Donate To Charity & Give Back With These Gift Ideas
Americans alone will spend nearly $465 billion during the 2015 holiday season. The UN has estimated a price tag of $30 billion a year to eradicate world hunger – we could resolve hunger for 15 years with the money spent in a single holiday season. The way we spend our money absolutely makes a difference in the lives of our neighbors – here are a few ways to choose the greater good without feeling like a grinch at the family gathering.
Charitable donations that come with a card/certificate
From a charitable giving perspective, these are the best bet. An e-card is free for a company to send and even printed cards are pretty cheap, so the bulk of your donation is benefitting the charity.
Trees for the Future: Degraded soil is a serious issue for struggling communities that are trying to move towards sustainability. They have planted millions of trees in 19 countries, restoring life to land that was degraded or abandoned. You can opt to receive a personalized certificate with your donation.
Oxfam America: Give the gift of a goat, children’s books, or mosquito nets and your recipient gets a card describing your gift.
charity:water: Access to safe, clean drinking water is one of the world’s greatest needs and diseases from unsafe water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. The gift card includes a handwritten note to your recipient.
Charitable donations that come with a gift:
Honestly? From a philanthropic point of view, charitable donations that come with a gift aren’t that great. Thank you gifts cost money and that means less money towards the cause. But let’s not make perfect the enemy of the greater good here. If the alternative is hitting up your local big box and buying more plastic stuff made with unjust labor practices, I think the choice is pretty clear.
Kiva: With Kiva Cards, you get the convenience and flexibility of a gift card while financing a microloan. Receivers choose a borrower to support and once the loan is repaid, they can either reinvest or withdraw the money to a PayPal account. Microloans are one of the most effective ways to achieve long-lasting change.
Defenders of Wildlife: With adoption packages starting at $30, you get a stuffed animal, personalized adoption certificate, and photo. Kids love animals and they ship pretty quickly, making this is a great go to birthday party gift.
Lucky Iron Fish: For $25, you get one and they send one to Cambodia – I just ordered a few of these for the foodies in my life. I love charities like this – they got to know the community they were serving and created a solution based on the actual help needed, not just the services they wanted to provide. You can read more here: http://goo.gl/HYkoF3.
Memberships to local gardens or museums make a great gift: most gardens and museums operate as nonprofits and membership dues help keep the doors open.
Products that donate a portion to charity:
There are an endless amount of products you can buy that give back a portion of proceeds to charity, but oftentimes they are more expensive and only donate a small amount. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $70 to throw down on a Pashmina scarf for my mother-in-law just because they give $2 to a charity. Here are a couple of options that give a decent amount to charity.
Taaluma Totes: Did you see these guys on Shark Tank? I am absolutely coveting one of their Guatemalan bags. I love that they locally source the fabric, give 20% to the country, and then employ disabled workers.
Live Simply Shirt: Lots of options on this great shirt designed specifically to benefit the Syrian refugee crisis (the largest refugee crisis we’ve seen since World War II).
St. Jude Gift Shop: Some great gifts here and 100% of proceeds (minus expenses of the gift) support St. Jude. Families that receive care from St. Jude’s never receive a bill and these donations help make that possible.
Bravelets: Cute bracelets with the words “Be Brave” – $10 of each sale goes to the charity of your choice. They have a ton of charitable options or you can choose your own and design the bracelet to go with it. I’ll be getting these for my daughters this year!
Any to add to the list to help give back? Let us know in the comments!