10 ways to donate when holiday shopping

Pick up sweet products, or magically donate while you buy.

Gordon Gottsegen
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Sarah Mitroff Managing Editor
Sarah Mitroff is a Managing Editor for CNET, overseeing our health, fitness and wellness section. Throughout her career, she's written about mobile tech, consumer tech, business and startups for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.
Expertise Tech, Health, Lifestyle
Gordon Gottsegen
Sarah Mitroff
1 of 12 Getty Images

Shop and donate

The holidays are all about giving. But if you're planning on buying gifts for your loved ones, why stop there?

There are plenty of people and charities that could use a little bit of holiday warmth. That's why we've compiled a list of ways to donate or products that give back to those in need. It'll feel just like your normal online shopping, but your money will go to the greater good.

2 of 12 (RED)


(RED) has partnered with many brands to create products that donate a percentage of each purchase towards fighting HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases.

The latest brand to add its name to the (RED) roster is Amazon, which now sells a special edition red Echo smart speaker. The red Echo costs the same as a normal Amazon Echo ($99), but $10 of every purchase will go towards fighting AIDS.

Other (RED) products include Beats Solo3 wireless headphones, Beats Pill Plus portable speaker, Mophie charging casesportable chargers and even a Vespa 946 scooter.

3 of 12 Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile + Feeding America

Virgin Mobile is hosting a Black Friday deal that gives back. For every person who joins the Virgin Mobile Inner Circle between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Nov. 24-27), Virgin will donate 200 meals to Feeding America, a charity that aims to fight hunger in the US.

Sign up during the promotion and you'll also get a $200 Visa prepaid card. Everybody wins.

4 of 12 Amazon

Amazon Smile

If you already buy gifts on Amazon, you need to check out Amazon Smile. After picking from nearly a million charities, you shop like you normally do, and Amazon donates half a percent of your eligible purchases to your charity (minus taxes, rebates, shipping and other fees). Amazon says it's donated over $62 million to charities this way. 

Plus, you'd be surprised by how many products you can buy that count towards Smile --  tens of millions, in fact.

5 of 12 LSTN


If you're shopping for a pair of headphones this year, check out LSTN. The company makes headphones, earbuds and speakers with wood finishes.

The best part is that the proceeds from each purchase help LSTN and the Starkey Hearing Foundation give hearing aids to people in need all around the world. The company has helped more than 22,000 people regain hearing.

6 of 12 Pela

Pela phone cases

Save the planet while protecting your phone. Pela's cases for a handful of iPhone models (iPhone X and Galaxy S7 forthcoming) are fully compostable. They're made with flax instead of plastic. That means they won't pile up in landfills and take thousands of years to degrade. The company also donates to charities like Water.org, Save the Waves and the Surfrider Foundation.

7 of 12 Screenshot by CNET


Get discounts and donate to charity while you shop for anything online with Goodshop. The site uses affiliate links for big name stores like Gap, Amazon, Apple and Walmart and then donates money to a charity of your choice whenever you make a sale. You can pick from plenty of big names, like the American Cancer Society, the Wounded Warrior Project and the ASPCA.

You can also browse coupon codes and other deals to save money while you shop. Think of it as RetailMeNot, but with a charitable bend.

8 of 12 WeWood


For someone who is punctual and also cares about the environment, a WeWood watch may be the perfect gift. The Italian company makes sophisticated watches out of wood that are free of toxic and artificial materials.

WeWood has a soft spot for the environment. That's why it teamed up with Trees for the Future and American Forests to plant a tree for every wood watch purchased. WeWood has planted over 500,000 trees with its partners, and aims to hit one million trees by 2020. WeWood also makes sunglasses and other accessories if watches aren't your thing.

9 of 12 eBay

eBay for Charity

eBay's charity shopping experience, eBay for Charity, lets sellers donate anywhere from 10 to 100 percent of the proceeds of a winning bid to charity. eBay even claims that donating to charity improves chances that the listing will sell.

Listings for charity are marked so buyers can tell where the money from the sale goes. And if you're a buyer, eBay makes it easy to search items based off of the charity it supports.

10 of 12 Gordon Gottsegen/CNET

Charity Navigator

A charitable donation makes a great holiday gift for the philanthroper who has everything and isn't interested in material goods. The website Charity Navigator supplies a full rundown on a charity's financial performance, accountability and transparency about where its funds go.

11 of 12 The Salvation Army

Amazon Wishlists

If you're done shopping for the people on your list, you can shop for a charity. Many charities host Amazon wishlists of items they're in need of. On Amazon, go to the "="" page"="">"Find a List or Registry" page then type the charity of your choosing in the search bar.

Just go to the list section of Amazon and type the charity of your choosing into the "Find Someone's List" search bar. You'll find local branches of charities like the American Red Cross or The Salvation Army, asking for toys, clothes or basic supplies. 

12 of 12 CNET

More holiday deals

We hope you're feeling charitable this holiday season and find ways to give back. But when you're done donating, be sure to check out the CNET Holiday Gift Guide for the best tech products you can give to your loved ones -- or yourself.

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