Products That Give Back: How Your Purchases Make a Difference

my worldgiving organizations

In days past, changing the world was associated with overseas humanitarian aid efforts that cost lots of money and time. I'll admit, one such trip is on my life list. But before and after I accomplish that, I want to make a difference a day at a time in simple and small ways that aren't so costly or time intensive.

A perfect way to give back is to purchase products where a percentage of the proceeds goes directly to charity. You can choose the products based on your favorite brands or your favorite charities and if you're lucky, both!

Brands That Give and the Charities They're Aligned With

I love to support brands that give back. Some of my favorites or those I've recently discovered include:

(RED)

The brands: Many. The cause: To eliminate AIDS in Africa. My favorite product: (RED) cards from Hallmark. I've gone through multiple boxes.

When you buy (PRODUCT)RED™ items, up to 50% of the profits go directly to those who need it. (RED) has some of the best brands in the world creating (RED) products to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. American Express, Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Dell,  Emporio Armani, GAP, Hallmark, NIKE, Penguin Classics, and Starbucks are all working together to make it happen.

Pink Gives!

The brand: Snapfish by HP. The cause: Breast Cancer Awareness. My favorite product: The cards. Do you see a theme here for me?

When you shop from HP's Pink Gives! Store, 30% of your purchase price goes to BreastCancer.org.

Light the Way Candles

The brand: Aveda. The cause: Clean water projects in India and Madagascar. My favorite product: I love their shampoo (especially the Rosemary Mint), but the product that gives (which is also awesome, but only available in April) is the Light the Way candle.

[Through its fund raising efforts, Aveda has touched the lives of] 34,000 families worldwide by helping Global Greengrants fund water projects like these: converting 50,000 acres of land to sustainable agriculture; protecting or improving 550,000 people's access to clean water; supporting 16,000 women to be activists for clean water in their communities; enabling 275 communities to take action against toxic industrial pollution and hundreds of other projects ... that have helped protect water rights and water access around the world.

Four Tips for How to Choose Products That Support Causes

The next time you are considering making a purchase, ask yourself: "Can I buy this product from a brand that will donate a portion of the proceeds to charity? If you don't know how to find out, follow these simple tips:

  1. Search online. Type in the product you are looking for and see what options are available to you. I just typed in "shampoo" and it took me to Philosophy.com, where I found a shampoo with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. Score!
  2. Research your favorite brands' products. Odds are that your favorite brands have a product or product line that gives back. Take a moment, and find out what they are. If you need them, purchase them!
  3. Shop at a charity mall. When you make a purchase at places like iGive.com or OneCause.com the retailer puts a percentage of your purchase into an account and you can select which charity you'd like to donate to .
  4. Make the giving choice. When presented with purchasing options, choose the one that supports a cause. For a few more dollars or cents, you can make a difference!

What are your favorite products that give back?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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