Bring deeper meaning to your next gift-giving occasion with presents that give back to charitable causes and efforts.

By Lauren Phillips and Lisa Milbrand
Updated December 16, 2020
gifts-that-give-back: dog leash

The latest tech gadget or beauty product will obviously be a beloved birthday or holiday gift. But if you're looking to give something that's a little bit more special, consider a gift that gives back.

Gifts that give back support particular nonprofit groups or causes. Some provide employment at fair wages to people who need help getting their foot in the door, some trigger one-for-one donations, and others contribute funds to charities and charitable efforts. However they give back, you can give these presents with the knowledge that your purchase is making the world just the tiniest bit better. Take a look at these top gifts that give back and shop with a little extra purpose this year.

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Ocean Animals socks

1 Protect Ocean Animals Gift Box


Colorful fish, turtles, and whales adorn these charming, sustainably produced socks-and a portion of the proceeds for this gift goes back to Oceana, which helps restore the oceans. 

If you have another cause that's dearer to your heart, the site offers sock designs to suit your passion, and support a like-minded charity. (There are more than a dozen, including LGBT rights, dog and cat rescue, disaster relief, and educating kids.)

Pura Vida bracelet set supporting mental health
Credit: Pura Vida

2 Pura Vida Mental Health Awareness Pack


Pura Vida creates charming, colorful bracelet sets that support various causes, including health awareness, environmental causes, and racial justice. Pura Vida donates 5 percent of the purchase price to Mental Health America, a nonprofit that addresses the needs of those living with mental illness and supports overall mental health.

Credit: Popcorn for the People

3 Cookies and Cream Popcorn


Share a few fun flavored popcorn packs for a gourmet movie night (including salt and vinegar, chocolate caramel, French toast, and dark chocolate espresso). The nonprofit Popcorn for the People hires and trains people with autism to produce its products, aiming to reduce the 80 percent unemployment rate among people with autism.

Yosemite Scented Candle
Credit: Parks Project

4 Yosemite Pine Candle


This hand-poured soy blend candle can bring your gift recipient back to a treasured trip to Yosemite, with scents of pine, meadow dew, and fresh chopped wood.  You'll find scents associated with a number of legendary national parks, and each purchase from Parks Project supports a project to help conserve and maintain the beauty of these amazing places.

Kindness tote
Credit: FEED project

5 Cultivate Kindness Tote


This roomy tote is perfect for beach days or shopping. And the slogan is more than just a saying-for every bag purchased from FEED, 10 meals are given to children in need.

lace-printed platter
Credit: Gifts for Good

6 Handmade Large Ceramic Platter


Lace is pressed into handmade ceramic platters to create a gorgeous serving piece-and each platter provides two hours of employment for women escaping domestic abuse and homelessness.

Turtle Stuffed Animal

7 WWF Adopt a Turtle

From $55,

They'll get a cute stuffed turtle (plus an adoption certificate and more, depending on which option you choose); the World Wildlife Fund receives support to help protect the species.

Gifts that give back, charity gifts - Fire Department Coffee Rum Infused Coffee

8 Fire Department Coffee Rum Infused Coffee


This small-batch coffee delivers quality beans with a sweet, tropical finish thanks to an infusion of rum. Even better, 10 percent of proceeds for this veteran-led, firefighter-run business goes to aid for first responders through the Fire Dept. Coffee Foundation, a 501(c)(3).

Piecework Power Lunch Puzzle

9 Piecework Power Lunch Puzzle


This high-quality 1,000-piece puzzle celebrates high-powered women who lunch-but it also gives back to them by supporting the National Women's Law Center, which fights for gender justice, with some of the proceeds from every purchase. The process of putting together this puzzle is a great challenge (and good fun), and the final product will be a true work of chaotic, charitable, glamorous art.

Gifts that give back - Someone Somewhere Rainbow Lightpack

10 Someone Somewhere Rainbow Lightpack


Made with a traditional technique by artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico, this bag is lightweight-40 percent lighter than the average bag-and rollable, so you can tuck it away easily. Someone Somewhere is a certified B Corp that works with 180 artisans in some of Mexico's poorest states to produce their bags, apparel, and accessories, with economic, social, cultural, goals that empower and support makers practicing traditional textile work-and every purchase helps support their mission.

Gifts that give back - Scripted Fragrance Boston Terrier Candle

11 Scripted Fragrance Boston Terrier Candle


This pretty candle is perfect for the dog-lovers in your life. Its scent is a blend of tobacco, amber, and vanilla-and scents are available for other breeds, too-and a portion of proceeds from every purchase goes to supporting the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, which funds scientific research for curing canine disease.

Gifts that give back - Bird + Stone Black Lives Matter Cuff Set

12 Bird + Stone Black Lives Matter Cuff Set


With every purchase of this cuff set, 100 percent of profits are donated to organizations fighting for racial justice, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative. Beyond its give-back bend, this set is a good reminder of the challenge at hand and serves as a pretty statement of what you believe in.

Gifts that give back - Doughp Variety Pack

13 Doughp Variety Pack

From $34,

With four irresistible flavors, this pack of edible cookie dough will make any sweet-tooth recipient smile. (Yes, they can bake this dough into cookies if they want, too.) Beyond the tasty flavors, though, a portion of every purchase goes to SHE RECOVERS, a global organization helping women recovering from substance abuse or mental health challenges.

Gifts that give back - Monkeybiz Zebra

14 Monkeybiz Gift Card

available in any increment,

As an economic upliftment project, Monkeybiz supports hundreds of traditional African beadwork artists by offering them a platform to sell their bead creations. All profits go back to the community, and artists are able to support their families with a basic income while working their craft. Each figure is handmade and completely unique, with a huge range of animals, colors, and figures available. Give a gift card of any amount so the recipient can pick the creature of their choice.

Gifts that give back - Avery the Lamb

15 Avery the Lamb

From $57,

This precious, hand-knit stuffed animal will please kids and soft-hearted grown-ups alike. Share the little tidbit that each doll helps provide meals to children in North America and around the world, and they'll love it even more.

Sackcloth and Ashes blanket
Credit: Sackcloth and Ashes

16 Sackcloth + Ashes Mountain Sunset blanket


This gorgeous, sustainably made blanket will be their new go-to for cozying on the couch or picnics in the park. For every purchase, Sackcloth + Ashes donates a blanket to your local homeless shelter, so the giving aspect of this gift that gives back is close to home.

Gifts that give back - Found My Animal Henri Ombre Cotton Rope Dog Leash

17 Found My Animal Henri Ombre Cotton Rope Dog Leash


Hand-dyed, adjustable, and colorful, this leash is beautiful-but the best part might be its solid brass tag, which is individually numbered with the number of animals Found My Animal has helped so far through its support of animal welfare and rescue.

Gifts that give back - Hand in Hand 4 Pack Assorted Bar Soap Set

18 Hand in Hand 4 Pack Assorted Bar Soap Set


These four fantastic scented soaps will keep your friend feeling fresh; the knowledge that every bar of soap purchased means the donation of one bar of soap and a month of clean water will keep them feeling good.

Gifts that give back - Yoobi Journal in Pink Liquid Glitter

19 Yoobi Journal in Pink Liquid Glitter


Anyone would love this pretty pink journal, which has 120 pages for months and months of thoughts and notes. For every product purchased, Yoobi donates a school supply item to a U.S. child.

Gifts that give back - Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. Paper & Slippers Medium Roast Blend

20 Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. Paper & Slippers Medium Roast Blend


Coffee fanatics will love this medium roast blend, made of 100 percent Fair Trade Organic beans from Peru, Nicaragua, and Mexico. If they're a pet lover, they'll also love the fact that Grounds & Hounds donates 20 percent of all profits to rescue organizations helping in-need dogs get a second chance.

Gifts that give back - Lush Charity Pot

21 Lush Charity Pot

From $8,

This floral-scented body lotion will help them soften up (literally), while the fact that 100 percent of its purchase price goes to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of human rights, animal protection, and environmental justice will soften them up emotionally.

Gifts that give back - Modo 684 sunglasses

22 Modo 684 sunglasses


These thin, lightweight sunnies have polarized lenses and an anti-reflective coating in addition to their on-trend appearance. Best of all, each purchase helps provide comprehensive eye care to children in underprivileged areas around the world through a collaboration with Seva.

Gifts that give back - Sudara Anju Full Punjammies lounge pants

23 Sudara Anju Full Punjammies lounge pants


These colorful, relaxed pants are made by women in India working to remain free from sex slavery. Every purchase helps provide them with living-wage jobs, skills training, and education.