20 Charities to Support During the Holiday Season [Ecom Edition]

20 Charities to Support During the Holiday Season [Ecom Edition]

The winter season is here, and you want to do good as a company and help your customers give back too. During the holidays, grocery stores and pharmacies always offer the ability to round up your purchase or donate a couple of dollars. Ecommerce stores can allow customers to donate too, but in a way that is much more personalized, authentic, and true to the brand.

When choosing charities to support during the winter holidays, you should pick organizations that address the true meaning of the season, as well as ones that align with your brand values. For example, you might choose charities that address homelessness, hunger, and disadvantaged youth. If your target audience is women, you might focus on opportunity organizations for disadvantaged girls and young women.

In this article, we show you how to easily partner with charities (no outreach or paperwork required), the types of charities to donate to during the holidays, and 20 great choices.

How can ecommerce stores partner with charities during the holidays?

There are a few different ways for ecommerce companies to partner with charities. Below we describe some of the most popular ways and the difficulty level.

Method 1: Offer donation incentives with Givz

Difficulty level: easy

How it works: Sign up for Givz, an affordable platform for offering donation incentives. Allow customers to donate a flat rate amount (example: donate $10 for any order over $60) or donate a portion of every sale (example: donate 10% of all sales during December). With Givz, the donation page doesn’t appear until after a qualifying order has occurred, and you can select a few charities to feature on the page for customers to choose from.

Method 2: Create a special product and offer 50-100% of the proceeds

holiday charity

Difficulty level: hard

How it works: You can create a dedicated product in partnership with an organization. This is obviously a more challenging project and would likely require 6-12 months of preparation. This strategy is a great fit for brands that are constantly coming up with new SKUs, but isn’t a good fit for brands who want to offer only a select amount of tried and true products.

Method 3. Send profit or sales donations to one charity for the month of December

Difficulty level: medium

How it works: You can also send charitable donations on your own, without using a platform like Givz. You can simply calculate a percentage of sales or profits for the month of December and then donate it to the charity of your choice. You’d then want to share about this via your email newsletter and social media to celebrate the donation with your customers. The downside of this method (versus using Method 1), is that it’s not as transparent. Customers can’t choose their own charities right away after their qualifying order and won’t receive the donation receipt immediately either, as they would with Givz. The interactiveness and immediacy are more rewarding for customers. Plus, you’ll want approval from your non-profit partners before prominently featuring them on your website. If you want to do a monthly donation, it’ll be less work to choose a handful of orgs, rather than switch it up every month.

Types of charities to donate to during the winter holidays

The holiday season is all about spending time with your loved ones, snuggling up nice and cozy indoors, eating yummy food, and giving gifts. So, it makes sense to donate to charities that help people who don’t get to do these things. For example, charity organizations that provide food to the hungry or shelter to the homeless. You might also want to support immigrant children separated from their families, convicts who can’t yet provide a comfortable experience for themselves and their families but are seeking employment, and disadvantaged youth who might never build a comfortable life for themselves if not given educational opportunities.

The charities you support should address the fundamentals of a good life. Food, shelter, and family—plus the access and opportunities needed to secure and enjoy these fundamentals.

Look for organizations that:

  • Feed the hungry
  • Assist the homeless
  • Assist foster children
  • Assist other disadvantaged children or young adults
  • Help get disadvantaged people back to work
  • Support victims of domestic violence
  • Advocate for and assist immigrants
  • Help disadvantaged people purchase their own affordable home

You’ll also want to consider your audience’s priorities. A largely female audience might feel more incentivized to give to a domestic violence shelter. An audience of parents and grandparents might be more willing to donate to organizations that provide clothing for foster children.

Top 20 charities to donate to during the holiday season

Need help choosing what charities to support? Check out these great organizations.

1. Feeding America

Quick description: The nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

What they do: Feeding America provides domestic hunger-relief for impoverished people, seniors, children and teens, college students, and rural communities. The organization is also very quick to deploy food support to cities and counties affected by natural disasters.

Geographical reach: Entire US

Learn more

2. Covenant House

Quick description: Youth homeless shelters

What they do: The Covenant House offers free housing to homeless youth with 31 different shelters. The organization also provides safety and resources for runaways and victims of human trafficking. LGBTQ youth face greater risks of homelessness and higher levels of hardship, and the Covenant House has special programs and resources to assist LGBTQ youth.

Geographical reach: 31 cities in the US, including New York City, Houston, Oakland, Washington DC, Atlanta, Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Tampa.

Learn more.

3. Kids in Need Foundation

Quick description: School supplies for kids and teachers

What they do: The Kids in Need Foundation can provide one backpack with 3 folders, 2 notebooks, a package of pencils, and other essential school and art supplies for every $25 donated. They also send boxes of school supplies to teachers, schools, and school districts in need of support.

Geographical reach: Entire US

Learn more.

4. Robin Hood Foundation

Quick description: Alleviates poverty

What they do: The Robin Hood Foundation tackles poverty in numerous ways. They help families get back on their feet by rebuilding NYC’s emergency food infrastructure, assisting New Yorkers facing eviction, investing in health and mental services, expanding access to public benefits, offering personal tutoring to students, helping women return to the workforce with affordable childcare, and preparing New Yorkers for higher-paying jobs.

Geographical reach: New York city and Burroughs

Learn more.

5. Carpenter's Shelter

Quick description: School supplies for kids and teachers

What they do: The Kids in Need Foundation can provide one backpack with 3 folders, 2 notebooks, a package of pencils, and other essential school and art supplies for every $25 donated. They also send boxes of school supplies to teachers, schools, and school districts in need of support.

Geographical reach: Entire US

Learn more.

6. National Coalition for the Homeless

Quick description: Policy advocacy for addressing homelessness

What they do: The National Coalition for the Homeless, founded in 1981, is on a mission to prevent and end homelessness. Formerly homeless employees and volunteers are at the center of their work. Their programs are centered around public education, policy advocacy, and grass roots organizing in order to achieve housing justice.

Geographical reach: US

Learn more.

7. The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project

Quick description: Free legal and social services to detained adults and children

What they do: The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project supports adults and children under threat of deportation with free legal services. On average, 7000 people are detained at any given time in Arizona. The organization ensures that asylum seekers have a stronger chance of success. They also assist children in receiving special immigrant juvenile visas and protect survivors of human trafficking.

Geographical reach: State of Arizona

Learn more.

8. RAICES

Quick description: Immigration rights for families

What they do: RAICES, which stands for The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Educational and Legal Services, has the most amount of immigration lawyers of any organization in Texas. The organization offers pro-bono legal representation for families and children in detention and social services including case management and resettlement assistance.

Geographical reach: State of Texas

Learn more.

9. Action Against Hunger USA

Quick description: Global hunger relief

What they do: Action Against Hunger offers food to impoverished populations and resources to enable people to provide for themselves. The organization is also quick to assist during times of natural disasters.

Geographical reach: 50 countries around the world

Learn more.

10. Malala Fund

Quick description: Support for grassroots advocates for girls’ education

What they do: The Malala Fund, founded by Malala Yousafzai, fights for quality education for girls around the world. The organization’s core program is the Education Champion Network, which supports education activists and advocates who are challenging local policies and practices that prevent girls from attending school.

Geographical reach: Global

Learn more.

11. KIND, INC

Quick description: Immigrant children safety and legal protection

What they do: Kids in Need of Defense is an organization dedicated to assisting unaccompanied immigrant and asylum-seeking children with social services, policy-making and advocacy, and family separation assistance.

Geographical reach: Entire US

Learn more.

12. Rainforest Alliance

Quick description: Forming alliances between farmers, forest communities, and governments to  protect rainforests

What they do: The Rainforest Alliance spans 70 countries and involves farmers, forest communities, local companies, governments, and individuals in the protection of rainforests and their biodiversity. Their programs include sustainability certifications for farms, landscape management education, and policy advocacy.

Geographical reach: Global

Learn more.

13. Together We Rise

Quick description: Support children in foster care

What they do: Together We Rise helps children in foster care through multiple initiatives. During the holiday season, they provide gift-filled holiday stockings and quality, wrapped presents. Throughout the year, they offer back-to-school shopping, bikes, skateboards, school supplies, and STEM toys.

Geographical reach: Entire US

Learn more.

14. Equal Justice Initiative

Quick description:

What they do: The Equal Justice Initiative seeks to reform the criminal justice system and eradicate racial bias. They achieve this through assisting people who have been wrongfully convicted or given excessive punishment. The organization also investigates and exposes prison conditions and educates the public in how America’s history of slavery has contributed to its current state of unequal criminal justice.

Geographical reach: US

Learn more.

15. Sierra Club Foundation

Quick description: Advocacy and protection for America’s wilderness

What they do: The Sierra Club Foundation helps to protect America’s wilderness and advocate for climate policy changes. Some of their core programs include Climate and Clean Energy (investments in wind power and other clean energy sources), Environmental Law (litigation advocacy for environmental crises), and Outdoors for All (expanding access and education).

Geographical reach: US

Learn more.

16. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Quick description: Policy, advocacy, and support for domestic violence

What they do: The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is one of the US’s biggest organizations tackling this issue. They have multiple policy and advocacy initiatives, and they also offer victims of domestic violence support in getting back on their feet and securing a stable financial future.

Geographical reach: US

Learn more.

17. Girls Who Code

Quick description: Programs to get more women in computer science

What they do: Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization that aims to close the gender gap in technology and get more women into computer science roles. Their programs include regular clubs, summer programs, and resources to learn coding at home.

Geographical reach: US, Canada, UK, India

Learn more.

18. House of Ruth

Quick description: Shelters for domestic violence victims

What they do: House of Ruth runs 14 supportive shelters for victims of domestic violence, and services victims with not only temporary housing but also transitional living assistance, children’s mental health programs, and counseling.

Geographical reach: 14 locations across the US including Los Angeles and Washington DC

Learn more.

19. No Kid Hungry

Quick description: Ending child hunger

What they do: No Kid Hungry alleviates childhood hunger through free meals, school meals, awareness, advocacy, and policy work. Their Find Free Meals Map offers an instant way for undernourished children and families in need to get help.

Geographical reach: Entire US

Learn more.

20. Scholarship America

Quick description: College scholarships for students in need

What they do: Scholarship America is one of the largest organizations for providing tuition assistance for college students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In over 60 years of work, the organization has awarded $4.5 billion in scholarships.

Geographical reach: Entire US

Learn more.

How to select the best charities to support

Before choosing to feature a charity on your donation page or with your marketing promotions, do some research. Check their website for their current programs and initiatives, and look for results of their work. For example, Scholarship America’s website shares that they’ve donated over $4.5 billion to college students for tuition and important resources.

Use Givz to offer donation incentives with post-checkout giving

Donating to charity should be easy for your business and your customers.

Rely on Givz to:

  • Create a donation threshold or donate a portion of every sale
  • Select a few charities to feature
  • Allow customers to search and select any charity of their choice
  • Automatically donate to the chosen charities
  • Collect all the tax docs you need

What’s really great about Givz is that your customers can choose whatever charity they want.

You can highlight some of the above charities on your donation page, but keep the power in customers’ hands. Let them pick a cause near to their hearts, or an org in their town. Then, collect all of the data around their giving to understand your customers better.

Set up charitable giving for your Shopify store in just a few minutes. Learn more about Givz.

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