The season of giving: Do your holiday shopping while benefiting others

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Here are some ways to give to your loved ones while giving back. (Shutterstock)

When it comes to giving to your loved ones and giving back, you really can have the best of both worlds.

We've put together a list of ways you can transform your holiday shopping into an act of charity. You're going to have a hard time ending up on the naughty list if you do these!

1. BUY ONE, GIVE ONE
Many charity-driven businesses use a "one for one" model, meaning every time you buy from them, they donate a similar product to someone in need.

Shoes
Every time you buy a pair from Toms, Twins for Peace or Roma Boots, another pair is donated.

Socks

Bombas has a similar program for their socks.

For bookworms

From totes to jewelry to clothing, Out of Print sells gifts for the bookworm in your life. For every item purchased, they donate -- you guessed it -- books.

For children

Everything Happy sells stuffed animals, children's jewelry and more with a one-for-one model.

For babies

Australian company Baby Teresa donates items to babies in need for every purchase. They offer international shipping.

Sunglasses

Warby Parker and Toms both sell sunglasses through a "buy a pair, give a pair" program.

Coffee

Toms also sells coffee, which can be found in various stores including Whole Foods. Every time you buy coffee from them, water is donated.

Headphones

For every pair of headphone or other product purchased from LSTN, hearing aids are donated.

For pets

For the furry friend on your list, there's BOGO Bowl.

2. SHOP FOR GIFTS FROM CHARITIES

Many charities, such as GoodWill, the Salvation Army and UNICEF, have their own local and online stores. In addition, look online for trustworthy organizations that partner with charities or businesses to help you do good in creative ways, such as these:

(RED): This organization, which raises money to fight AIDS, partners with various businesses to offer red products. Their partners include Apple, Amazon and Sephora, so you can buy gifts like red Beats headphones, red Amazon Echos and RED-themed lip sunscreen.

Prizeo and Omaze:The idea behind these sites is that you're donating to a charity for a chance to win a huge prize. Think "flying across the country for a movie premiere" huge. On many campaign pages, though, there are donation levels that will guarantee you a 'thank you' gift, such as a tote bag or clothing. If your loved one gets a present they love and knows it went toward a good cause, that's priceless.

Global Goods Partners: Global Goods Partners sells handmade products from artisan women around the world and channels proceeds back to organizations that help these women. The non-for-profit offers their products as wholesale, meaning you might see it in your local gift shop or even in a large retailer like Macy's.

3. USE SEARCH ENGINES FOR GOOD
Already know what you need to buy? With these sites, you can just go about your shopping, and part of the cost of your presents will benefit charity. None of these sites cost you a dime, and many of them will also help you find the best deals.

Amazon Smile: Just sign in with your Amazon account, choose your favorite charity and shop how you normally would.
GoodShop: Register with the site and choose your favorite charity. Then use their search engine to find what you're looking for, and click through to a retailer's site to make your purchase, part of which will go to your favorite charity.
iGive: This works almost the same way, but you use a button on various retailers' websites. Go through the site's easy registration process and your favorite retailers will start supporting your favorite cause.

Note: If you represent a charity, many of these have instructions for getting your organization registered. Contact the website for details.

4. ASK AT THE REGISTER

If you're shopping at a brick and mortar store, don't forget to check at the registers and at the front of the store while you're out shopping. Many retailers sponsor shop and give programs in the store.

In some cases you don't even have to buy anything. At Macy's, for instance, you can write a letter to Santa and leave it with them, and they'll donate $1 to Make-A-Wish.

5. MAKE THE DONATION THE GIFT

If someone on your list is passionate about a particular charity or cause, you could forgo a physical present altogether donate in their honor. There are several ways to do this.

Look for an "adopt-a-__" program: Plenty of organizations allow you to symbolically "adopt" an animal, plot of land or something else for a donation, and many of these allow to donate in someone else's honor. Examples include the World Wildlife Fund, World Vision and the Nature Conservancy.

Go through a giving site: Sites like tisbest and DonorsChoose (for classroom fundraisers) allow the recipient to choose the cause. Others, like Global Giving, still allow you to donate in someone's honor, but they ask you to choose the campaign you'd like to donate to first.

Reach out to the charity directly: Ask if they have a process for donating as a gift. If they don't, you could still donate in someone's name and give your loved one a card or wrapped note explaining the donation.

Note: These lists are not comprehensive. If you see another organization that sells gifts for charity, be sure to find out the name of the charity and verify its legitimacy on sites like Charity Watch and Charity Navigator.

Related Topics:
shoppingholidaycharitycharitiesgood newsfeel goodbusinesspersonal financedonationsgift ideasgiftschristmas giftholiday shopping

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