Need a Gift? Choose One That Keeps on Giving

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Ditch the Guilt With Gifts That Give Back

Woman wrapping up a Valentine's Day Gift.
JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Shopping for good is more popular than ever, and there have never been so many ways to do it. So why not ditch the guilt and make a purchase that combines the good feelings of gift-giving and charitable giving?

Any holiday will do, as well as all of our personal celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. To make things super easy, here are suggestions for online shopping so you can just click, wrap, give, and feel good. Get started today!

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Online Shopping Malls for Good

GoodShop lets you buy holiday gifts and also donate to your favorite causes.
GoodShop

GoodShop lets you shop thousands of stores online and designate a portion of your purchase to your choice of its affiliated charities and schools. The cool thing is that you get discounts too. To make it even easier, download the GoodShop app.

Similar sites include  GiftBack.com; and  iGive.com.

Are you an online auction junkie? You can shop for good by buying (look for the yellow and blue ribbons) or selling at eBay's Giving Works

Sellers at eBay's Giving Works can choose to donate a portion of what they receive for items to charities that have been screened by PayPal Giving Fund, eBay's nonprofit partner. You can also choose your favorite causes and donate right on eBay. 

If you're a heavy user of Amazon, don't miss the opportunity to give back at its cause-related site, AmazonSmile. You can pick a charity and Amazon will give a small portion of many of your items' purchase price to it. 

New shopping-for-good portals have opened recently. Some of my favorites are Sevenly, and TOMS Marketplace.

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Big Brand Gifts for Good at (RED)

(RED) is the place to go for great tech gifts for your family. And it helps a great cause.
(RED)

(RED) is big, bright and shiny, just like its famous co-founder, Bono.

Set up back in 2006, (RED) is a collaboration with some of the most iconic brands, such as Apple and Starbucks. The goal is to fight HIV/AIDS. Each company donates a portion of the purchase price of its (RED) products to the cause

There is a treatment for AIDS, but it's still not available to everyone living with this disease. Yet, that treatment can cost as little as 30 cents a day. Now, the goal of (RED) is to reach the first AIDS-free generation.

The (RED) catalog is tech heavy. So if you're planning to buy tech gifts for the family, this is the place to go. Purchase and help a great cause too.

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Clothing for Good

Pujammies are not only comfortable, but they support anti-slavery efforts in India.
Punjammie/Sudara

Slavery still exists in many forms and many places. Punjammies is part of Sudara, a shopping site that helps victims of sex slavery in India to escape and build new lives.

The signature product here is Punjammies, pajama bottoms that are comfortable and beautiful. Get them in long, short or Capri. Wear, enjoy, feel good about helping girls and women.

For more clothing and accessories, check out the fashion channel at Global Goods Partners. This site works for the economic betterment of women and girls by selling handmade, fair trade products.  It works with artisan groups that  employ more than 3,000 women in some 20 countries

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Shoes, Sunglasses and More For Good

TOMS Shoes has become a movement! Now you can buy an assortment of products that trigger charitable giving.
TOMS Shoes

TOMS is famous for one type of unique, super-simple shoe (in a zillion variations), and, for every pair sold, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need somewhere in the world.

But TOMS has gone far beyond the classic shoe it started with. Today you can buy many kinds of shoes, but they all trigger a gift of shoes to someone in need.  Purchase a pair for a loved one and tell them about Blake Mycoskie, a young philanthropist and entrepreneur, who pioneered the One for One concept, a business model that gives back with every product purchased

If sunglasses are on the wish list of someone you know, TOMS offers a sleek line of fashionable ones that support the company's newest charitable mission - the gift of sight. For every pair of glasses sold, TOMS will help one person somewhere to achieve better vision. That might be through giving a pair of glasses, providing eye exams, or even providing surgery to those who need it. 

Oh, and don't forget the coffee and the bags! TOMS has become a movement, creating many products that trigger charitable giving.

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Toys for Your Little Do-Gooder

St. Jude Gift Shop. Get toys here that will give back this holiday season.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

You can't go wrong with UNICEF. If there is a store near you, be sure to shop there. Allow plenty of time for browsing. If that is not convenient, you can shop the online store for a variety of gifts for kids, including these cute UNICEF Coloring Placemats.

Many charities have their own on-site and online gift shops. Be sure to check out your local art museum, hospital, or science center for amazing toys you won't find anywhere else.

Here are some online charity shops to browse:

St. Judes Children's Research Hospital

What's not to love about this place? Children and their families go there free of charge and get help for hard-to-treat health problems. Check out the online gift store for a bunch of lovely toys for your own children.

NPR Shop 

Who knew that NPR had an online gift shop? If you're looking for low tech gifts for kids to lure them from their screens, take a look here. 

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Books for Good

Three cute children's books.

AfricAid works in Tanzania to help children get an education. The organization partners with local schools to help them improve their school rooms, buy school supplies and help children stay in school. 

AfricAid collaborates beautifully with the children and teachers in each school. As a result, several books, written with the children, have been published.  

On My Way to School was one of the first books. But now there is another titled Somebody Like Me about two girls living worlds apart but who are very alike. Information about all the books can be found at the AfricAid website.

You can also support literacy efforts around the world by buying books or textbooks from Better World Books. Their Book For Book program provides one donated book for every book bought on their site. Those books flow through nonprofit partners such as Room to Read and Books For Africa.

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Gifts for Tree Huggers

Nature Conservancy website.
The Nature Conservancy

Tree hugger used to be a term of derision. But aren't we all tree huggers now? Probably everyone on your gift list would appreciate preserving nature way more than getting another sweater or a scented candle. 

The Nature Conservancy gift store is where you want to be. Pick a gift of nature to honor your friend or family member. Say, adopt an acre in the Northern Rockies, provide a fuel-efficient stove in Africa, or protect some rhinos. 

If you still want something to gift wrap, consider a birdfeeder from the Audubon Society, or some cool outdoor gear from the World Wildlife Fund

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Wag a Tail for Good

Dog leash at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary store.
screenshot by JFritz

One of the warmest, fuzziest animal charities is Best Friends Animal Society. You can shop for goodies for your pets or your animal-loving friend or relative in the Best Friends Store.

Do you celebrate your dog's birthday? Give your favorite canine this ever-so-useful doggie first aid kit from the Animal Rescue Site. There are plenty of other gifts for your cats or your animal loving humans as well.

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Gift Cards for Good

Donors Choose Gift Card
DonorsChoose.org

DonorsChoose.org matches donors with specific classrooms, kids, and teachers. For someone on your gift list who cares dearly about education, a DonorsChoose Gift Card could be just the right touch.

Purchase the card, and then the recipient can pick a project from the website. It might be to provide necessary materials like pencils, or to buy musical instruments, or to get samples for a biology project. The donor receives photos of the project, a report showing how the money was spent, and even thank-you letters from the students.

Another favorite gift card is The Good Card. It can be ordered online from NetworkforGood.org. You can send it via email or have a plastic card sent to you (how about a stocking stuffer for the holidays?) or to the recipient of your choice. The gift card can then be redeemed right online to support a particular charity.

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Cause Specific Gifts

Greater Good Shop
GreaterGood

At GreaterGood, you can buy gifts that support specific causes, such as Breast Cancer and ​Literacy, with each site partnered with a handful of charities working on that issue.​

Greater Good partners with a myriad of nonprofits, with a portion of each sale going back to each charity. Products are carefully vetted according to best sourcing principles that include fair trade, safety, environmentally friendly, no child labor, fair market wages, no copyright infringement.

Gift categories include apparel, jewelry, accessories, home decor, pets, toys, and gifts for special occasions.