Of the millions of online sellers, here are 25 e-commerce shops who donate for a good cause…
NOTE: I apologize to all the e-commerce shops not on Shopify! The following stores are on the Shopify platform. If you don’t find a store you support (or operate) here, please contact me and tell me that I missed something. I am happy to update this post and feature similar ones in the future. ~ Andy
To donate for a good cause is a decision made for a variety of reasons:
Companies today are well aware of the enlightened self-interest involved in aligning a company brand with a charitable cause, social or environmental justice mission. For some companies, the impulse to donate to nonprofits as a function of doing business is a business calculation of cost vs. benefit.
Still, other companies hijack terms associated with charity, social enterprise and the like and operate a normal store while benefiting from organic traffic searching for something more meaningful. These are the culture vultures and cause washers and I have taken some effort to avoid those businesses here.
Introducing 25 Legitimate E-Commerce Businesses Who Donate For A Good Cause:
1. Paws For A Cause
The only pet store related site in this post, , Paws for a Cause is an online pet store selling dog products and gifts for their doting masters.
In addition to selling products, Paws for a Cause is dedicated to saving rescue dogs. To this end, they claim to “donate 100% PROFITS to shelters.” The website names a few nonprofit organizations that they work with including Dakin Humane Society, Our Companions Animal Rescue in Manchester, CT and Pet Helpers in Charleston, South Carolina.
CauseGear has built their business on a fairtrade foundation with a specific focus on employing and empowering women and breaking the cycle of women slave labor. They accomplish this through something they cause the CAUSEGEAR 5X jobs model.
The CAUSEGEAR 5X jobs model is a sustainable alternative to hand-outs and a dignified pathway out of poverty. Each purchase supports an ethical, livable wage job that empowers. The wages paid by our manufacturing partners is on average five times higher than the average poverty level wage in the region. Crafters work in a clean, safe, positive, and collaborative team culture. This income provides the opportunity for life’s essentials (food, water, clothing, housing, medical, and education) for the crafter and those they care for. ~ CAUSEGEAR
Now for something a little different.
PinCause seems to be a legitimate grassroots style organization, simple and brilliant. Low cost and effective.
This is not a donation type of cause marketing business. Instead, the crafty crafters at PinCause make little art pins for your cause. How do they do it? From the looks of it, they draw or collage small art pieces together for the next rally or protest, awareness day or townhall meeting on behalf of anyone requesting a made by PinCause pin.
Pins can be used to spread your mission and message or to raise money for an event, at the event!
What we want are real e-commerce stores who donate for a good cause they genuinely believe in.
I hope the businesses featured here will all legitimately fall into this category. I have not been able to discuss business practices with these organizations yet but hope to in the future. Until then, please contact me if any revisions or retractions are required.
4. Global Crafts B2B
If you are looking for a website where you can find more than 60 legitimate fair trade craft vendors from around the world, you have found it at Global Crafts.
One of the OGs of fair trade, Global Crafts has been in business for 13 years, stringently adhering to Fair Trade Federation guidelines and empowering small businesses run by local craft people all around the world.
5. Gifts With Humanity
You may have visited Global Crafts and at first glance thought the site needed an update or bounced because the aesthetic didn’t match the reflection of your millennial eyes. Well, never fear! Meet Global Craft’s little sister, Gifts With Humanity.
Gifts With Humanity is a Global Crafts brand, founded by the same two visionaries that, after volunteering abroad with the VSO and the Peace Corps, decided to start a Fair Trade company all the way back in 2002.
The lovely selections you’ll find at Gift With Humanity is a curated collection that knocks the socks off those Aliexpress imposters. Leave all that behind and find only the best fair trade, local artisans, here.
6. Fair Trade Flair
Fair Trade Flair’s About page tells a story of the founder, who met local artisans while traveling around the world. Thanks to a heart in the right place, an appreciation of the world’s rich cultural diversity, and people met along the way, Fair Trade Flair now has it’s own exclusive collection of Fair Trade goods and a network of artisans to share with the world.
From Afganistan to Thailand, and from Kenya to Guatemala, this website has built a rich network of artisans into its roster. There are almost 200 products on offer. Enough to ensure almost anyone can find an ethical treasure to enjoy or share as a gift.
All artisans showcased on Fair Trade Flair are Fair Trade certified, “which means they comply with hundreds of rules and regulations” ensuring high standards and fair allocation of money and working conditions for all who participate in the system.
7. Chakras Activated
I was happy to find Chakras Activated as I searched through a roster of imposters. How do I know this company is different and actually makes an impact by donating to a cause they care about?
The proof is easy enough to find at Chakras Activated. Their chosen charity is Feeding America and they claim to have “donated over 12000 meals already in 2018”. You can review their statement yourself on their Mission page.
Inside you’ll find jewelry and apparel that would be right at home on Melrose, High Street or along the lanes of Harajuku.
8. The Compassionate Closet
The Compassionate Closet has been advocating for animal rights and against animal cruelty since 2014.
Steadfast in their cruelty-free sourcing, they have a robust range of products from brands like Ahimsa, a vegan leather shoe company and other vegan-centered brands like Compassionate Closet. Here’s a
pair of Compassionate Closet vegan socks. They remind me of Bugs Bunny and super night vision and I’m probably going to get a pair.
In addition to sourcing their products responsibly and compassionately, they also shave off 5% (thanks for that transparency) and donate that money to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, a Colorado farm animal sanctuary and education center.
9. Unlock Hope
Ok. I admit I don’t know how it works but this e-commerce site for a cause designs really cool t-shirts brimming with good design and positivity. AND they give 100% of their profits to nonprofits. Does that make them a nonprofit too? Seems like it would have to.
MOTHER OF EXILES
Unlock Hope is based in Uganda and donates to several different nonprofits, chief among them is ThinkHumanity, focusing on health care, education, clean water, and socio-economic development among struggling communities in Uganda.
10. House of Awareness
There are thousands of mindful nic naks stores on the web. The selections at The House of Awareness are soothing ones, comforting household accents that anyone of your mother’s generation would love.
All the cause categories they support have to do with illnesses and the therapeutic approach taken to product selection here is appropriate. But it isn’t all soothing. There are also motivational pins, keychains and the like to help people struggling with autism, cancer, heart disease, mental health illness and more to struggle toward recovery or at least to a better place.
House of Awareness is a great place to shop gifts for someone in your life who is struggling. Oh, and they will donate 10% of their profits or pass those 10% savings on to you.
12. Give Back Box
I think I’ve found another favorite in this bunch, but I’m not 100% sure. The model over at Give Back Box is to provide shipping labels at the click of a button for any of their collection of nonprofits accepting physical good donations.
This is good in so many ways! By paying Give Back Box as the helpful middleman to your charitable giving, you can easily send your old clothes and household items (recycling) to families and individuals who will happily make use of them. Your shipping cost is tax deductible and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home… but seriously, you should get out more.
This is a true non-zero sum operation and everyone is a winner and enjoys an exchange for value.
Try it out and tell us what you think in the comments!
13. La Tee Da Fundraising
La Tee Da offers their range of products up as fundraising tools. Do you want to buy a Mulberry candle as a regular shopper? Strangely you can do it here. The marketing is and even the name is focused on fundraising but I’m having a hard time seeing how it works, what discounts are available to nonprofits
The marketing and even the name is focused on fundraising but I had a hard time seeing how it works, and how or if nonprofits receive any special benefits from La Tee Da. They send out brochures of their products and the idea is to hand out the brochures to everyone at the fundraising event and this would generate sales for the fundraiser.
So the brochures are really the value, and the items, if they are popular ones at a fundraising event. They offer a 50% discount on the first sample order and I’m not sure how large that order can be.
Warning: Borderline Cause Washer – Get to know the company first before doing business with them.
14. Gallery Drinkware
Another tasteful and well-considered e-commerce business you should know about is Gallery Drinkware. They have brought the impact of donation plus several other layers of impact under one roof, including donating for a cause.
The primary mission at Gallery Drinkware is three-fold:
- To win hearts and minds. The members of this Southern California organization are beach lovers and they want to give people an irresistible alternative to the tacky practice of buying and storing palettes of water bottles just to throw them away. That’s why they created their line of glassware.
- To make something beautiful, lasting and inspiring. There is certainly an artist at work behind the scenes at Gallery Drinkware, overseeing the production that all happens right there in SoCal.
- 3% of proceeds are donated to a worthy cause like the Wyland Foundation, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, or Waves For Water.
15. The Giving Keys
Clearly stated on the mission page of The Giving Keys is the following:
“We’re not a nonproﬁt, we’re a social enterprise.
So instead of raising donations, we sell products to provide jobs.
A good job is a long-term solution for breaking cycles of generational poverty and homelessness.
That’s why we place people on career paths and hand them the keys to unlock their fullest potential.”
The product is simple: old keys transformed into pendants with simple messages stamped into their faces. The product is simple but the benefit of providing jobs to homeless individuals is transformative. Though they don’t actually donate for a good cause, you can rest easy knowing that every purchase will put earned income into the pockets of a homeless person on the right track.
16. Giving Brush
Plastic. Plastic has been both a critical material in the industrialization of civilization and may also be our undoing. Giving Brush is taking on the plastic problem by targeting one of the most ubiquitous plastic tools we all use. Toothbrushes.
Why do toothbrushes need to be made of plastic? Giving Brush asked that question and realized that they don’t need to be! Especially if you make sustainably harvested toothbrushes out of one of the world’s fastest-growing plants. Along with kudzu, bamboo is a super-fast growing plant, it’s straight and rigid. These qualities make it the perfect material for the common toothbrush.
But wait, what about all those plastic straws? Those are a big problem too, right? Yes, it is and Giving Brush has bamboo straws too! And guess what? They’re FREE!
17. Kind Design
How far can $2 go? If you’re working to protect the environment in Colorado or other western US states, it might not go too far by itself. But Kind Designs can do a lot more if we all buy a pair of their Colorado River Shorts.
The $2 from each sale of shorts goes to Western Resource Advocates, an organization that has fought for the environment for 25 years across 7 western states.
If you aren’t in the market for shorts, that’s ok too. Shirts generate donations for a cause too, causes like the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.
18. We Are Kindred
Another exceptional effort here. We Are Kindred takes a very personal approach to donating for a cause. The organization raises funds and then identifies a family or small targeted group who they feel warrants special support.
40% of profits from product sales and 100% of donations received go directly to helping selected individuals. To get a better idea of what this looks like, I’m actually sharing one of their video stories here.
19. With A Purpose
Through their blanket for a blanket program, With A Purpose partners with dozens of nonprofit partners across the United States by donating a blanket for every blanket sold.
Beneficiaries to the program include:
20. Leggings for a Purpose
Leggings for a purpose settle the age-old debate: Can ANYTHING be used for a purpose? The answer is a triumphant yes.
Current nonprofits that you may support through the purchase of leggings at their website include the North Shore Autism Circle or Every Boob Counts.
“Leggings For a Purpose™ was created out of a desire to help those in need. We’re committed to making our community where we live and work a better place with every pair of leggings sold! The way we accomplish this is by donating a portion of all legging sales to charitable organizations. Here, you will be able to see where we donated to and learn more about the organization!”
Enjoy beautiful, expertly crafted jewelry and the knowledge that your purpose works against the destructive force of human trafficking. PurposeJewelry is the retail wing of iSanctuary (learn how to volunteer with iSanctuary.org here), an organization creating sanctuaries; places for women, victims of human trafficking to start rebuilding their lives.
iSanctuary.org focuses on four core components in their work: Income, education, healthcare and community for victims of human trafficking and those who are impacted by human trafficking.
Efforts are currently focused in India, Mexico, Uganda and the United States. For those of you in Southern California, get involved at their Irvine volunteer center!
22. Earth Hero
Reducing the negative consequences of commerce is one of the most vitally important movements of our time. If we as a society are to be good stewards or our home on planet earth, we must learn to do business sustainably
Earth Hero is a B Corp that curates its stable of brands according to sustainability principles including using upcycled and recycled materials, use of low impact dyes and low waste packaging. Their offerings are a banquet table of everything from housewares and camping gear to baby clothes and iPhone accessories.
Minorities are disproportionately represented everywhere in media, but there are some awesome e-commerce shops out there making donations for a cause that you won’t want to miss. One of these is Godiam, a treasure chest of African and black pride items, among other items celebrating the living history of Africans and African Americans.
There’s even an Alkaline Vegan for Newbies guide, available for download.
“100% of all donations and 20% of all purchases go back to helping women in distress and children in our communities.”
24. Humanity Unified
Humanity Unified is an online store and donation site focused on helping families recover and rebuild their lives in the wake of the Rwandan genocide which left Rwanda deeply scarred and destabilized.
Make a donation directly on the website or shop in the store. 100% of profits from the items I viewed support the project in Rwanda.
And definitely check out the highly informative and well-produced video below featuring a number of Instagram personalities who have chosen to get involved in the program.
25. Global Goods Partners
Global Goods Partners is a nonprofit operating as a fair trade outlet for the sale of locally made goods, but that’s not all. They are also a microfinancer for their 60 artisan groups spread out throughout the global south.
Their extensive item selections can be found in retail stores across the United States as well as on their website.
“In addition to the revenue they earn from the products we sell online and through other retailers, we offer our partners small financial grants to purchase new equipment, upgrade their facilities or to improve the lives of the women artisans they work with and their families. Between 2006 and 2016, GGP awarded more than $150,000 in grants to our partners.”