The Holiday Gift Guide That Gives Back

Architects of Change

Corynne Steindler 200x200
Corynne Steindler, Journalist

By Corynne Steindler

Take the guilt out of shopping. This season, shop with a conscience and cross two goals off your list — holiday shopping and donating money — at the same time.
Here’s a handy gift guide that allows you to give gifts AND give back.  Follow it and you can even keep up with the hottest trends and celebrities while giving back and staying within budget. It has something for everyone on your shopping list.

For your best friend or sister:

  • Silver Joyful Heart Foundation Fearlessness Pendant: This $110.00 necklace is great for promoting sisterhood, because 100% of the net proceeds go to Mariska Hargitay’s The Joyful Heart, a nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic assault and sexual violence.
  • Not her style? Consider the Kageno Unity Bracelet, which benefits Kageno, a nonprofit that supports community development in Rwanda and Kenya. This bracelet is a special edition: “Square, gold-streaked rutilated quartz beads are sewn between natural cotton cord and finished with a sterling silver commemorative button.”
  • Or, give her a gift certificate to her favorite store, but only on the condition that you donate a dress from your closet to, a nonprofit that donates prom and homecoming dresses to underprivileged girls. (Taylor Swift and Ashley Green have both donated their dresses.)

For your mom:

  • Pamper your mom with Kiehl’s!  Renowned for its natural, effective bath and body products, the line introduced Limited Edition Kaws Crème to Corps. One hundred percent of the profits will support RxArt, a nonprofit that fosters creativity in pediatric patients by involving them in contemporary art.
  • Handmade soaps are always a treat.  Wrap up a few natural bar soaps from Soap Hope, where 100% of the profits go towards microloans that help underprivileged women earn income. The best part is that each one costs less than $5!

For the men in your life (whether brother, boyfriend, father or husband):

Does he need a pair of super comfortable, low-key shoes to wear around the house or around the corner? When you buy him a pair of shoes from TOMS (only $34.00), founder Blake Mycoskie donates a pair to a child who would otherwise go barefoot.

For the art lover:

Buying art just got a whole lot more impactful. At The Working Proof 15% of the price of a print goes to the charity of the artist’s choice.

For the music lover:

Does she have an iPod? Does she have a celebrity-signed iPod? If not, bid on one at  Upcoming auctions offer iPods signed by Bono, The Edge, and Metallica. Previous celeb iPods sold for around $150. All proceeds go to Music Rising, an organization that helps rebuild the music culture in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina.

For the sports lover:

At Charity Folks, bid on sports collectibles, baseball cards, and even rounds of gold donated by his favorite athletes!  Portions of the bid support the charities these sports icons are involved in.

For your boss, building manager, Secret Santa or neighbor:

  • Too busy to bake?  Pick up goodies from Fifteen percent of the purchase price goes to the charity of your choice!
  • Or consider buying a fruit basket on, where 10% of every purchase goes to the charity of your choice.
  • Everyone knows a coffee lover.  Pick up something for yours from Full Circle Exchange, where all coffees and teas are fair trade. Full Circle Exchange will donate 30% to benefit The Invisible Children Programs in Northern Uganda, which invest in secondary education in northern Uganda.
  • Encourage others to get involved in social causes! At, you can purchase a gift card for any amount over $10.  The recipient can then chose from a list of charities they would like to donate the money to.

Corynne Steindler is a senior reporter at  Previously, she worked as a reporter for the Page Six column of the New York Post, and was the editor of media and celebrity gossip blog  Corynne is a native of the Chicago suburbs, and she moved to New York in 2001 to study Journalism and Gender Studies, and spent time traveling to Spain and Russia during her college years. When not covering the party circuit, Corynne can be found glued to reality TV programs on E! and Bravo, or preferably, spinning at SoulCycle. She lives in Manhattan.


Want more ideas on how to give back? Read 10 Ways to Give Back This Season

More by Corynne Steindler, Make Time for Change: A Guide for Busy 20-Somethings


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