For every kind of techie, a charity’s out there that speaks to their deepest passions and core beliefs.
For the first-world nerd on your list, the most thoughtful gift you can give is a donation in their name — something that’s perfectly, tear-jerkingly aligned with their profession and personality.
And it’s massively convenient that online charitable donations have a shipping time of zero, you slacker.
Here are our picks for last-minute, online charitable donations well suited for tech geeks. Here’s to helping others live long and prosper.
For the developer
Code.org promotes tech literacy and computer science education in public schools. The big picture: This alliance of tech luminaries wants to increase opportunity and diversity in one of the highest-paying industries in the world.
For the entrepreneur
We all know that Kiva creates huge opportunities for business-owning women and men around the world through the magic of microloans. But you can also make a charitable donation to the organization to help improve its technology, conduct site visits, train volunteers, and fuel expansion and partnerships globally.
Make a donation, either one-time or recurring, and put a smile on your entrepreneur’s face.
For the Kindle addict
Illiteracy equates to a huge lack of information and income inequality around the world. Literacy bridge is a charity working in Ghana to train and teach people with Talking Book, a device that gets life-saving, life-changing messages on health, agriculture, and more to people who need them most.
Donate to the project on a one-time or monthly basis.
For the greentech enthusiast
In sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of people cook their meals over wood fires. At today’s literal burn rate, the entire area could be stripped of all forests by 2050. Eco-Fuel Africa developed an innovative way to transform agricultural and municipal waste into clean-burning fuel briquettes and organic fertilizer.
Contact the organization directly to make a donation or find other ways to support the mission.
For the wearable-fitness nut
This friend just logged a 7-mile run on RunKeeper! And a 15-mile bike ride on MapMyFitness! And another weird metric or statistic on their Fitbit or Fuel band or what have you. If your giftee is a GPS-enabled, automated fitness machine, Charity Miles is the way to go. This smartphone app clocks miles and racks up charitable donations based on how far you run or bike.
Email the company to learn about support options.
For the Spotify/Pandora/Sonos power user
Who will shred if the tools for shredding are not available? For the music fan in your life, check out the Fender Music Foundation, an organization that provides instruments to schools and promotes music education in an era of lower and lower arts funding. It’s not part of the current cool-kids camp of digital skills education, but a world without music is an unbearable world, indeed.
Make a donation in someone’s honor via PayPal, either once or monthly.
For the social media fiend
Stop the slacktivism! This is for your Facebook/Twitter-obsessed friend who wants to do more than just Like, retweet, and post about global issues and great charities. Hop on to microfinancing-for-students platform Vittana and find a student who shares a goal, profession, country of origin, etc. with your giftee. Then take to the web, using the power of crowdsourcing to get the student fully funded — with a special hashtag just for your giftee.
Find a student, fund a student, and start spreading the word.
For the women-in-tech advocate
This is perfect for the feminism-friendly cheerleader in your sphere of acquaintance. Catapult.org is the first crowdfunding site solely dedicated to girls’ and women’s rights around the world. This group features projects for ending child marriage, increasing female literacy, and protecting reproductive rights in countries from the U.S. to Kenya to Afghanistan.
Get your gift card online — you can email it ASAP.
For the Apple devotee
In recent times, Apple and its leading execs have started publicly supporting a few different charities in very high-profile ways. For the die-hard Apple-ite on your list, you might consider making a donation to AIDS/HIV charity (RED) — Apple has created a whole line of products for (RED) to support the organization’s goals in Africa.
Or, you could pick Apple CEO Tim Cook’s charity of choice, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Last year, Cook conducted a coffee-date auction raising in excess of $600,000 to benefit the center.