Our Mission

Alternative Gifts International is a non-profit organization which inspires support for humanitarian and environmental causes. We offer donors the option to designate charitable gifts through carefully selected agencies in the name of their relatives, friends and associates. 

ABOUT ALTERNATIVE GIFTS

The gifts ordered in the “Gifts Inspiring Change” catalog are unique and life-giving. They are gifts of peace and justice, gifts that are sustainable and that build stability for those suffering. These alternative gifts multiply and grow, sometimes exponentially, and offer hope and new life to people facing grace crisis and need. A water well to a family in South Sudan, a book to a child in Ethiopia, a gift of freedom to those trapped in slavery — these gifts challenge the trivia of our modern culture of consumerism. These are authentic gifts that will change lives. They are always the perfect gift.

Nonprofit Corporation

In July 1986, because of the fast growth of this project, Alternative Gift Markets, Inc. was organized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, tax exempt corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.

Alternative Christmas Markets®

In 1986, AGM applied for the federally registered service mark, "Alternative Christmas Markets" and received this legal mark in June of 1987.

Network of Sending Agencies

Each year, AGI develops a global shopping list designed to meet the needs of hungry, sick, and homeless people and our endangered planet. In order to send designated gifts overseas and to poverty areas of the United States, it is necessary to partner with many grass roots organizations. We have chosen nonprofit agencies with excellent reputations and track records to send gifts to the poor through our annual catalog "Gifts Inspiring Change". If you are a nonprofit interested in learning more about being featured in our catalog, please contact us.

Policy on Designated Gifts

It is the policy of AGI that 90 percent of the monies received by AGI for the alternative gifts will be granted to cooperating agencies who in turn guarantee that the funds received will be used only as designated in their established projects. We retain 10 percent of these funds to pay for our administrative costs. Our annual audited financial statement is available upon request.

AGI is listed on GuideStar, the online standard for nonprofit accountability. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance has granted full Accreditation to Alternative Gifts International. AGI meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

OUR HISTORY

In 1980, Harriet Prichard, then director of Children’s Ministries at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church in California, wanted to model a new, noncommercial way to give authentic gifts at Christmas for the church’s children. She organized a market in which children and many adults sold relief and self-development goods and animals for persons in need in the Third World as alternative gifts. Cards were inscribed with the gifts purchased and sent to friends and relatives to inform them that an alternative gift was given in their honor. 



This project was so motivating that other churches soon wanted to conduct alternative markets. In 1981, five churches in the Pasadena area held markets, and each year the idea spread to many other churches, schools and community organizations. By 2004, there were 325 markets in that year held in 43 US states. Alternative Gift Markets have also been organized in England, Holland, Japan and Korea. In the course of 31 seasons, over $30 million has been raised for people in crisis around the world and for the environment.

Impact Reports/Financials

We hold ourselves to the highest financial standards. Alternative Gifts International is committed to maintaining transparency and financial accountability for both our donors and our partners, so financial information is available to the public.

2016 Annual Report  Audited Financials


Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax

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