gifting budget to them. Having done that, we sent a card out to all our clients with a note telling them what we’d chosen to do and how it would impact the beneficiaries of the NGO. It felt like such a simple way to create impact without adding more waste to the world that I think we’re going to do this every year going forward.”

To make this a reality, Scift, a social gifting service has tried to make this as easy as possible for you. 

  • Simply go to, and click on Give a Gift. 
  • Choose an NGO you like or whose work resonates with you. 
  • You then have to enter your basic details (a maximum of 2 mins of your time), enter the details of your Giftees (recipients), choose how much you want to donate and that’s it. 

You’re done. The rest is done by us. 

We will send an email to your Giftee telling them about what you’ve chosen to do, and later, once the NGO has used the donation, share feedback of how your money was used. 

You can sit back knowing you’ve helped make the world a better place.