Many of us love to shop, but we also take great pride in donating money to worthy causes. Many of us even make sacrifices with our personal spending so we can have more money to donate.
For any person who loves to shop and support charities, the idea of being able to do both at the same time would be appealing. Well, if that sounds like a better way to spend your money, you would probably be glad to find out that it is possible.
Whether you want to support anything from save the polar bears and rainforest reforestation to terminal disease research, there are ways you can contribute to these causes when you shop. You just need to be aware of the different charitable programs and products that are available.
Popular Stores that Give Back
One way to give back when shopping is to investigate the popular stores to find ones that have a great record of giving to charity. Many of them even have programs that allow customers to make donations or they might run promotions that involve giving a portion of certain product sales to different charities.
With a little research, you will find that many brands donate to various charities. Look into the brands you like and find the ones that donate to the causes you care about. You should also make sure to look for retailers that offer different programs that allow the shopper to participate in the giving.
Online shopping offers some of the best opportunities to engage in charitable shopping. From small ecommerce sites to the giants of the industry, there are a lot of opportunities to give to charity while shopping online.
One of the easiest ways to give while shopping online is to use Amazon Smile. By shopping at smile.amazon.com, you can access all of the same products, but 0.5% of eligible purchases will be donated to a charity you can choose. You can make it even easier by installing the Amazon Smile browser extension of Chrome or Firefox.
Thrift stores also offer a great way to give back while shopping. Beyond being a good way to give a used item a second life, some of the most popular thrift stores are owned and run by charity organizations. You just need to take care to go to a thrift store that is actually run by or partnered with a charity. If you are looking to give back, Goodwill and Salvation Army shops are a good place to start.
Charity Gift Shops
Donating to your favorite charity is one way to give back, but many of them also offer products as a way to raise money. Whether you are shopping for gifts or something for yourself, this can be a way to support a good cause with your shopping.
All you have to do is go to your favorite charity website and see if they have a store. Just to name a few, you can find charity gift shops run by organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, UNICEF and the Red Cross.
Products That Support a Cause
Another option is to look for products that are tied to a cause. With these products, a charity partners with a retailer or brand to develop a product that can be sold to support the cause. The products are usually themed after the cause and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the charity. One good example is the (RED) collection. This charitable organization works with some of the world’s top brands to create products that fund the fight against AIDS, HIV and COVID-19.
You also have a range of browser extensions that can make charitable shopping easier. The above-mentioned Amazon Smile browser extension is one example, but there are many more. The iGive Button offers an easy way to give back while online shopping. Once it is installed, it will tell online retailers that you want to support causes when you shop, and any participating donations will be automatically applied. You could also look into Altruisto, which is a similar browser extension that raises money for charities through online shopping.
There is nothing wrong with a little bit of shopping, but you can also do good while spending money by taking steps to shop for a cause. It might require a little more effort, but it is worth it if your spending can make a difference in the world.