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It’s once again Giving Tuesday, a day that encourages you to give back to those less fortunate. You had Thanksgiving and Black Friday to splurge on yourself and your loved ones, but now it’s time to think about those with fewer means. If you’re looking for a good place to start, let us offer up some suggestions.

Started in 2012, this event has seen the participation of more than 38,000 partners worldwide and signifies for many the start of the charitable season. Last year, more than 1 million gifts from 700,000 donors were collected through online campaigns that raised more than $116 million. Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Microsoft, PayPal, Uber, and Lyft were among those that participated. This year again, many nonprofits and a number of philanthropic technology organizations are getting into the spirit.

Here’s how you can help give back this holiday (presented in no specific order):


Watsi is launching its first Giving Tuesday-centric campaign in collaboration with the pharmaceutical delivery service ScriptDash. For every prescription that is transferred to ScriptDash — from an existing provider, such as Walgreens or CVS — Watsi said it will give the customer a $20 gift card that can be used to fund medical treatment for someone in need. Up to $20,000 will be given out through December 31. The campaign is backed by Y Combinator investor and serial entrepreneur Justin Kan.

Watsi CEO Chase Adam at Y Combinator Startup School 2013

Above: Watsi CEO Chase Adam at Y Combinator Startup School 2013

Image Credit: Ken Yeung/Flickr

In addition, the nonprofit philanthropic organization will send a photo book from Cambodia to anyone who donates $25 or more. The book contains images and stories from Watsi’s medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre. This promotion runs from November 29-30.

The first nonprofit to be backed by Y Combinator, Watsi follows a mission specifically geared toward getting patients medical operations they desperately need. Its goal is to help more than 1 million people by 2020, and in the past two years, it has benefited at least 5,000 people. The service now supports patients in over 20 countries, including Cambodia, Kenya, Tanzania, Guatemala, and Nepal. It has also expanded its care offering, funding more than 170 different procedures, including heart surgery, cancer care, and brain tumor removal.


DonorsChoose is diving into Giving Tuesday for the first time ever with a philanthropic giveaway. When a classroom receives a donation, both the donor and the associated teacher will be entered into a drawing to receive one of 100 gift cards worth $5,000 that can be used to support additional classroom projects. This “golden ticket of generosity,” as termed by DonorsChoose founder Charles Best, is designed to gauge how people will respond to “the potential opportunity to give at a level that may be beyond the charity budgets for most people.”

The campaign is backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and marks the first-ever giveaway-style campaign DonorsChoose has done, although it has participated in Giving Tuesday and holiday campaigns in the past.

New Academy Elementary School teacher Genuine Letford leads students in her music class.

Above: New Academy Elementary School teacher Genuine Letford leads students in her music class.

Image Credit: DonorsChoose

“Millions of people have used to support America’s teachers and students, and the #GivingTuesday GIVEaway is our version of a ‘golden ticket,’ one which empowers 100 lucky winners to bring classroom dreams to life at great scale,” Best said in a statement.

There’s a maximum of 10 entries per person per drawing and all the prizes are DonorsChoose gift cards, which can only be used on the organization’s site.

Founded 16 years ago, DonorsChoose claims to have raised more than $485 million for classrooms. It strives to give teachers and educators an alternative way to raise funds to support their academic projects and help children learn. More than 2.3 million people have donated, funding over 800,000 projects that have impacted 20 million students.


eBay is once again opening up its charity marketplace to allow shoppers to purchase things they want for the holiday while also giving back. In addition, it’s enabling in-kind donations through its Gifts That Give Back program.

Starting today in the eBay charity shop, hundreds of exclusive experiences and items from celebrities and athletes will be available. You can place a bid for a chance to get a swim lesson from Olympian Michael Phelps, attend Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, spend time with actress Rachel Bilson, and more. To win, place a bid or purchase any of the gifts featured in the charity shop between now and December 25. All the proceeds will go toward various charities and philanthropic organizations.

eBay for charity infographic

“eBay continues to leverage its cutting-edge technology to help millions of shoppers support the causes they care about,” said Hal Lawton, senior vice president of eBay North America. “To date, our community of buyers and sellers has raised more than $650 million — whether it’s by listing or purchasing exclusive items that benefit charity, or making donations at checkout. This holiday season, our Giving Tuesday Charity Shop illustrates how charitable giving remains a top priority for eBay, as we’ve sourced one-of-a-kind inventory and experiences, with proceeds going to charity.”

In a survey of Americans, the company said that the majority of people cited travel, concert tickets, and sporting tickets as top gifts. The move beyond material prizes to experience giveaways could lead to additional donations.

eBay Gifts That Give Back website

As for its Gifts That Give Back program, eBay has partnered with six nonprofits, including the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), CARE, Habitat for Humanity, and the March of Dimes. If you’re not interested in bidding for charity, but just want to give to some worthwhile groups, this will let you do so — just purchase a symbolic gift between $25 and $100.

Lastly, eBay is leveraging its ShopBot, a personalized shopping assistant that will help you find something to buy, using its artificial intelligence. If you make a purchase through this bot, the company will donate $5 to, with a maximum contribution of up to $50,000.

New Story

Most people have a home to go to for the holidays, but it’s those who don’t that New Story is focusing on. This Y Combinator-backed organization wants to transform slums into sustainable communities, and it’s starting in Haiti. As you’re thinking about giving back, New Story wants you to consider donating to a project in which a home is built for just $6,000 and the building project provides eight local jobs in the area.

The organization’s focus right now is on Haiti, which continues to struggle after repeated earthquakes and hurricanes have hit the country over the past few years. Just this fall, Hurricane Matthew swept across the island nation, leaving more than 175,000 homeless. So while we’re lying comfortably in our beds this winter, New Story wants us to remember that there are many who have great difficulty doing the same.

A family celebrates their new home in El Salvador.

Above: A family celebrates their new home in El Salvador.

Image Credit: New Story

More than 650 homes have already been built in the startup’s first two years in countries like Haiti, El Salvador, and Bolivia. The idea is that with a safe home —  not shacks or slums — people’s safety, health, income, dignity, and a chance for education improves.

Every donation provided to New Story is passed directly to building a new home for a deserving family and employs local construction workers. Donors are provided videos of the people moving into their home. To date, $3.8 million has been provided to the organization.

Charity: Water

Not everyone has access to clean drinking water, but your donation will help make that possible for many. Charity: Water has launched The Spring, a monthly giving program that you can enroll in. Donate what you can, and each month, the organization will deduct that amount from your bank account and use it to bring clean and safe water to thousands of people in need, while also maintaining the wells the organization builds.

To incentivize people, Charity: Water said that for every new Spring member who signs up through December 14, an “anonymous donor” will match the first month of giving. The organization suggests a $60 monthly donation to start with, which provides 24 people clean water every year. Obviously, the number of people benefiting depends on how much you’re able to give.

Charity:Water well in Malawi

Above: Charity:Water well in Malawi

Image Credit: Charity:Water

Like many organizations on this list, this isn’t the first time Charity:Water has participated in a holiday campaign. However, this is the first time the organization has facilitated matching funds during Giving Tuesday. “We wanted to take this opportunity to encourage people to not just give once but to make a commitment to giving what they can each month, to help us get closer to ending the water crisis and bringing clean water to the world’s 663 million people who are still living without it,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat.


Giving Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the establishment of the 1% pledge, an effort that is heavily touted by Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, who himself is an active philanthropist. This year, the enterprise organization is actively soliciting enough companies to sign the 1% pledge to hit the 1,250 mark.

Started in 2014, this pledge was formed by Atlassian, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, Rally Software, and the Salesforce Foundation in a bid to accelerate social good within businesses worldwide. The framework is 1/1/1, in which companies provide 1 percent of funds, employees’ time, and their products to those in need. To date, a slew of technology companies have participated in taking the 1% pledge, including Weebly, Twilio, Box, DemandBase, DocuSign, Galvanize, General Assembly, Lookout, Oracle, TechStars, Udemy, Yelp, Okta, and others.

Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff at Dreamforce 2015 in San Francisco, Calif.

Above: Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff at Dreamforce 2015 in San Francisco, Calif.

Image Credit: Ken Yeung/VentureBeat

At the time of writing, at least 1,225 companies have signed up for the 1% pledge, and Salesforce is actively campaigning to get 25 on board within the next 24 hours. There are incentives being offered to those that help with this cause: If you get one company to sign up, you’ll receive a social media shout out, recognition on the pledge’s blog, a listing on the website, and more.

If you’re a natural salesperson and bring in 3 to 5 pledges, you’ll also get a badge of honor to place anywhere online, receive a branded hoodie, and be listed as a 1% pledge ambassador. Finally, for those who bring in 6 pledges, you’ll have the opportunity for private one-on-one Office Hours with a mentor in your field and get a personal thank you tweet from investor Ron Conway (or another pledge “luminary”).


A veteran of Giving Tuesday, PayPal is helping raise funds for several nonprofits, even teaming up with GoFundMe on a challenge to donors. Throughout the holiday season, the payment processing company said it will match all donations by 1 percent made through its Give Cheer site to designated charities. There are at least 12 organizations to give to, including St. Jude Childrens Hospital, the American Red Cross, The Humane Society, Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn, the American Cancer Society, and the Boys & Girls Club.

PayPal Give Cheer site

New for 2016 is the GoFundMe partnership, which allows anyone to fundraise for their own favorite charity. Don’t find your favorite nonprofit on PayPal’s list? Go right ahead and create a campaign yourself. Both PayPal and GoFundMe are challenging people to create a campaign themselves and will select one for a $10,000 donation. But that’s not all, because more than 100 such campaigns will also be given donations totaling over $100,000.

An example of one of these efforts involves Pretty Little Liars actress Ashley Benson who has crafted a fundraising campaign for the Wags & Walks Dog Rescue.

The holiday campaign isn’t limited to just the U.S., but is also available in additional countries, including Israel and Russia. It comes a year after PayPal set the Guinness World Record for the most money raised online for charity in a 24-hour period, with $45.8 million donated for more than 258,000 charities around the world from 7.24 million people.


Location-based service Foursquare is asking for donations on behalf of the No Kid Hungry nonprofit. Citibank and La Brea Bakery will match every dollar up to $100,000 on Tuesday. Foursquare said it has donated about $10,000 worth of in-app native ads that will run in both its namesake and Swarm check-in apps in a bid to encourage contributions to this organizations aimed at eliminating child hunger.

Should $100,000 be raised for No Kid Hungry, it’s estimated that 2 million meals could be provided to kids. Right now, 1 in 5 children struggle with finding enough to eat, so the nonprofit aims to provide nutritious food to them while also teaching families how to cook healthy and affordable meals.

No Kid Hungry and Foursquare have a partnership that goes back nearly eight months. In April, the company’s chief marketing officer, Kinjil Mathur, declared that now was the time to “turn life’s everyday moments into opportunities to give back.”

“We want kids to be kids, and not to be overcome with wondering where their next meal is coming from. Let’s nurture our next generation so they can grow up with the freedom to explore, discover, and find meaning in every moment,” she said.


Kiva has always been recognized as a place for social giving — after all, people flock to the site to make micro loans to those who need them in order to build up their lives. Now it wants to encourage more active giving with its “buy one, get one free” deal. On Giving Tuesday, when you purchase $50 or more in Kiva Cards, you’ll receive a $25 bonus that you can use to make your very own loan.

Not everyone will receive this bonus card, so if you want to help make someone’s day and fund their dream for a business or other effort to improve their lives, make your purchase early. This campaign runs only on Tuesday, and purchases must be made by 11:59 p.m. Pacific. The $25 bonus will be deposited into your account.

Kiva said that when loans are repaid, the people you gifted Cards to are able to reloan the money again and again. Give Diapers Giving Tuesday website wants families in need to have enough diapers for their babies. On Giving Tuesday, the Walmart-owned online marketplace, and competitor to Amazon, is asking shoppers to donate a pack of diapers to a participating nonprofit. Organizations supporting include The Salvation Army, the United Way, Catholic Charities USA, and the YWCA.

It’s said that 1 in 3 American families don’t have enough access to diapers, which in turn results in serious health risks for babies. This effort isn’t just inspired by Giving Tuesday, but came about in response to a call from President Obama’s White House to do more social good.


Wishbone is a fundraising platform aimed at providing financial support to students, and during the holidays, it’s asking for your help in pursuing their passion. Think of it as DonorsChoose, but for kids. The organization aims to help low-income high school students find, apply to, and pay for a summer program. To date, more than 1,000 students in the U.S. have benefited since 2012 with over $2.1 million raised for its efforts.

Wishbone -- students jumping

At least a quarter of Wishbone’s General Fund contributions comes through the holiday season, and the more money raised, the greater the chance for students to succeed with their spring campaigns.


The unorthodox telecommunications carrier is participating in Giving Tuesday this year and has selected the Boys & Girls Club as its beneficiary. Today only, text “TUESDAY” to 20222 to donate $5 per text, and T-Mobile will match it, up to $80 per person. And it doesn’t matter what carrier you’re on, because a donation is a donation. The company said it will match funds up to $200,000 total.

Tuesdays are typically T-Mobile’s day to give away prizes and gifts to its customers as a token of its appreciation. However, this week is different. Instead of phones, discounts, and so on, customers can win $50, $250, or $5,000 prizes for their local Boys & Girls Clubs, donated on their behalf.


The world’s largest social network is giving back. Facebook has teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to donate up to $1 million to fundraisers created and operated through its platform. According to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, every dollar raised through the service on Tuesday will be matched up to $1,000 with a total of $500,000 matched for each fundraiser. Facebook will also waive up to $500,000 in fees.

Sandberg’s personal cause is Feeding America, the organization with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries around the U.S.


Fresh off its recent host conference in Los Angeles, Airbnb has joined up with the USA for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to solicit donations that will go towards providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and those forced to flee from their homes around the world due to conflict and violence. Giving $20 will provide comfortable blankets for four people while $500 enables 10 refugees to receive basic dental care.


GitHub has teamed up with the San Francisco Bay Area-based Maven organization. For every dollar donated, the code repository service will make a match (up to $5,000) to fund support and technology training for LGBTQ+ youth across the U.S. When you make a donation, enter the word “GitHub”.

Maven wants to provide a safe space for helping queer youth explore opportunities around technology. It has a goal of raising over $10,000 on Tuesday.

Over the past two years, GitHub says that it has donated more $2.41 million in cash, events, swag, and employee donations to nonprofits.


School and office supply company Yoobi has a campaign to donate more supplies to classrooms in need. For every item you purchase, the company will double it, meaning two items are donated. There’s also a Twitter campaign so if you retweet its #GivingTuesday tweet, a school supply item will be provided.

The makers of educational tools and supplies, Yoobi wants to provide access to basic necessities for children so teachers don’t have to pay for it out of their own pocket. To date, it has helped 2 million students with its effort.

Of course if none of these organizations appeal to you, please consider donating to any number of nonprofits and charities out there, such as the ones listed in this Twitter thread:

Updated as of 9:34 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday: Amended eBay listing to say that you can enter to receive swim lessons from Michael Phelps — he’s not doing a golf tournament according to the company. Updated Charity: Water to reflect that this is the first time it has done a matching fund campaign during Giving Tuesday. Lastly, added Facebook activities to this post.

Updated as of 10:09 a.m. Pacific: Added Airbnb.

Updated as of 1:54 p.m. Pacific: Added GitHub and Yoobi


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