Love it or hate it, the holiday hysteria is upon us!
Thankfully, there are quite a few ways you can give back and pay it forward this holiday season. Here are just 21 ways to give back through your holiday shopping.
1. Participate in #GivingTuesday
Then you can feel good about all the shopping you did or have yet to do. You can also give donations in people’s names as early gifts!
Learn more about #GivingTuesday and save the date – Tuesday, December 2!
PEOPLink helps artisans and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from 45 of the poorest countries grow their business through global e-commerce.
I am such a huge fan of using technology to further social good, so this organization speaks directly to me!
For a list of their marketplaces, visit their website.
Worldstock, a project of Overstock.com, features handcrafted products made by artisans around the world.
They even have great guides if you need help getting started choosing their products – home décor, furniture, jewelry, and more!
4. Amazon Smile
Doing some shopping on Amazon? Make sure to choose a charity to support via Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases.
It may seem like a small amount, but every little bit counts!
5. Amazon Wish List
See if your favorite nonprofit has an Amazon wish list.
If they don’t, call them up and ask them what items they most need during the holidays and in the New Year – and create a Wish List for them!
6. eBay Giving Works
eBay Giving Works has 30,000 charity partners and is still growing! It enables sellers to donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favorite charities — all the while giving nonprofits an opportunity to engage new supporters.
Look for the eBay Giving Works blue and yellow ribbon on charity listings.
A couple of years ago I hosted a BeadforLife Marketplace. At no cost to me (other than all the items I purchased), BeadforLife sent me bags of beautiful bracelets, necklaces and other accessories, made from recycled materials by Ugandan artisans and entrepreneurs.
I then shopped this gorgeous jewelry around to my friends and family members, to great success!
Featured in the new Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn book A Path Appears, I was drawn to BeadforLife because they support and develop female entrepreneurs in Uganda.
Read more about their great work on their Stories page.
My daughter and I love TOMS. Not only are their products high quality and stylish, they have a very simple company mantra – for every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need.
This “One for One” concept has started a revolution in socially-conscious companies.
9. Ten Thousand Villages
One of my absolutely favorite stores (hint hint Santa). Get fantastic, handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts made by talented artisans all over the world.
Ten Thousand Villages is a 501c3 nonprofit, and profits from sales of their goods finance the growth of their retail network.
Choose from 1500 stores you already know! A percentage of what you spend (on average 3%) is donated to your favorite cause. is donated to my cause (on average 3%).
You don’t pay more because the stores cover it. You might even pay less with their iGive.com specials!
Having raised over $4 million for charities, Sevenly.org is a perfect place to get social good products.
Each purchase of Sevenly merchandise, whether a campaign-specific shirt or print or an item from their collection, results in a $7 donation to the featured charity. Many items are exclusive, limited edition products.
12. B. Toys & Free the Children
B. Toys give a portion of their sales to nonprofit Free the Children. They are also dedicated to sustainability, “making life easier for parents and encouraging curiosity in children.”
Who doesn’t love that?
13. 31 Bits
According to their website, “31 Bits uses fashion and design to empower people to rise above poverty.”
Each necklace is handcrafted by female artisans in Uganda, who receive an education and finance training to continue their own business.
14. Stand Up To Cancer
The Stand Up To Cancer store has a great variety of items for purchase, and the proceeds benefit collaborative cancer research programs.
As a bonus, I love that SU2C has a page on their website entitled: “Where the Money Goes. And Why.” Straightforward, to the point, in the language that donors use every day.
15. Trouble the Dog
Trouble the Dog is a high quality, handcrafted in the U.S. plush stuffed animal. Proceeds benefit The Kennek Foundation, “dedicated to bringing about hope, resilience and inspiration in the lives of those most vulnerable going through tough times.”
Read the magical story of Trouble and how he helps kids everywhere on the website.
16. Pottery Barn
Through their Gifts That Give Back program, Pottery Barn donates a portion of the proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
17. Sweet Heart Rose
For every outfit sold during the holidays, Sweet Heart Rose will donate a pattern and the materials needed to make a dress. Their Patterns for Progress program benefits CARE programs in Liberia.
18. Explore Pinterest
Heather Mansfield of Nonprofit Tech for Good curates a fantastic Pinterest board called Shop for Good.
Gifts Made In Their Honor
These organizations offer unique gift-giving opportunities that are not traditional, but are guaranteed to make the special people in your life smile.
19. Pencils of Promise
Give a scholarship! This would make a fantastic holiday present in honor of the scholar in your life.
20. Kibera School for Girls in Kenya
I am going to sponsor a student this year, because it is a great lesson for my daughter to understand that education should not be taken for granted.
21. Heifer International
I love their new initiative to teach local farmers to use technology to grow their businesses globally.
Every year they feature a huge gift catalog full of unique ways you can support women’s empowerment, sustainable farming and more with a gift in someone’s honor.
Instead of another bathrobe, “give” your dad a goat this Christmas and support a family farm in a developing country!
TIP: Check in directly with your favorite nonprofits! Look up a cause or a specific organizations on Pinterest and other online channels. They may have an online store or ways to donate while shopping.
For even more ways to make a difference with your holiday shopping, check out: