PARTY: A new approach to gift giving

19 April 2017
Reading time3 minutes

Has your child ever been given duplicate birthday or Christmas presents? How about presents that are unsuitable, or that they just don’t need? Well, good news – there are now tools available to help avoid these all too common pitfalls of gift giving.

New app Purposit allows parents to put the money that well-intentioned friends might spend on unnecessary, duplicated or unwanted presents towards more meaningful gifts for their child. Johanna Kollmann and Mario Maia, a couple from Sydney, came up with the idea based on their own personal experiences.

“Before the birth of our first child, we started receiving many gifts/toys and although these were well intended, several were duplicated or simply did not reflect our values,” Johanna explains. “The fact that friends were giving our yet-to-be-born child gifts was a clear sign that they wanted to help. So we thought: what if there was a way of telling our caring yet busy friends what gifts matter the most for our child and get those friends to help fund them?”

The app means parents can receive contributions from friends for the gifts that really matter to their children. Friends can see the progress a child is making towards completion of a gift, comment on photos posted on the child’s page and exchange personal messages with the parents. Parents can also choose experiences as gifts, such as musical lessons, camping trips, overseas exchange programs or even start a university fund for their child.

Mario added: “We wanted to remove the awkwardness of cash contributions. When contributing to a gift on Purposit, a friend will really feel part of that child’s journey.”

Group Together is another tool that makes it easy to collect contributions for a group present. The website allows friends to chip in for a large present for a birthday, for example, or get well soon present, teacher’s gift or wedding present.

Friends Ali Linz and Julie Tylman, from Sydney, came up with the idea after dropping their kids off at numerous birthday parties one weekend. Julie said: “Ali and I have seven children combined. We met for coffee one day after a weekend of ferrying kids to and from birthday parties. We were exhausted from the driving, parking, buying, wrapping gifts, drop-offs and pick-ups involved in attending kid’s parties.

“We were also gob-smacked at the amount of money we had spent (7 kids’ x 2 parties’ x $20ish gifts, plus wrapping and card) only to find out that the birthday kids either already had the gifts, were given multiple copies of the gifts or didn’t love them.”

Group Together invites people to make a contribution towards the gift, issues reminders, collects the money and then sends the funds and group card to the organiser. As well as contributing to the group gift fund, friends can also add a photo and message to the group card, making a great personal memento for the recipient. There’s also the option to donate a portion of the gift pool to your favourite charity.

“As well as cutting out the waste, we also felt that there was an opportunity to create a culture of mindful giving,” Ali said. “That’s why we made it easy to donate a bit of the group gift to charity so kids can learn the joy of giving back.”

This is a sentiment echoed by Johanna and Mario. They hope Purposit will make users somewhat more conscious about what they buy and receive, and the impact on the environment.

“For our kids to experience the amazing gifts chosen for them, we need to preserve our beautiful planet,” says Johanna. “By reducing waste from unnecessary toys, we will all be making a small yet important contribution towards preserving our environment and our children’s future.”

For more information about Purposit, visit or download the free app via the Apple Store. To find out more about Group Together, head to

If you have a birthday party coming up, don’t miss our Party Planner!


Written by

Kerry White

Kerry is the Senior Writer for Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City. Kerry moved to Australia from England in 2013 with her husband and two daughters. She worked as a sub-editor in London for seven years before she had her girls. She now calls the Sunshine Coast her home and is making the most of its glorious weather and beaches. She enjoys baking, especially when she has a glass of wine in hand, and is a part-time Psychology, Criminology and Justice student. She also shares her home with two cats and her daughters' imaginary dogs.


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