They say that it is better to give than receive, so imagine if you can give twice with one present! That’s exactly the idea behind the best gifts that give back. No matter the occasion — whether you’re hunting for a birthday, anniversary or a “just because” gift — it’s always the right time to keep in mind those less fortunate than you. You don’t always have to make a major donation or spend all day volunteering to make a difference. You can simply do a good deed and spread the love with a present with a purpose. We’ve rounded up a slew of options that support everything from literacy to the environment to animals. Shopping for a cause makes you feel a lot better about filling up that virtual cart.
Ready to dive in? Here’s our list of the best gifts that give back.
1. Grounds & Hounds Three Blend Starter Kit
Your morning cup of Joe will taste so much better when you know it’s helping pups, with 20% of all profits from the brand funding rescue programs across the country. The ultimate goal for Grounds & Hounds is to end animal euthanasia and improve animal welfare. This trio includes three of their favorite ground coffees: Morning Walk Breakfast Blend, Paper & Slippers Medium Roast and Alpha Blend Dark Roast. All of their beans are 100% organic-certified, come from the best growing regions across the globe and are roasted in small batches to maximize flavor. They exclusively support farmers who use natural agriculture methods to protect the planet and the flavor.
2. Benevolence LA Premium Scented Candle
This Hibiscus & Palmwood scented candle is literally lighting the way to help end child abuse and trafficking. For every candle purchased, 20% of all proceeds go to Thorn, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the sexual exploitation of children through new technology. The stress-busting candle has an uplifting scent courtesy of top notes of damask and English rose, blended with bergamot, black pepper and red rose, with a base of white musk and golden amber. The vegan candle is hand-poured and made with essential oils and fragrances in a natural soy wax that burns clean, lasting for at least 45 hours.
3. Conscious Step Organic Cotton Crew Socks
Unisex socks brand Conscious Step gives a direct donation to a nonprofit with every pair purchased. This design specifically gives two books to children in Asia with their nonprofit literacy partner Room to Read. Other causes include LGBTQ youth suicide prevention, planting trees, HIV therapy, protecting the oceans and preserving the rainforest, to name a few. All of their socks are made with 75% organic materials, all of the cotton is Fair Trade-certified and they’re certified vegan and animal friendly. Talk about happy feet!
4. FreshJax Grilling Spice Gift Set
Giving back is truly the spice of life, which is why family-owned FreshJax has supported the Campaign To End Childhood Hunger with over 156,000 meals to kids in need. One in six children in America don’t know when their next meal will be, but every purchase of this gift set donates a meal. The certified-organic collection of five spices includes Peppered Habanero, Fresh Bay, Smokey Southwest, Citrus Pepper and Grill Master. Gluten-free, non-GMO, non-irradiated and no artificial flavors, each set is handcrafted in the US.
5. Mom Bomb Bath Bomb Gift Set
Every mom has a lot on her plate, to say the least, so sometimes moms need a little extra help. That’s why Mom Bombs was created. The line of luxury bath bombs supports their sister organization, MomBomb.org, a nonprofit that helps mothers in need. Every time a box of USA-made, organic bath bombs is sold, a portion of the sale is donated to moms going through a crisis. They are given $500 toward a choice of four services — meal delivery, housekeeping, laundry or childcare — from a verified company. Each gift set includes six bath bombs made from natural ingredients, like essential oil blends, that transform your tub into a spa-like experience.
6. Stella Artois Better World Limited Edition Chalice
Since teaming up in 2015, Stella Artois and Water.org have helped 1.7 million people in the developing world. Most of us take turning on the tap and getting clean water for granted, but 884 million people around the globe live without access to clean water. You can help by purchasing just one limited-edition chalice to provide five years of clean water. They partnered with watercolor artist Eili-Kaija Kuusniemi to create the limited-edition chalices. That’s something to raise a glass to.
7. 4Ocean Signature Blue Bracelet
It’s no secret that the amount of garbage in the oceans is staggering. An easy way to help is to sport a 4Ocean bracelet; for each one purchased a pound of trash is pulled from the ocean. The unisex, adjustable waterproof bracelet is hand-assembled by artisan jewelry makers in Bali from recycled materials. The cord is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and the clear beads are made from 100% post-consumer recycled glass bottles, including 4Ocean’s reclaimed ocean plastic and glass.
8. Out of Print Literary Mathilda Tote
Out of Print proves there’s more than one way to share your love of reading. You can sport one of their accessories, such as tote bags and T-shirts, which are all literary themes, like this Mathilda tote. Every time one is purchased, a book is donated to someone in need through their nonprofit partner Books for Africa. Since launching in 2010, Out of Print has donated over 3 million books while supporting the authors and artists behind their charming pieces.
9. LottoLove 2 Pack Gift
Everyone is truly a winner with these fun scratch-off cards! They work just like typical lotto cards, but instead of cash prizes, the foil is rubbed off to reveal a charitable gift, such as three weeks of clean water, four months of solar light, three sets of literacy tools or a nutritious meal, given in over 60 countries. LottoLove works with their charity partners to fulfill them every time a card is purchased; the recipient doesn’t have to do anything. The cards are environmentally conscious and FSC certified. The two-pack includes two LottoLove scratch-off cards, one greeting card of your choice, one white envelope and an informational card on how to play.
10. Samara Shoulder Bag
Salima Visram grew up in Kenya and saw that many kids her age didn’t have access to electricity, so they couldn’t do their homework, which meant they weren’t able to attend secondary school. During her senior year of college in Canada, in 2015, she founded The Soular Backpack, which makes backpacks with solar panels on them so that when kids walk to school it gets charged and they can plug it in and do their homework when they get home. A factory in Kenya produces the backpacks and provides employment to local women.
Initially, The Soular Backpack was completely funded by donations, but that wasn’t sustainable, so Visram launched Samara in 2017, a cruelty-free fashion house that gives 10% of all proceeds to The Soular Backpack; that number will increase as they grow. The entire line is sustainably made, such as a bag made from recycled ocean plastic and sunglasses that are 45% plant-based and made from castor seed oil. Through The Soular Backpack, they’ve now distributed over 10,000 backpacks in Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania and Uganda. Their elegant Shoulder Bag is made from vegan leather and has an adjustable strap and comes in four classic hues.