Virtual gifts of membership
November 30, 2018 12:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of annual memberships that I can give as gifts that support a cause or interest, do not require travelling to a place (so not like a museum), give recipients access to related items or information (like a magazine), and that can be arranged online and shipped to/available in Canada.

An example I have found so far is Seeds of Diversity, where membership supports seed-saving efforts and gives recipients a quarterly magazine and access to a directory of other people offering seeds to exchange. This isn't an interest for all my gift recipients so I'd love to find some other similar examples. Thank you!
posted by onoclea to Shopping (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You could do the Public Domain Review, scholarly essays about all kinds of art and history and ideas in the public domain.

Friends of the PDR get a postcard set every year, it's not much, but I have enjoyed the breadth of the material they cover. I am academic-adjacent and it's nice to see high-quality specialist writing that's not paywalled, especially from outside my usual areas of interest. I sent their article on W.E.B. Du Bois' early work in data visualization to my partner, who continues to refer to it in his African American literature classes.

They send me a weekly online newsletter which I check out fairly often.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:14 PM on November 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

I'm not sure how much value the information needs to have and I'm not sure what your budget is, but I've gotten value out of a Puppy Scholarship from the BC and Alberta Guide Dogs, which for $250 provides two years worth of roughly every four month pupdates including photos of the adorable pupper. Our current puppy is Charo who is a very responsible looking black lab; previously, it was a golden lab named Laika who looked like she had the world on her shoulders but was going to try very hard indeed to be a helpful guide doggo.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:17 PM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

Can you find artists or activists via patreon?
posted by jrobin276 at 12:30 PM on November 30, 2018

Associations in general do this as well as conservation groups. The trick is identifying the interests

Audobon for birds may hold general interest?
posted by typecloud at 12:37 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

You didn't exactly describe a membership in the Hugo review/voting system but you kinda did. I think.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:49 PM on November 30, 2018

Recently I signed up my friend mgar to TEC, The Elongated Collectors, which has a quarterly newsletter, delivered by mail or electronically, about the latest and greatest news of Elongated Coins, which is to say those flattened pennies (or other tokens) you get from machines at all kinds of tourist attractions. They also send you samples each quarter with your newsletter. Memberships start at $11/year.

Definitely more of an interest than a cause, but if you know someone who finds these squished pennies appealing, this will delight them for a year.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:20 PM on November 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

cafe oto is a performance space/record label in london that focuses primarily on modern intersections of jazz, classical and experimental music. they have a digital subscription which entitles you to three downloads a month from their catalog of music that is not available in itunes or spotify. the digital catalog includes both recordings from shows at the club as well as other experimental labels not affiliated directly with the club.
posted by noloveforned at 1:35 PM on November 30, 2018

National Geographic?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:56 PM on November 30, 2018

The Long Now Foundation!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:42 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

The B612 Foundation could just potentially allow your membership dollars to contribute to saving the human race from an extinction-level event: they are dedicated to funding the discovery asteroids, and give the earliest warning possible if the asteroid could impact Earth.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:55 PM on November 30, 2018

Membership to the Goat Justice League is lifelong, not annual, but for $39.95 you get membership to the league which provides resources on how to lobby your city to allow urban goats, a copy of the book "City Goats," instructions for the secret handshake, and a bumper sticker that says, "I'm pro goat and I vote."
posted by Pwoink at 7:25 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Adopt a Manatee!
posted by BoscosMom at 8:54 PM on November 30, 2018

« Older How to electronically pay tolls in Georgia and...   |   Where should I eat in Philadelphia? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments