13 ways you can give back this holiday season



It’s the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, which means that after all the family dinners and the early morning rush to get in all that shopping, it’s time to give back to those less fortunate. Fortunately, today is the fifth anniversary of Giving Tuesday, an event that encourages you to donate your time and/or money to charities and nonprofits.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are just a few tech companies and startups that are participating this year.

Hello Neighbor

Started by long-time activist Sloane Davidson, Hello Neighbor specializes in helping refugees from countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, and Cameroon get resettled in the United States. An anonymous donor will match donations (up to $ 10,000) that are made to the organization now through the end of the day.

Lyft

Lyft is expanding its Round Up & Donate program, which it began testing in March. Through this program, riders can round up their fare to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to any nonprofit Lyft supports. The company claims that in the first five months of running Round Up & Donate, more than 770,000 passengers have donated approximately $ 2 million to various causes.

On Giving Tuesday, Lyft is adding to the number of charities it benefits. In addition to Girls Who Code, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Chicago Public Schools’ New Chance Fund, the World Wildlife Fund, Human Rights Campaign, the USO, American Red Cross, and Habitat for Humanity, the company is now backing Feeding America and Save the Children.

Riders can opt in to participate and pick out a cause they want to support. Then their fares will automatically round up to the nearest dollar and the change will be donated to the pre-designated group.

BarkBox

BarkBox is using Giving Tuesday to bring awareness to the plight of those in Puerto Rico and other areas impacted by hurricanes. This year, it’s supporting the Sato Project, an animal rescue organization that has helped 1,600 dogs to date, rehabilitating them and finding them good homes. For every BarkBox sold, the company will donate $ 10, and every new subscriber who elects a 6 or 12-month plan can purchase their first BarkBox for only $ 5.

eBay

This year, eBay is teaming up with Feeding America, former Glee actress Lea Michele, and other celebrities in the fight to eliminate hunger. From now until December 8, make purchases through a dedicated website — ebay.com/FeedingAmerica — and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the nonprofit. Besides products you can buy, there are a limited number of “experiences” available, such as a visit to the set with Michele next year, tickets to a Bruce Springsteen musical on Broadway, and tickets to a taping of Will & Grace.

And eBay has expanded its Gifts That Give Back program to include Feeding America and the International Rescue Committee. Started last year, Gifts That Give Back lets you purchase monetary gifts with 100 percent of the amount going to one of the eight nonprofits you choose.

PayPal

PayPal is once again joining forces with 92nd Street Y this Giving Tuesday. This year, not only will the company be focusing on its efforts in the United States, it’s also rallying support from 10 other nations, each with different programs to solicit donations.

For those in the U.S., PayPal will add 1 percent to all donations made through its Giving Fund between now and December 31. Shoppers in Mexico can make contributions to help those impacted by the devastating earthquake earlier this year, and campaigns in Italy and Poland will be centered around philanthropy.

In previous years, PayPal has touted the strength of its financial charity — last year it encouraged shoppers to donate more than $ 7.3 billion to charities worldwide, including raising $ 971 million during the holiday season alone.

Charity: Water

Charity: Water wants to improve access to clean water for those in the developing world. But first it has to improve awareness and accelerate donations. This is why the organization is adding a new feature, called The Spring, to its online giving community. Participants in this program are the equivalent of subscribers, chipping in monthly donations to advance Charity: Water’s mission.

Subscribers can now refer their friends and family to the organization, making it easier to spread the word about Charity: Water. Participants can track who they’ve invited to join The Spring and track all activity in real time.

Charity: Water is also looking to meet its goal of providing access to water across Rwanda’s Rulindo district. By encouraging more donors, it hopes to be able to boost its coverage from 95 percent, funding 724 water projects, to 100 percent. The organization promises that every donation made through its Spring program this month will go toward accomplishing this goal.

Watsi

Watsi is looking for donors to help patients receive life-changing medical treatments. This Giving Tuesday, anyone who funds a Watsi Crowdfunding patient will be entered to win a $ 1,000 Watsi gift card. Winners will be notified on Wednesday and will be able to help more patients with an additional donation.

Jet.com

Shoppers at Jet.com’s JetCares Give A Pack website will have their donations matched during Giving Tuesday. The company will match the first $ 50,000 in donations made through its JetCares program, which supports nonprofit organizations in the form of JetCash. JetCash can be redeemed for supplies like diapers, personal care items, household and pet supplies, and other necessities. The Walmart-owned company claims that it has matched $ 125,000 in donations since last year.

Charities supported by the JetCares Give A Pack program include the United Way, Catholic Charities USA, the National Diaper Bank Network, and others across more than 40 states.

DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose wants to extend the impact of donations, which is why every time donors support a classroom on its platform, they’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a $ 5,000 DonorsChoose gift card that can be used to support additional classroom projects. The teachers who are supported will also be entered into a separate raffle where they could win their own $ 5,000 DonorsChoose gift card.

GoFundMe

GoFundMe said that it will be donating more than $ 100,000 through its Gives Back program to children who are making a difference in their communities. The company’s employees will also be selecting 100 campaigns to surprise the recipients with $ 1,000 as a means of paying it forward.

Citymeals on Wheels

A New York City program, Citymeals on Wheels provides food delivery to homebound elderly citizens. On Giving Tuesday, all donations to the organization will be matched by Resorts World Gives. One hundred percent of all contributions will go toward the preparation and delivery of meals for more than 18,000 elderly people in New York City.

Athleta

Athleta specializes in women’s yoga apparel, but on Giving Tuesday the company will match all in-store and online donations made to CARE (up to $ 50,000). This campaign is in support of Gap’s P.A.C.E. program, which was established to empower 1 million women worldwide with the skills and training needed to create a better future for themselves and their families.

ASPCA

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) will be hosting an all-day Facebook Live telethon and soliciting donations to help fund efforts to save and rehabilitate animals. Subaru has committed to matching donations of up to $ 25,000.

Social – VentureBeat

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