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27 Reviews
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October 23, 2014

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October 23, 2014

Alternative Gifts International is an exceptional non-profit dedicated to bringing to our communities the face, passion and lives of those who struggle to live, grow and raise families far from the media. Their outreach is incredible. The good they provide...to connect compassionate folks here in the US with a means to help children and their families world wide. Wonderful.
June 8, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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June 8, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

We used the Alternative Gift Market as a Service Learning project in a Freshman Year Experience course at a community college in Maryland. Students completed in-depth research on four main issues that the students selected based on their curriculum and learning objectives. Students proceeded to act as 'sales people' during the event, each group had their own issue they were an 'expert' on and students became very passionate about their subject. All student feedback was wonderful and the college community showed a great deal of support. We completed our Market during Professionals Appreciation Week, which was also right around Mother's Day and Teacher's Appreciation Day. These holidays improved our sales significantly and with student 'experts' on the subjects and countries it was a great learning experience for anyone who attended. The check-out process was a little cumbersome and we lost a few sales due to people unwilling to wait through such a long process, but we still ended up selling more than anticipated at the event.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 7, 2012

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June 7, 2012

When we formed Cache Valley Unitarian Universalists in Logan, UT, our church of 55 members participated in an interfaith effort for AGI every holiday season at the local Presbyterian church. As UUs, my husband and I made donations and received cards for many of our family members, in order to change Christmas to giving to ourselves to giving to those in greater need than we. Following retirement to Tucson and membership in Mountain Vista UU (UUCNWT), we have volunteered to run an Alternative Gift Market for both AGI and also for a local charity of choice. We are changing the meaning of the holidays for our 150 members and friends, and for their families and friends, through the mission and vision of AGI. Glory be! So much good work to do!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 15, 2012

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1 previous review
April 11, 2011

I am the Board Chair of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. We provide access to education to girls and women in a cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico Three years ago we applied to Alternative Gifts In... more

April 15, 2012

Alternative Gifts International, based in Wichita, promotes and supports the gift markets that support over 30 non-profit organizations which share the yearly catalog. In this age of materialism, the work that AGI does to encourage "alternative gift-giving" is laudable. As the board chair of a non-profit that has had the honor of being in the AGI catalog for 4 years, I am aware and appreciative of the commitment that the AGI staff shows. Working with such caring individuals is a pleasure. Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation has benefited greatly from our association with AGI.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 11, 2011

I am the Board Chair of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. We provide access to education to girls and women in a cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico Three years ago we applied to Alternative Gifts International to be in their catalog and were accepted. We were amazed that AGI would accept a small, grassroots organization because some of the names in the catalog are very well known and established. But AGI saw how much we had grown and developed since our inception. They saw that we had a dedicated working board, that the women with whom we partner assess their own needs, and that service learning is an important component of the work we do. AGI works with its client organizations. I attended their conference in April 2010. As a result, we 1) shortly thereafter produced a video showcasing our work for a minimal investment. (see the video at www.MujeresDeMaizOF.org); 2) followed AGI's suggestion and posted a page on Facebook and Facebook Causes; and 3) were able to network with The Nature Conservancy and their representative in Chiapas gave a workshop to the women in the cooperative about climate change. The staff at AGI is supportive and personable. Our experience with AGI has been nothing but positive.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the amazing boost that AGI has given us in our ability to fund, sustain and continue projects. Both the Saturday Children's Programs and the Adult Literacy Programs continue and our scholarship girls know that we will continue support until their educational career is complete. In addition to the financial support, I feel that Mujeres de Maiz OF has a supportive friend in AGI. The interest taken and the hard work by the AGI staff speaks loudly to their dedication and belief in the work they do.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope that they could find a marketing volunteer who could actively seek out more markets for the AGI catalog. Word of mouth is good, but in this difficult economic climate it's not wonder that donations are down. If churches and organizations looking for gratifying fundraising experiences knew about AGI, I have no doubt they would participate. The AGI message incorporates caring for others and selflessness into gift-giving.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Through their catalog.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

October 19, 2011

Working with AGI is both a joy and an example of a strategic, collaborative partnership in the shared goal of helping to make a difference in the world. We (PEER Servants) have been an agency featured in the AGI catalog for a number of years. Because of this partnership, we’ve been able to bring much needed funds to microfinance programs around the world, in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. We’ve been able to reach donors who otherwise wouldn’t have known of these valuable programs, and given them a chance to contribute and participate in supporting efforts of the poor around the world as they do their part to break the cycle of poverty.

In addition, the team at AGI is a pleasure to work with. They take great care in selecting agencies and projects to be included in the gift catalog, and are professional, knowledgeable, efficient and effective. All this, along with being passionate about the mission of providing opportunities for donors to participate in supporting important aid and development projects in a very personalized way.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

.

August 15, 2011

I am writing to share what a wonderful experience our church and community has had working with AGI to host Alternative Gift Markets in South Dayton, Ohio, for four years. As an organizer, I have found AGI to be responsive, collaborative, and highly supportive of our planning process, as well as professional and always responsible in their handling of both monetary and other types of resources.

We are planning our 5th event this November and look forward to raising money to support charities selected and vetted by AGI.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our community hosts an annual Alternative Gift Market each Fall that showcases the humanitarian and environmental causes selected by AGI.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Perhaps reduce the number of projects overall, and try to include more variety among the projects (although projects do change from year to year, they are often very similar).

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

changed the way I view Christmas gift-giving and way to use gifts as a way to honor my faith.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

wonderful!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

May 15, 2011

I have been a donor each year starting in 1992. The service I have received from AGI has been consistently outstanding! Some of the things I like are:

• I feel empowered to give gifts to people who would not normally be on my gift list. Recipients do not expect me to do it again nor do
they feel required to respond in kind. This is wonderful!!!!
• Gifts can be tailored to a person’s interests or attributes. Purposeful gifts that uniquely fit the recipient have extra value. Perhaps their ancestry is from a country where a project exists. A bike rider might like to help medical care workers receive a cargo bike. Maybe they are evangelical and would like to have Bibles distributed.
• A gift from an unexpected source is a great surprise. You can "make someone's day" at small expense! Recipients are pleased that you thought of them. They recognize it as a sincere, not obligatory, gift.
• It is really convenient. You can make many gifts with a single check and company-matching is easy. You write one check, so there is only one submission for a matching grant. Gifts that individually are below the employer's minimum size can qualify for a matching grant when combined.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen people get very excited about giving an AGI gift and I've seen them get very excited about receiving an AGI gift. I've also talked to recipient agencies who have felt blessed by the contributions of AGI.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Suggest that they refer people to these reviews. They are powerful.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

So many gifts are wasteful. It is wonderful to be able to give a meaningful gift. AGI avoids waste in two ways: no flowers or ties to throw away and they do due diligence to make sure the donation is not wasted.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

I often give staff both a gift for them to use and an AGI gift at the holidays. Our daughter used AGI gifts as a "favor" at her wedding. Each table at the reception had a different AGI gift and the people were encouraged to find out what causes were the recipients at other tables.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Try it, you'll love it!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

May 14, 2011

I am sending kudos to Alternative Gifts Markets, Inc. for their caring and sharing with the poor/ sick and vulnerable of the world. Our organization, AHEAD, Inc have been beneficiaries of the gifts solicited from donors worldwide. AHEAD works with under-served communities in developing countries to `reduce mortality and morbidity among women, infants and children living in remote rural areas, and to improve the quality of life for orphans and other vulnerable children, women and youth by implementing sustainable programs that lead to self-sufficiency and self-reliance.

Alternative Gifts Markets has given a voice to these voiceless individuals and families as well as giving visibility to small organizations, like AHEAD, who work in the boondocks making a difference for the people we serve, which oftentimes translates in saving the lives of mothers and children.

THANKS to AGI and all the donors whose generous contributions area a gift of life for many. We salute you and want you to know our beneficiaries are most appreciative of your gifts.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally observed the results in saving the lives of hundreds of children living in remote villages in the Shinyanga Region of Tanzania where they and their families had no access to health services. AHEAD raised the immunization coverage in Meatu District from 28% to 98% for children 5 year and younger. Among other accomplishments: reduced malnutrition among under fives from 20% to 2%; constructed 6 health centers; built 2 dormitories for secondary girls;and, provided more than 500 scholarships

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways to help them obtain more funds to help other small and voiceless organizations who are making a world of difference for millions of people who need help to help themselves.

May 10, 2011

Alternative Gifts International makes it easy to support organizations and agencies as they do good things both around the world and in our own backyard. I've been involved with Alternative Gift Markets in Wichita, Kansas, both professionally and personally for several years.

Professionally:
The Alternative Gift Market held at Grace Presbyterian Church (Wichita) selected the Great Plains Nature Center as one of their local projects to support for 3 years. We (at the Nature Center) then began hosting our own Gift Market during the month of April to celebrate Earth Day and honor Mother Nature.

Personally:
The church I attend continues to support local Gift Markets. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, our group of former Peace Corps Volunteers assists with area Gift Markets during the year.


Every year it's encouraging to see the worthwhile projects selected by Alternative Gifts International, knowing people - and the environment - are being supported and nurtured through partnerships with so many great organizations and agencies.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

through a local Gift Market at my work place and through other local Gift Markets in my community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not make changes.

April 27, 2011

I have worked with AGI through 2 different church mission committees over the past 10 years and have always had a wonderful experience. I was quick to suggest them when moving to my current community as they are always so professional, easy to work with, and provide a large range of opportunities for coordination. We run a small church based event and the materials that they provide make it an amazingly easy event to coordinate. Materials also allow for easy tie-in to Sunday School Classes, other mission efforts, and make the coordinator's job amazingly easy. I would recommend them in a heartbeat.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I saw a major growth in meaningful gift giving during the holidays. Teaching kids about the importance of a solar cooker or access to fresh water for a community and then witnessing them use hard earned savings to purchase those gifts for friends, teachers, and family members is pretty amazing.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If any changes were to be made, it would to be to make the individual event cards more clearly match the donation options.

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