Before buying that radio from Best Buy or that towel set from Target, check online malls that donate a portion of proceeds to organizations like the March of Dimes and the Nature Conservancy (at no extra cost to you).
WORLD OF GOOD
You can also try the more direct approach at World of Good, a Berkeley organization that works with artisan cooperatives around the world to import high-quality goods, like fuzzy scarves from India and olive trays from Tanzania, while providing living wages, safe working conditions, and career stability to the artisans.
If you're a sending-flowers kind of gifter, try Organic Bouquets, the Marin florist that not only sells and delivers organic flowers, plants, and chocolates online, by phone, and at Whole Foods Markets nationwide but also dedicates a percentage of its profits to charities like the Red Cross and the National Wildlife Federation.
FIFTY CROWS FOUNDATION
The purpose of this organization is to effect positive social change through documentary photography. Support it by gifting one of its prints.
49 Geary, Suite 225, SF. (415) 391-6300, www.fiftycrows.org
This Mission fair-trade shop's paper cutouts, party streamers, clothing, and Day of the Dead items are gorgeous and proceeds support indigenous artisans from Chiapas and central Mexico.
3331 24th St., SF. 1-888-722-4264, www.casabonampak.com