10 Great Holiday Charity Partnerships

  • Cause-Marketing

    It may seem as if an inordinate amount of retailers are soliciting donations for charity this holiday season. But according to Dan Butler, a spokesperson for the National Retail Federation, these types of partnerships are nothing new. “They’ve been popular for decades,” Butler tells MainStreet, explaining that retailers have traditionally partnered with non-profit organizations as a means to integrate and ingratiate themselves to their communities at large. However, he concedes, these charity partnerships have morphed over the years.  Whereas retailers used to assist local charities, they now gravitate towards larger, more well-known national organizations, a change Butler says helps to keep these partnerships positive. “You can’t give to one local charity and not another,” he says, adding that it is impossible to give to every non-profit in town. The switch can also be beneficial to consumers as it enables them to make small donations and lower their risk of falling prey to a charity scam. Read on for MainStreet’s roundup of the ten best holiday charity partnerships that let you do your holiday shopping while giving back to people in need. Photo Credit: Shaggy359
    Best Buy
  • Best Buy

    Best Buy is partnering with The Grammy Foundation to support music education in high schools throughout the United States. The retailer will donate up to $825,000 to the foundation’s “Grammy in the Schools” music education programs for high school students. Shoppers can help support this contribution by purchasing one of several featured Best Buy products through Jan. 1. These include a $159.99 Sony Bloggie Touch High-Definition Camcorder, a $99.99 HP PhotoSmart e-All-in-One Wireless Printer and $9.99 Rascal Flatts CD (the country music band is also in on the partnership.) Photo Credit: Ian Muttoo
  • Wal-Mart

    Wal-Mart has found a way to give back locally through the national Fighting Hunger Together Campaign. The big box retailer agreed to donate $1.5 million to help local communities set up free or discounted meal programs. To do it, residents can go online, find their community on a map and “like” that community via its accompanying Facebook page. (Facebook pages were set up for 100 of the largest communities experiencing hardship by the Food Research and Action Center.) Wal-Mart plans to give $1 million to the community that garners the most support, and $100,000 to each of the next five communities. Holiday shoppers have until Dec. 31 to vote. Photo Credit: Zol87
  • Starbucks

    As part of its growing partnership with Project (RED), which works with iconic brands to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness in Africa, Starbucks is selling limited edition ceramic to-go cups by designer Jonathan Adler, as well as a Jonathan Adler-endorsed holiday gift card. One dollar from the sale of each cup and five cents of each purchase made with the gift card will go to the Global Fund, a nonprofit organization that’s committed to eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015. The cups and cards will be on sale as long as supplies last, but the gift cards will continue to yield five cent donations through Dec. 31, 2011. Starbucks also sells other (RED)-branded products in its locations all year, so those who can’t find the Jonathan Adler cups can purchase other mugs, tumblers and coffee beans if they want to make a donation to the Global Fund. Photo Credit: Jencu
    Thanks and Giving Campaign
  • Thanks and Giving Campaign

    Every year, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which focuses on finding cures for pediatric cancers, holds its annual Thanks and Giving Campaign. The fundraiser, timed specifically with the busy holiday shopping season, started on Nov. 22 and lasts through February, though many retailers have limited their participation to a shorter timeframe. Most participating companies, such as K-Mart, New York & Company, CVS Pharmacy, Nine West and Marshall’s, encourage consumers to make monetary donations in stores and online. You can check here for a full list of retailers who will be soliciting donations. Somepartners are running promotions on top of this one to raise additional funds for the hospital. Read on for details. Photo Credit:  Rob Stinnett
  • HSN

    Even people doing their Christmas shopping from the comfort of their couch can still be generous this year. As part of its partnership with St. Jude’s, the Home Shopping Network (HSN) will donate 30% of the purchase price of its 2010 Designer Ornament Collection – which features  decorations designed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, soap star Susan Lucci and iconic supermodel Twiggy, just to name a few – to the research hospital. The ornaments are on sale on the network’s website. You can also add monetary donations when you place orders by phone or online. Photo Credit: Phil Sexton
    Williams and Sonoma
  • Williams and Sonoma

    You have to give a gold star to Williams-Sonoma this Christmas. Earlier this year, the home décor retailer gave a portion of its gift card proceeds to St. Jude’s Thanks and Giving Campain, and now it’s soliciting online and in-store monetary donations for the No Kid Hungry campaign, a fundraiser run by the non-profit organization Share Our Strength, which helps provide nutritious meals to children in need. Donate on Williams-Sonoma’s website to support the cause. Photo Credit: hyku
    Giving Squared
  • Giving Squared

    Williams-Sonoma will also support St. Jude’s efforts at its affiliate chains. The Pottery Barn is donating 50% of the purchase a $24 tea light holder to St. Jude’s, and West Elm will donate 50% of the purchase price of their $16.00 Mercury Glass Birds to the hospital. The upscale retailer is also donating half the profits from their $24 novelty Nutcrackers as part of its fundraising efforts. Buy both of these products online or in stores now through Dec. 31. Photo Credit: Rob Young
    Toys R Us
  • Toys R Us

    This year, Toys R Us continued its longstanding partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots foundation and Shaquille O’Neal (or as he’s referred to on the website, “Shaq-A-Claus”) by asking consumers to donate a new, unwrapped toy for needy children. While donations could only be made through Dec. 5, the toy chain is accepting monetary donations in its stores and online through Christmas Eve. Photo Credit: thewastedsmile
  • Macy’s

    Macy’s is donating $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, for every letter it receives to Santa (up to 1 million) through its “A Million Reasons to Believe” campaign. Customers can create their letters online, but must drop them off at a participating Macy’s location to donate the funds. As of press time, the retailer hadn’t received its maximum amount of letters, so those planning to visit Macy’s over the next few days may want to take some time to write to St. Nick and help make someone’s wish come true. Photo Credit: Tinou Bao
    12 Charities Need Holiday Help
  • 12 Charities Need Holiday Help

    Those who’ve finished their holiday shopping and are trying to avoid racking more holiday debt can cut out the middle man and go right to the source. See MainStreet’s spotlight on which nonprofits are seeking donations this holiday season. Photo Credit: Getty Images
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