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The holiday season is already here! While some might find the cozy weather and holiday cheer relaxing and heartwarming, many of us are stressed and scrambling to find perfect gifts for our loved ones. If you managed to procrastinate gift buying this season or you are tired of the consumerist culture surrounding the holidays, we have 10 gift ideas that are perfect for you! Instead of purchasing a physical object from the shop, donation-based gifts in someone’s name can be a great way to do good in the world while also impressing your loved one.

1. Sponsor an animal

This one is for the animal lovers in your life! Unfortunately, so many animals are neglected and abused, but thankfully the wonderful workers at animal sanctuaries take in these creatures and care for them. Show off your compassion by sponsoring a cow, pig, chicken, goat, or even a bobcat or cougar in someone’s name. What’s great about these sponsorships is that between different sanctuaries, sponsorship prices can range anywhere from $10 for a duck at Pasado’s Safe Haven to $25 for Shelby the calf at Animal Place to $180 for a year-long animal sponsorship at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. These gifts provide a great range of options to fit into a variety of budgets. To add a personal touch, once you know which animal you are choosing to sponsor for someone, you could paint, draw, or even embroider them a picture of that animal!

Be sure to check out our list of 10 animal sanctuaries that will let you sponsor an animal for your loved one!

2. Planned parenthood

Planned Parenthood is an excellent place to Donate to for the intersectional feminist in your life. Planned Parenthood’s mission includes advocating for reproductive rights and voting rights so as a personal tough you could draw, paint, or embroider something with relevant motifs.

Alternatively, if your loved one has a sense of humor, you could Donate to Planned Parenthood in the name of Mike Pence or any of the other copious elected officials who want to take away reproductive rights.

3. Racial Justice Organizations


Another great option is to Donate to one of the many organizations focused on racial justice. You can even tailor the organization to the interests of the person you have in mind. For example,  Marsha P. Johnson Institute and For the Gworls advocate for Black trans people and, as their name suggests, the Black Youth Project focuses on Black youth. Similarly, you could always Donate to a local bail fund to help out protesters who fight for equal rights.

4. Support a Local Vegan Restaurant

Sadly, many small businesses are suffering during COVID as they are forced to remain open at limited capacity with little to no help from the government. A great way to Support your favorite local vegan restaurant while also giving a thoughtful gift is to either purchase or make a gift certificate to that restaurant. Many restaurants have options online to buy a gift voucher, but if not you could always go the homemade IOU route and draw one yourself! For example, if you are in the New York area, beloved vegan dim sum haven Bodhi Kosher Vegetarian is struggling during this hard time and is offering online gift vouchers!

5. Plant a tree


The Arbor Day Foundation offers another great last-minute gift option that helps the planet. Namely, they give the option to plant trees in either the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest or the Superior National Forest. With just one tree costing $2 to plant, you can plant numerous trees in someone’s name for a budget-friendly price!

6. Adopt an acre



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A post shared by The Nature Conservancy (@nature_org)

This gift is perfect for nature lovers – perhaps even someone who hasn’t gotten to explore as much as they typically like to due to the quarantine. The Nature Conservancy has a variety of biomes and terrains to choose from which means you can tailor your acre to the person’s personal taste in scenery! These donations protect vulnerable lands and waters and work towards restoration.

7. The Water Project


Everyone should have access to clean water! This holiday season you can help others have one less thing to worry about by providing their community with clean water. The Water Project has a variety of projects to choose from, meaning that you have a range of options, or you can sponsor a different project in the name of a variety of your loved ones! What’s great about The Water Project is they send you in-depth project reports that include information about the location of the project, the number of people helped by the project, and photos of the project! You could also paint or embroider the recipient something water themed as an added flourish!

8. Adopt a shark



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A post shared by Shark Trust (@thesharktrust)

Sharks get a bad rep but are actually such interesting and often gentle creatures! If someone in your life matches that description…or just likes sharks, Shark Trust can offer the perfect gift! On their website, you can adopt a variety of sharks from a white shark to a whale shark. With each adoption comes a certificate, factsheets about the shark, a poster, a bookmark, and a set of postcards. While you might not get the fun accouterments until after the holidays, you could still paint, draw, or embroider them a shark in the meantime as a personal flourish!

9. Patreon


Supporting a creator’s Patreon is a great way to help fund small activists, artists, and educators while also gaining access to extra content for your gift recipient! Vegan activists such as Zipporah the Vegan, Earthling Ed, Vegan Gains, TheBlackFemVeg, and Bite Size Vegan all have Patreons starting at low costs. Similarly, there are many blog posts dedicated to showcasing a variety of different artists to Support on Patreon. This gift is great as you can choose someone whose content you think will benefit and appeal to the person you have in mind!

10. Magazine Subscription



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A post shared by The New Yorker (@newyorkermag)

This gift is perfect for an avid reader in your life! Plenty of magazines have subscriptions for their online content and some even have physical copies. A subscription to a magazine is a great way to Support these news sites while also helping your loved one keep up to date and informed on a variety of topics and issues. As with many of the other gifts, a magazine subscription can be matched to someone’s tastes, so there’s more room to be personal and thoughtful with your subscription choice. For the nature lover, you could get a subscription to National Geographic. For the cultural dilettante, you could get a subscription to the New Yorker. For the creative writer, you could get a subscription to Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Magazine. With so many options to choose from, you’ll be able to find the perfect magazine for your loved one.

Hopefully, these ideas have given you some inspiration for your last-minute gift list! Material items are not essential for a great gift. Gifts in the form of donations and access to content can be thoughtful and personal all while helping animals, the environment, or people!

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