Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 Views: 6984

Shopping with a Purpose

Christmas is just around the corner! This holiday season, why not “shop for good”? You probably spend a lot of time and energy looking for that perfect gift, so why not give a gift with a purpose? You’ll help a worthy cause and delight a loved one with a thoughtful gift!

Shop on Online Sites that Give Back

AmazonSmile provides a way for you to shop for all the things you’d normally purchase on, but a percentage of the total amount you spend is donated to a charity of your choice.

iGive is basically a store rebate program. When members purchase items from an iGive store, the shopper has the opportunity to donate the rebate to his or her selected cause.

If you are a fan of online auctions, eBay Giving Works enables sellers to donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favorite organization.

Since 2006, the Tom’s (a maker of casual shoes) has matched every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need—“One for One. “ Tom’s has now expanded to Tom’s Marketplace, which includes clothing, eyeglasses and coffee. With every bag of coffee purchased, Tom’s provides a week of clean water to someone in need.

Buy Products that Support a Cause

Sevenly, founded in 2011, is based on the belief the “people matter” and is devoted to drawing attention each week to one of the world’s great causes. Each campaign lasts 7 days and $7.00 from each purchase is donated to the featured cause for that week. You can buy a specially designed shirt to support that week’s cause, or choose an item (like a toy, game, or other merchandise) and $7.00 is donated.

Who doesn’t love a handmade gift? Global Goods Partners searches for groups around the world that are changing their communities and creating beautiful handmade products. Global Goods Partners purchases the goods at fair trade prices and brings them to buyers in the US. Over 3,000 women across three continents currently participate.

(Red) ™ works with creators of popular and iconic brands to produce (Red)-branded products that generate contributions to the Global Fund. The Fund invests in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.  From t-shirts to bed sheets, and skateboards to skis, (Red) has you covered!

Donate in Honor or in Memory of a Loved One

Instead of wrapping up another scarf or tie, why not make a donation to a local food bank or homeless shelter in honor of a family member.  Or, if someone on your shopping list has a favorite cause (children’s health, the environment, animals), think about making a donation to a cause they believe in. Here are a few suggestions:

On the Unicef site, you can direct your donation to purchase a bicycle, schoolbooks, or mosquito nets—these are just a few suggestions from a long list of items available.

The Nature Conservancy store has many gift-giving options. You might consider donating a fuel-efficient stove in Africa or adopting an acre in the Appalachians.

Heifer International has a wonderful online gift catalog. Who can resist selecting a flock of geese or a sweet piglet from the list of gifts? You can also buy a bountiful harvest gift basket to support sustainable farming or an enterpriser’s gift basket to help a woman start her own business.

These are just a few ideas. Take a bit of time and think about what social issues are to you, your family, and your friends then shop with these causes in mind.

Give the Gift of Quality Time

Gifts don’t have to be materialistic, why not give an experience?  Your family can volunteer at a worthy cause and get the added benefit of spending time together.  Try spending Christmas day serving food a local soup kitchen.  Or walk a dog at a nearby animal shelter.  To find a local non-profit near you visit and type in your zip code.