For the last 10 years I have gave money to different kinds of charities. Some year ago I found Kiva (thanks to my mother), an organization which allows you to easily do micro-loans to a big part of the world where it is really needed.
The website gives you opportunity to browse through the database of people that need a loan. All these loans are for misfortuned people that wants to make their own income through starting an own business, instead of just getting money for the moment. Usually these people can’t go to a regular bank because they don’t have money to secure the loan, they have no credit record as they have never been employed before, or they are not able to fill in the paperwork as they are illiterate.
For each person in the database you will see their business idea and how much they want to loan. You don’t personally have to loan the whole amount to them, instead you put in as much money as you want and other persons do the same until the amount is collected.
When you have loaned out money you will get regular reports from Kiva about your loans and repayments. You are never guaranteed to get the money back, and you don’t earn any interest on these money. As you get your money back, you can relend them to other entrepreneurs, or you can select to withdraw them.
The minimum amount to get started is only $25, so you have no reason why not to do it! This is also a great long lasting present to give to someone.