With the holidays just around the corner, people are reaching for their gift lists and jumping head first into shopping mode. And because the holidays tend to bring out our altruistic nature, many nonprofits have set up holiday gift programs to encourage impactful giving.
Below we’ve compiled a list of 10 nonprofits that are offering unique, socially minded gifts this holiday season. Whether you are looking to give someone a meaningful gift or you are looking for inspiration for your own organization’s gift program, this list is a great place to start.
1. Make-A-Wish Foundation
Make-A-Wish serves to strengthen and empower children battling life-threatening medical conditions by making their wishes a reality. Aside from the variety of merchandise available year-round on the organization’s website, you can purchase a customizable holiday cards with personalized messages. The cards are inspired by Wish Kids, and you can order them pre-packaged, assorted, in bulk, or with other options.
Oceana is the largest international organization dedicated to ocean conservation. This year, you can gift a marine animal enthusiast a plush doll and cookie cutter, all while making the adoption of a sea creature possible. You can also send a card, reusable aluminum water bottle, or rope bracelet, with proceeds going directly to the organization.
3. Invisible Children
Devoted to the rescue and rehabilitation of former child soldiers and to bringing international fugitive Joseph Kony to justice, Invisible Children invites you to help reunite 20 former child soldiers with their families this holiday season. Starting from $25, your donation can provide a play therapy kit for a returning child, a pathway to an education, or a journey home for an escaped child soldier.
4. Liberty in North Korea
LINK is pursuing an end to the humanitarian crisis in North Korea by providing rescue and resettlement support to North Korean refugees. In celebration of the 76 refugee rescues that were made possible this year, LINK has broadened their list of gift items, offering everything from T-shirts to totes to handmade holiday cards. 100% of the proceeds fund the organization’s mission.
5. The Adventure Project
The Adventure Project raises awareness and funds to support the world’s most effective social enterprises in an effort to end extreme poverty. This Christmas, you can send a “lump of coal” (or rather, handmade soap) to someone who has made your nice list while providing one family in Haiti with a charcoal-efficient stove. We love this creative and deceptively hygienic gift idea.
Pursuing its mission to alleviate poverty, Kiva works globally with micro-finance institutions to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. By buying friends and family a Kiva Card, you’re introducing them to Kiva and allowing them to choose the borrowers – and stories – they want to support.
7. Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger provides sustainable solutions to hunger in over 40 countries, and the holiday season is the perfect time to support the cause while honoring a loved one. Purchase a gift in the name of someone you care about and the money will go to buying provisions such as emergency therapeutic food, a dairy cow, or 1,000 days of childcare.
8. Heifer International
Working to empower impoverished families, Heifer International provides communities with sustainable agriculture and commerce, particularly by giving families an animal that can provide both food and reliable income. You can help donate one of these valuable animals to a community in need, giving a heifer, sheep, water buffalo, or other livestock in the name of a loved one. Why not shake things up and give a llama this Christmas?
9. Robin Hood Foundation
The Robin Hood Foundation is dedicated to funding and creating programs for New York’s neediest citizens. This holiday, you can help the 1.8 million New Yorkers living in poverty by simply sending a loved one a special holiday card. Choose from a variety of designs to wish someone Happy Holidays or Happy New Year, or you can send a personalized photo card and customize the typography.
10. World Vision
World Vision has a selection of gifts too large to list in full. They support a wide variety of causes with the ultimate goal of lifting children out of poverty, so no matter what gift you choose, you can be proud that you are benefiting a child in need.
Photo Credit: mae armstrong designs