For years, I’ve published holiday gift guides and, separately, information on nonprofits that I love and trust in anticipation of Giving Tuesday. This year, I’m combining the two, featuring actual physical gifts as well as great organizations where you can make a gift in someone’s name. Happy holidays!
Give the gift that employs people.
What’s a social enterprise? In a nutshell, it’s a business (not philanthropy) that employs those facing barriers to employment — like a record of incarceration — in order to build an inclusive economy. For over 25 years, REDF has led the social enterprise movement, investing in nearly 300 social enterprise businesses across the nation, employing 100k people and earning $2 billion in revenue that’s reinvested in people, jobs, and communities. Check out their holiday guide for gifts that do good!
Give the gift of holding companies accountable.
I’m a longtime fan of the nonprofit As You Sow, which has spent 30 years advocating for corporate responsibility through the genius strategy of becoming shareholders that speak up.
Give the gift of truly independent books.
Books make great gifts (just ask a writer). Before you buy, make sure to switch your auto click away from the big A and point it to Bookshop.org, the online bookstore that delivers just as fast for the same price but sends profits to local bookstores — you can either pick your favorite or contribute to a pool of funding that’s split between the 1,600 stores in their network, which have received $28 million in funding in the past three years.
Give the gift that avoids fast fashion.
Cute holiday guide from online resale congregator Beni, which helps you “find anything secondhand,” highlights the fact that the best way to avoid fast fashion is to buy #preloved, especially when it’s a football jersey they’ll only wear once — on game day.
Give the gift that feeds communities.
There are all kinds of plastic-free gift guides floating around, but the best one I’ve seen is from Heifer International, the nonprofit that is on a mission to end hunger and poverty around the world. (I wrote about my family’s craft-y fundraiser for the organization a few years back.) For $20 you can give a flock of chicks to a woman who can feed her family and sell their eggs, then raise more chickens to sell and donate back to her community — and she’ll be mentored every step of the way. It’s a simple and sustainable solution that I’ve supported for many years. Join me?
Give the gift that preserves democracy.
Love seeing the impact of Sister District, which this year helped elect eight legislators who advocate for environmental protection. A full 80% of their candidates won their races with the grassroots support of this incredible organization.
Give the gift of diversifying youth advocacy.
Big Blue & You is the first ocean conservation nonprofit to be founded and run by African American women. For the past 15 years, the organization has supported emerging activists — especially young women of color — with STEAM resources to help them become ocean advocates.