- Top-Rated Charities. Charity Watch rates nonprofits on the following criteria: spending 75% or more of their budgets on programs, spending $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, not holding excessive assets in reserve, meeting Charity Watch's governance benchmarks, and receiving "open-book" status for disclosure of basic financial information and documents to CharityWatch. This site has a listing of many nonprofits, by categories such as Animal Protection, Environment, Hunger, Literacy and many more and can be used as a guide for your charitable giving: https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities. Check it out!
- Look at National Resource Defense Council’s offering of “gifts that give back”. Instead of giving things, why not give something like clean drinking water for those who need it, protecting whale nurseries, reviving the rainforest or adopting a wolf? Starting at under $25, you can choose a meaningful gift, get a print or ecard to send and help the environment at the same time! Check out the “Gifts That Do The World Good” webpage at: https://www.nrdcgreengifts.org/
- Have you heard of Sevenly? Recognized as “one of the world's leading 'social good' companies, Sevenly performs monthly, weekly, and even daily campaigns that change lives and bring awareness and funding to the world’s greatest causes.” On their website, you can shop by cause and see that the organization has raised over $4,441,000 since their inception in 2011. Check them out at: https://www.sevenly.org.
- Microlending in California. Want to keep your donations local? Do you know about the Opportunity Fund? It’s the largest nonprofit microlending organization in California. They issue microloans ($50,000 or less) to entrepreneurs who cannot qualify for other credit and have helped thousands of small business owners break the cycle of poverty. A donation to this organization gives back to the community by creating jobs and expanding businesses. Want to learn more? Go to: www.opportunityfund.org.
- Shop local. More of your money stays in the community when you purchase from locally owned and independent businesses. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 stays in the local economy and $27 leaves. For a non-locally owned business, that same $100 purchase has $57 leaving the community and $43 staying. Spending your money in your community encourages local prosperity, creates jobs, invests in the community, reduces the impact on the environment and puts your tax dollars to good use. So look for unique and local gifts this year and support your local businesses!
We’re in the Holiday season and want to share some ideas on how to have a more sustainable gift-giving experience. How about trying something different this year and choose gifts for family and friends that give back to the community and environment? More companies and brands than ever are partnering with humanitarian organizations and non-profits as a way to give back to those in need. Here are some suggestions, so have fun:
SBS believes in the value of collaboration. Our post come from ideas and issues our team feels passionate about. We offer a combination of topical sustainability issues and applicable tips for every month of the year.