7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Give Back this Holiday Season

by: Brittany Graunke

It’s the holidays. You want to give back. But between building your business and networking at holiday parties, it’s hard to find any extra time or money to put toward the causes you care about.

Worry not! As a social entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to integrate peoples’ everyday habits with actions that create positive impact, and I’ve compiled a brief list of ways to give back this holiday season…entrepreneur style.

From giving away your items and your time to benefit good causes, to buying gadgets and treats that create impact through your purchase, here are seven ways entrepreneurs can give back this holiday season:

1. Zealous Good iPhone App
Have old computers, office supplies, electronics, household items, or clothing? Why not put those items to good use at amazing Chicago charities! Using the new Zealous Good iPhone app, just snap a photo of your item, add a few details to describe it, and hit submit! Zealous Good is a free, fast, and simple way for Chicagoans to find local charities in need of their excess items and with the iPhone app, it takes 30 seconds to donate.

2. GiveBackMail
You use email. A lot. Why not give back while you email? GiveBackMail does just that with a free email service that donates to a charity of your choosing every time you send an email. It’s simple to sign up – you can keep your existing email address and GiveBackMail has all the core features of other email platforms.

3. Clarity
Clarity connects entrepreneurs with experts for advice on their business challenges. Experts can charge for giving advice and can choose to donate part of their charges to a charity. Just take a look at the expert’s profile to see if they donate, and to what charity. Whether you’re an expert or looking for advice, Clarity allows you to give back while connecting to other entrepreneurs.

4. ONEHOPE Wine & ONEHOPE Coffee
Whether your vice is coffee or alcohol, ONEHOPE has you covered, allowing you to induldge while giving back. An astonishing 50% of ONEHOPE’s profits are donated to charity and so far they’ve donated over $1 million to charitable causes. ONEHOPE started with wine in 2007 and now also offers a coffee subscription where proceeds benefit a different cause each month. Bottoms up!

5. LSTN Headphones
Not only are these headphones with wood chambers awesome looking, they are also are changing lives. For every pair of headphones purchased, LSTN Headphones helps restore hearing for a child in a deaf school. Your purchase helps one child get medical attention and a custom fit hearing aid. Also, the wood chambers resemble beautiful guitars and produce more resonance than plastic or metal.

6. 1:Face Watch
This watch must have super powers. It’s waterproof, crack-proof, and super slick looking. Also, it’s saving the world one watch at a time. For just $40, you can purchase a watch that gives back to your preferred cause. For example, purchasing a white Hunger watch provides meals for 16 children through 1:Face’s partnership with One Days Wages. Choose from six different colors and causes – or just got for all 6 and you’ll always coordinate your outfit with your watch… while doing good!

7. Bright Endeavors
This is a local favorite of mine – shop for eco-friendly candle and bath products made right here in Chicago. Even better, Bright Endeavors, a non-profit social enterprise of New Moms, Inc., is a job training program that helps inner city and at-risk young women gain skills to become self-sufficient and successful adults. They’re products are amazing and they’re changing lives.

Hopefully this “cheat sheet” of ways to give back this holiday season will help remove a little of the holiday stress we all feel. If you have any other tips and tricks to give back this holiday season, please share a comment. Together we can make it through the holiday season and create some good!

About the author Brittany Graunke @Technori
Brittany Martin Graunke is founder & CEO of ZealousGood, a website that connects people with extra goods to donate to local charities with matching needs. A passionate social entrepreneur, Brittany’s convinced technology makes the world a better place and doing good is a lot better than just doing.

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