With holiday shopping season in full throttle, many of us are busy dashing around, Christmas lists in hand, trying to accomplish as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. With all of the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget that there are so many people in need. Luckily, there are several ways to shop down that Christmas list and give to charity at the same time.

If you’re planning to do a lot of online shopping this year, there are a number of websites available that donate a percentage of your purchases to the charity of your choice at no additional cost to you. All you have to do is register, choose a charity, and install their web browser button on your computer (this works like a cookie to track your online activity, similar to Swagbucks). Next, start shopping. Once a transaction is complete, a percentage of that total purchase price will go to the charity of your choice.

  • iGive.com partners with over 1000 online retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. You can even use iGive to book your holiday travel through Expedia or Orbitz. A percentage of your traveling purchase price will be donated to your charity.
  • Shopforcharity.com is a similar website that partners with over 700 online retailers. Sign up with both this website and iGive and you’ll be making a double donation to charity. If you prefer buying gift cards as presents, one of shopforcharity’s affiliated retailers is giftcertificates.com.

There are other websites that will also donate a percentage of your purchase price to charity but don’t require that a web browser cookie or toolbar be installed. Instead, you just have to visit their website, select a charity, and click on the link to your selected merchant from their page to make your donation count. That last part is important. You must start on the website, click the link to the retailer and then start shopping.

  • We-care.com partners with over 2500 online retailers (does not include Amazon) and hundreds of charities to choose from. This site also includes exclusive coupons from participating retailers.
  • Goodshop.com works with over 800 retailers and over 69,000 charities. That’s a lot to choose from! Similar to we-care, this site also offers coupons from retailers.
  • Givebackamerica.com has over 1200 retailers and over 1300 charities to pick from. This site can work like we-care and goodshop where you have to visit the site then click on the retailer link. Or you can install the toolbar to track your purchases at participating retailers – like iGive and shopforcharity.

There are plenty of easy opportunities for you to shop with a conscience and make your holiday season even more meaningful. Find joy knowing that you helped others in need simply by shopping online.

This is a guest post by Erica from Austin, TX
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