It’s about that time of year when people will start asking you what you want this holiday season. If you’ve had the time to browse through our free guide to spending less and celebrating more this holiday season, A Very Postconsumer Holiday, then you know that one of the techniques we suggest is that you offer to have people donate to charitable causes for you this holiday rather than give you tangible gifts. Of course, never one to be shy about causes we love, we thought we’d suggest four great socially responsible gifts for people you love (or for people you love to give you)!

For the Animal Lover
While there are so many worthy animal rights causes to donate to, including PETA and the SPCA, we’re recommending the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) this year. This year, the WWF is faced with some of the most challenging goals ever as it fights to save the world’s tiger population from extinction against all odds and the increasing threat of deforestation. You can find donation information by clicking here.
For the Culturist
Across the world, indigenous tribes are at risk from the encroachment of machines, people and the constant need to strip the environment. Not only would the destruction of these tribes cause the loss of history and culture, but most indigenous and nomadic tribes can actually serve to teach the world great lessons about living sustainably and within the bounds of what the earth offers up. We’re big fans of Survival International, a nonprofit group that works to protect the rights of indigenous tribes globally. You can learn more about them here and donate by clicking here.
For the Environmentalist
We say consolidate efforts and send your donations to one of the biggest environmental groups – the Environmental Defense Fund. They’ve been around since 1967 and produce results. You can learn more about them here, or donate to them by clicking here.
For the Healthy Food and Healthy Kids Advocate
Again, you have a significant number of options here, but lately we’ve been very drawn to Blessings in a Backpack because you can be effective on two fronts. Blessings in a Backpack offers food resources to children whose families qualify for federally funded free lunch or free breakfast programs. By helping the program out, you’re doing two good deeds. Firstly, you’re providing food to a child who clearly needs it. Secondly, you’re helping to supplement the (largely unhealthy) food that they’re being provided through governmental programs. Learn more about them here or donate by clicking here.
Of course, there are thousands of nonprofits out there who are desperately in need of donations in the current economic recession. Consider how much you want that fifth sweater from The Gap. Then ask people to donate to your favorite cause instead this holiday season. Have an idea for another nonprofit worthy of this list? Friend us on Facebook and tell us about it.
Looking for ways to spend less and celebrate more this holiday season? Download our free holiday guide, A Very Postconsumer Holiday, for a complimentary how-to on doing just that!