Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gifts for a Good Cause 2011

Many of us desire to give gifts that help make the world a better place in some way. And now there’s even a movement to instill more charity and less materialism in Christmas giving, and the idea is relevant even if you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday. www.redefine-christmas.org points out that demand for food aid in the U.S. has increased by 20-40% since the summer of 2008. And there are plenty of staggering statistics out there about how much we spend on items like decorations, gift wrap, ribbons, and bows for Christmas, and what kind of an impact that money could make elsewhere.

Many people are choosing to make donations in lieu of gifts, and there are also options to give a tangible gift that still goes to a good cause. This list is 4 years old now, and I enjoy watching it grow so please send me any updates or additions you have.

You can use the category headings or the search function (Ctrl+F) if you are seeking something specific. As always, please pass this along to anyone who might like to see it, and please support these companies so they stay around. Finally, the shortlinks for this blog entry are http://tinyurl.com/GoodCauseGifts2011 or http://ow.ly/7eOE9. Thanks!


1. Unique ways to give through online retailers and search engines


www.igive.com, homepageheroes.com, www.we-care.com, www.givingpal.com, www.care2.com/shopping, www.good2give.com and www.goodshop.com let you shop for personal and business needs with hundreds of brand name retailers, and a portion of each online purchase is donated to your favorite cause

www.goodsearch.com
and www.searchkindly.org are search engines that donate a portion of their revenue to the charities and schools designated by its user

www.giftsthatgive.com allows you to choose from over 100 upscale brands, and 20% of your purchase will go to the cause you selected from the over 1.2 million nonprofits (Guidestar makes it easy to find your cause) -- you can shop by brand or by category

www.free2work.org helps shoppers find great gifts that do not have forced or child labor in their production


2. Donation cards and gift cards in lieu of an actual gift


heifer.org, worldvisiongifts.org, elca.org, worldrelief.org/gift, fh.org/catalog (Food for the Hungry), harvestofhope.org, foodforthepoor.org, changingthepresent.org, treesforlife.org, alternativegifts.org, mercykits.org, redcross.org/gifts, childfund.org, lifewater.org, thesenumbers.org, theintrepidfoundation.org, oxfamamericaunwrapped.com, fivetalents.org, donorschoose.org, and others offer great options if you want to buy a cool gift in someone’s name where the actual gift goes to a person in need

www.optinnow.org is funded and managed by Opportunity International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending global poverty by selling gift cards to grant microloans to entrepreneurs in some of the poorest parts of the world

www.kiva.org offers gift certificates for microfinancing that the recipient can use to loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world (www.trickleup.org is a similar org but doesn’t appear to offer gift certificates yet)

www.justgive.org is a nonprofit that sells charity gift cards that can be redeemed by the recipient at their choice of nearly 1.8 million local and national nonprofit organizations, and JustGive deducts 4.5% from all donations to cover processing costs

www.charitygiftcertificates.org sells plastic, corn, and online charity gift cards that can be redeemed to make a contribution to one of over 100 major charitable causes (organized into a dozen categories) – an 8% administrative and credit card processing fee plus $0.50 per card is deducted from the funds prior to allocation

www.tisbest.org sells online, printable, and 100% recycled plastic charity gift cards that allow the recipient to support a charity of their choice (over 250 carefully chosen and responsible nonprofits are listed) – the charity receives the amount of the Gift Card, less a $1.95 transaction fee and 3% that goes to the credit card company – and you can upload your own image for the card

www.globalgiving.com is a nonprofit that connects donors with community-based projects that need support, and they sell online, print-at-home, orbiodegradable gift cards for a few bucks (then the entire gift card amount goes to the nonprofit selected) to allow the recipient to select one of hundreds of grassroots social and economic development projects and environmental causes around the world

www.causes.com sells $25 and $50 plastic Causes Gift Cards at Safeway and Vons grocery stores throughout California – you just buy the card, give it to a friend, and your friend can donate the value of the card to their favorite nonprofit of the over 1 million choices

3. Greeting Cards

www.cardsthatgive.org, www.charitycards.com, www.goodcausegreetings.com, and www.cardsforcauses.com list a variety of places where you can buy greeting cards (some sites even offer photo cards) that donate a portion of the proceeds to charity (and some sites let you select any nonprofit, rather than picking one from their list)

www.perupaper.com produces and sells high-quality, handmade stationery, greeting cards, and paper products from recycled materials, employing underprivileged and marginalized women in Peru who would otherwise not have the opportunity to make a livable wage to support their families


4. Baked goods, food gifts, confections, and wine

www.misericordia.org has a Hearts & Flour Bakery that provides jobs for developmentally challenged adults, and a friend tells me that their baked goods are wonderful

www.dancingdeer.com has a program called “The Sweet Home Project” and 35% of the price of the “Sweet Home” cake and cookie gifts go to education, job training, child care and housing through One Family Inc. (www.onefamilyinc.org) in an effort to help families move permanently out of poverty

www.cookiesforkidscancer.org sells eight flavors of fresh gourmet cookies online (from a 25-year old family-owned gourmet bakery in California), and 100% of the profits from the cookies fund research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer research – the cookies are packed in beautiful gift boxes tied with bright green ribbon, and include a note explaining the significance of your gift as well as a personal note from you

bakingforgood.com donates 15% of every purchase to the nonprofit or community cause you choose, and they use the finest all-natural, organic, local, and seasonal ingredients to make your delicious treats, cookies, and party favors – every purchase is baked fresh for your order and wrapped in beautiful, eco-friendly, secure packaging before it’s shipped

www.whowomen.com is a nonprofit founded in 2004 by women to help other women who find themselves in difficult situations, and they offer a variety of handmade gourmet preservative-free holiday cakes and other food products baked by women who need to establish or reestablish self-esteem and confidence

www.greystonbakery.com sells high quality gourmet baked goods (especially brownies) to support affordable childcare in the community, affordable housing for homeless and low income families, and affordable health care for persons with HIV

www.bakemeawish.com, a nationwide gourmet birthday and special occasion cake delivery service, will donate 5-15% of all online cake sales to the various rotating causes (including soldiers serving overseas and US-based nonprofits), and they have a program where you buy a cake here and they ship another overseas to a soldier

www.womensbeanproject.com works with women, giving hard-to-employ folks a new start in life, and they offer lovely gift baskets with delicious bean soups – they are also listed in the jewelry section

www.lambsfarm.org empowers an extraordinary group of more than 250 people with developmental disabilities to lead personally fulfilling lives by selling candles, chocolate, confections, cookies, preserves, snacks, puppy treats, gift baskets, and special event favors handmade by the people of Lambs Farm

www.christkitchen.org is a nonprofit Christian ministry providing work, job training, and fellowship for women in poverty through production and sales of food gift baskets

www.onehopewine.com creates good quality California wines and gift baskets and donates 50% of their profits to charities that support the fight against Breast Cancer, AIDS, and Autism, and causes that help the environment, children’s hospitals, and military families – each varietal is paired with a certain cause, and they release more varietals that donate towards additional causes as ONEHOPE grow

www.flipflopwines.com give a pair of flip flops to someone in need when you purchase wine: for every bottle of flipflop wine purchased, Soles4Souls (www.soles4souls.org) will distribute a pair of shoes to someone in need

5. Flowers

www.organicbouquet.com offers “Flowers For Good” where proceeds from the sale of each flower bouquet are used to support nonprofit organizations dedicated to social justice, wildlife conservation, animal rights, environmental protection, and other causes

www.urbanmeadows.org is a nonprofit organization that is a full-service florist dedicated to providing vocational training to individuals in their recovery journey from mental illness

6. Jewelry

www.narimon.org sells handmade jewelry, cards, and stationary made by women who were formerly trapped in Thailand’s sex industry [2011 note: the store was down in late October for renovation, but check to see if it's back up]

www.thandazulu.org sells hand-beaded jewelry, ornaments, wood carvings, and fabric to generate income for rural South African women and to fund a nonprofit organization that supports orphans and other vulnerable children at the Thanda After-School Project

www.beadforlife.org is a nonprofit that eradicates extreme poverty by selling beautiful beaded jewelry handcrafted by Ugandan women (they turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads) and using the profits to invest in community development projects (including food, medicine, school fees)

www.nightlightinternational.com sells beautiful handmade jewelry and accessories to raise funds to assist women and children (through educational and alternative employment opportunities via a registered nonprofit organization) who are being exploited in the bars of Bangkok, Thailand

www.peacetags.com sells fashion dog-tag necklaces inscribed with words of peace, and in the process supports several nonprofits by raising funds and raising awareness about their missions

www.womensbeanproject.com works with women, giving hard-to-employ folks a new start in life, and they offer lovely handmade jewelry

www.maryfisher.com travels the world advocating for those who share her HIV-positive status, and sales of African jewelry (handmade by HIV-positive women in Rwanda and Zambia) and her own art raises money to support long-term, outcomes-based research for the care of people living with HIV

A little bit different: www.lucinda.com is the website for Designs By Lucinda, a cause-related business dedicated to creating affordable jewelry of the highest quality for the purpose of bringing much needed financial help and awareness to nonprofit organizations and their causes – the main purpose is to allow nonprofits to fundraise with these designer pins


7. Soap, spa, candles, and beauty products

www.beadforlife.org/shea is a nonprofit that eradicates extreme poverty by selling shea butter lip balm and soap handcrafted by Ugandan women to earn fair trade income – and the profits are invested in community development projects (including food, medicine, school fees)

www.saveyourworld.com sells personal care products (soap, shampoo, etc.) made with organic ingredients and then uses the proceeds from the products to save an acre of rainforest for one year (one acre for one year per $25 purchase)

www.brightendeavors.org is a nonprofit social enterprise committed to helping adolescent parents (aged 17-24) transition into economic stability by selling eco-friendly and socially responsible home and bath products hand made by participants


8. Fair Trade Handmade Products


www.globalgoodspartners.org is a nonprofit dedicated to alleviating poverty and promoting social justice by strengthening women-led development initiatives and creating access to the US market for marginalized communities in Asia, Africa, and the Americas – their online store is extensive and allows you to search for hundreds of gifts by category, country, or producer

www.serrv.org is a nonprofit alternative trade and development organization that promotes the social and economic progress of people in developing regions of the world by marketing their gifts in a just and direct manner

www.kingdom-ventures.com sells high-quality Fair Trade home fashion, jewelry, women's accessory products, and other gifts and items made by fair trade artisans from around the world (you can shop by product or by artisan)

www.ashaimports.com distributes Fair Trade products (home accessories made from recycled plastic bags, saris, and tote bags) made by people who have been given a chance to rise above their circumstances and take back their humanity (i.e., Free Set bags www.freesetglobal.com made by former Calcutta prostitutes, Saris made by training and employing families out of the slum districts in Calcutta, and accessories made by the urban poor in Delhi, India, who are paid a fair wage for their work)

www.saribari.com sells home decor (blankets, pillows, table runners, bed linens), bags, scarves, jewelry rolls, and baby items (baby blankets, changing mats, and diaper bags)that have been made from Indian saris by women living in a safe home that has restored their dignity after they have been exploited in the sex trade; each product is marked with a woman's name, a woman who now has the opportunity to make a choice for freedom and new life

www.madebysurvivors.com sells beautiful Fair Trade handicrafts (bags, jewelry, stationary, wallets, books, rugs, clothing, and more) made by survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery at shelters and prevention programs all over the world

www.tradeasone.com sells a variety of Fair Trade items (bags, jewelry, stationary, clothing, food, drink, housewares, toys, health & beauty aids, and more) to promote sustainable business and break cycles of poverty and dependency in the developing world

www.mercadoglobal.org is a nonprofit that sells Fair Trade jewelry, scarves, bags, clutches, and housewares handcrafted by indigenous Guatemalan women to help break the cycle of poverty and send their children to school

www.novica.com (in association with National Geographic) offers handmade home décor, jewelry, apparel, paintings, and more by talented artists and artisans in Asia, Africa and Latin America who set their own prices so they earn more and customers pay less

www.madre.org is a nonprofit that uses human rights to advance social justice by partnering with women in communities worldwide to meet urgent, local needs and create long-term solutions to the problems that women face – their online store sells unique items (jewelry, textiles, household items, and clothing) that were hand-crafted by women from around the world, which helps build sustainable sources of income in those communities

www.bridgeforafrica.org is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting self-sufficiency and the dignity of work in rural Africa – the sales of the handcrafted baskets, jewelry, pins, textiles, tableware, bags, and purses go back to the African artisan groups and are reinvested in community development, training, and job creation in the regions

www.worldofgood.ebay.com is the online shopping site for World of Good, which aims to eliminate poverty and structurally improve the quality of life for artisans in very low income craft producing communities around the world by selling Fair Trade and handcrafted clothing, bags, purses, home decor, housewares, jewelry, desk accessories, notebooks & journals, scarves, and more

www.greenheartshop.org is a premier eco-fair trade non-profit shop, carrying both Fair Trade and eco-friendly products including recycled accessories and handbags, kitchen goods, home decor, gourmet treats, cookbooks, cruelty-free leather, boutique jewelry, fair trade toys, and more -- Greenheart is both "Fair to producers, and good to the Earth"

www.world-shoppe.com sells Fair Trade products (greeting cards, personal accessories, jewelry, stationary, and handbags) that not only provide income, dignity and hope to people in developing regions, but the products also help sustain the communities by promoting community development, healthcare and childcare, education and literacy training


9. Tough to categorize

www.giftback.com offers a wide variety of gifts and gift baskets, and 10% of every purchase goes back to a charity of the giver’s choice

www.worldofgood.com is the world’s first online marketplace to convene thousands of People Positive and Eco Positive sellers and products all in one place, empowering you to shop in ways that align with your personal values: you can search for a vast array of products that are People Positive, Eco Positive, Animal Friendly, and/or Support a Cause

www.womenspeacecollection.com sells well-designed, high quality products (jewelry, scarves, stationary, baskets, candles, purses, gifts, and more) handmade by talented women who are rebuilding their lives in the shadows of war, civil strife or crippling poverty – the founder is a former Ugandan refugee and she works with her team to create sustainable, market-driven relationships that result in poverty alleviation, economic opportunity and shared prosperity

www.presentsforpurpose.com specializes in stylish and meaningful apparel, jewelry, accessories and gifts that give back (10% of sales go to wonderful charities that help people live healthier, happier, and safer lives) – each gift arrives beautifully packaged with details about the product and the cause

www.lifewater.org sells art, photography, jewelry, mugs, apparel, and more to provide safe water to people around the world – their mission is to fight poverty through safe water and they focus on sustainability (safe water, adequate sanitation, effective hygiene, and the skills they need to pass on these resources to future generations)

www.nextaid.org provides sustainable solutions to African children in need, and they list musicians whose music CD sales support NextAid (like funkaid.com, who gives 100% of the CD proceeds to NextAid); they’ve also partnered with MUD (http://shop.mudshop.com/mud-cares-palette), who gives 100% of the proceeds from a beautiful eye shadow palette to NextAid to help build a home for children in Kenya who have been orphaned by AIDS

www.greatergood.com lists 10 sites (like thebreastcancersite.com and globalgirlfriend.com) that offer various gifts, where 3-50% of the purchase price of jewelry, apparel, accessories, stationary, gifts, and much more is given to the charity (helping people, animals, or the planet) – or you can purchase Gifts that Give More™, where 100% of the donation is given to charity

erasems.org has an online store (jewelry, clothing, accessories) where 100% of the proceeds fund Multiple Sclerosis research through Center Without Walls

www.krochetkids.org has a compound in Northern Uganda where over 100 people work (and they're expanding now to Peru), creating a sustainable cycle of employment and empowerment – the crocheted hats are handmade and signed by the woman who makes them, so you can log onto the website and read the story of the woman who made yours, and how making your hat directly impacted her family

www.charitywater.org sells notepads, photo books, stationary, bracelets, eco-friendly water bottles, casual clothes, and gelaskins, and all proceeds help support charity: water operating costs and fund sustainable clean water solutions in developing countries

www.woundedwarriorproject.org exists to honor and empower wounded warriors who incur service-connected wounds, injuries, and illnesses on or after September 11, 2001 and they list several links where you can purchase apparel, jewelry, key fobs, and more

www.tenthousandvillages.com creates opportunities for artisans around the globe to earn a fair wage, selling jewelry, personal accessories, home décor, plant & garden, baskets, personal care, stationery, toys & games, and musical instruments to generate income to pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for themselves and their families

www.spiralfoundation.org is a nonprofit humanitarian organization doing work in Nepal and Vietnam and they sell beautiful handwoven pottery, tea kettles, makeup bags, coffee table trays, dinnerware, jewelry, and handbags to fund humanitarian projects

www.poketo.com sells Poketo Bubble Bags, which are one-of-a-kind purses/bags that are designed by Eco Party Mearry, a South Korean nonprofit in Seoul that specializes in repurposing cast-off materials to create new and modern goods – all profits go towards reducing Korea’s environmental impact

www.homeboy-industries.org
(located in downtown Los Angeles and recognized as the largest gang intervention program in the county) includes a half dozen nonprofit economic development enterprises (two of which can be accessed online if you don’t live in the LA area) whose proceeds help support their services for at-risk and formerly gang-involved youth: Homeboy Silkscreen sells custom shirts, pens and more with silkscreen or embroidery of your logo, and Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise sells casual wear, hats, backpacks, totes, and other products emblazoned with the popular Homeboy and Homegirl logos

www.globalfundforwomen.org lists several sites that sell cosmetics, gifts, bags, accessories, jewelry, home accents, art, stationary, children’s toys, baby goods, books, clothing, and music and donate a portion of their sales to the Global Fund for Women (a nonprofit international grantmaking foundation that advances women's human rights worldwide)

www.appreciate.org creates socially responsible & sustainable designs for corporate gifts, events, conferences, and weddings, and 100% of the profits from every purchase fund programs for homeless youth operated by the Reciprocity Foundation (and the enterprise provides employment and design opportunities for homeless youth)

www.helpinghandrewards.org lists various social enterprises from whom companies can acquire corporate gifts, incentive, recognition, loyalty, gift-with-purchase, premium, and meeting programs

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a great list! Thanks for your time in putting it together, what an awesome way to give during Christmas in such different ways!

Andrew and Abigail said...

I just found this list! I used to work for a non profit and was very involved in anti-sex trafficking, alleviating poverty, fair trade... looking at your site is a big encouragement to pick it back up again. :) thanks!

Gift Basket Euphoria said...

Yes, I agree that gifts are a great way to make the world a better place.

Making people "HAPPY" at work or play is very important and that is the idea I had when I started my company at www.GiftBasketEuphoria.com.

Gift Baskets are gifts makes a difference.

Sunny Seppopino said...

Thank you for posting this wonderful list of organisations! I have been looking for something like this for ages, and found your blog today. I love shopping online, and have realized that I am happier shopping online knowing I have helped someone....

Lily Kapoor said...

Thank you for posting lot of websites of Gifts Shop India which makes easy our daily life because these site provides the gifts on single click.

RightShopping.in said...

Exciting gifts enhance the importance of specified persons in our lives. explore the products ranging from gadgets to Home Appliances, Accessories to Toys and also lots of varieties of categories for Online Shopping in India.