How to Shop for the Holidays While Donating to Your Favorite Charity

December 15, 2014

Donating to a charity is easier than you think. There are a number of online charity portals that will donate to a designated charity, or one of your choosing, when you shop -- and it won’t cost you a cent.

By choosing the portals below, you are not only getting the gifts you want for friends and family, but supporting causes that could always use a little help. All you need to do is log in and start your shopping experience from there. They will do the rest.

GoodShop works with both large and small charities such as high schools or local shelters. By going through their site, you can go to different online retailers and they will donate a percentage of your purchases to your charity of choice. Each of the 1,300 stores has different percentages they will donate, and even travel sites like Orbitz are included. In addition, they offer many coupons that can add to your savings and you can download the GoodApp to track how much you have raised for you cause.

IGive works similarly to GoodShop. They tend to work with bigger charities and retailers, but the process is the same. Pick a charity and a retailer and go shopping. They boast that they are able to get as high as 3% donation for the charities. There are chances for getting coupons here as well. Just follow the links and get shopping.

Up to 10% of your purchase will be donated to your charity of choice on this site. They also offer grocery store coupons where a percentage of the coupon will also go to charity. There is a huge variety of charities and retailers to choose from on this site.

Non Profit Shopping Mall
As with the above sites, you need to start your shopping at this site for them to be able to track your purchase and donate the allotted amount to the charity. Big retailers like Amazon will give 3.5% and Barnes and Noble will give 3%. A lot of the time this seems like the max, but it’s a good amount considering what you could be spending there.

We-Care features a different charity every month to bring more awareness to the individual causes. They work with 2,400 different retailers so you can find what you need. There is a reminder you can download that will send you messages telling you it’s time to shop, and this site gives you the ability to donate to smaller, local charities.

Amazon is one retailer that is taking charity into their own hands and offering a more direct approach. You can buy just about anything on Amazon and tens of millions of those items are eligible for AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a program where the retailer will donate 0.5% of you eligible purchases to a highlighted charity or a charity of your own choosing. The charity you choose must be registered with AmazonSmile, but even if they aren’t, Amazon still tracks and saves the donations until they do register. The percentage isn’t as much as you might be able to contribute through one of the portal,s but if you like to limit your information online, this might be a good choice for you.

Something to consider:
There is some argument that using these sites might make people less charitable in the long run. It can give you the warm fuzzies and feel like you “gave” causing you to refrain from actually giving from your own pocket. Take the time to think about that and consider donating where you can at other times. Think of this as a bonus donation for your favorite charity -- away to give them a little more than you usually can. Another thing to consider is that these donations aren’t tax deductible since you are not the one paying them --the portals/retailers are. Again, consider what you can do at any time to help out. Someone out there will definitely appreciate it.