Get Inspired: Brands Giving Back this Holiday Season

November 20, 2018Amanda Baird


This time of year, we take a few moments to consider all the things we’re thankful for. At Sparxoo, that list includes: a great team, wonderful family and friends, and big things coming on the horizon. As we move into the holiday season, we’re also looking forward to choosing thoughtful gifts that show our loved ones we care about them.

What many people don’t think about at this time of year is how to spread the cheer (and their brand reach) through charitable giving. More and more young audiences are using their dollars to purchase products that make a difference. In fact, close to half of shoppers vastly prefer to buy from brands that mirror their values, and 81% of millennials expect their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration to integrate charitable giving into your brand or just for your own holiday shopping this year, here are a few brands we love that are making it easy to give back this winter:

1. Amazon

We love online shopping, especially during the hectic holiday season—who really wants to spend a ton of time at the mall when you could be at home with friends and family? No one does e-commerce quite like Amazon, and the brand continues to make efforts to improve its reputation worldwide. When shopping on Amazon this holiday season (and year-round), start your browsing from to get the same prices and convenience with 0.5% of every purchase going to charity. The best part? You get to directly pick the cause you want to support from one of over a million organizations.

Brand Takeaway: Making giving as convenient as possible is likely to give your existing customers incentive to donate to (and talk about) your cause while drawing in new customers who are looking to shop with brands who demonstrate strong values.


2. (RED)

If you already have a few gift ideas in mind, it’s worth checking the (RED) campaign to see if they carry something on your list. Since the organization was founded in 2006, they’ve partnered with major brands worldwide to release special editions of products in their signature brand color and donate over $500 million dollars to AIDS research. With everything from socks, cookware, and S’well bottles to Montblanc pens, Vespas, and luxury hotel stays, (RED) has beautifully designed, socially conscious gifts for everyone on your list. Pro tip: you can shop (RED) through their page to do double the good.

Brand Takeaway: Sometimes, it’s easier to partner with an established charity to find ways to do good than to start completely from scratch. Reach out to charities that match your company mission to find out about partnership opportunities that can benefit you both.


3. Cuddle+Kind

For the stuffed-animal obsessed child or choosy new parent on your list, Cuddle+Kind offers a wide selection of high quality, hand-knit dolls and stuffed animals in all kinds of adorable shapes and sizes. Built on a beautiful brand with soft textures and a loving message, Cuddle+Kind gives back by employing hundreds of artisans with fair trade wages in Peru and donating ten meals toward ending worldwide child hunger for every doll purchased.

Brand Takeaway: Looking beyond a one-time cash donation and identifying ways to make your entire supply chain more sustainable and ethically responsible can build your brand reputation as being committed to strong values and social responsibility. This one is a long-term strategy—but hey, it comes with long-term impact!


4. Lush

All year round, Lush bakes corporate social responsibility, activism, and charitable giving into their brand while cooking up fresh, natural bath and beauty goodies. One of the brand’s cornerstone products is their Charity Pot lotion, a moisturizing, chocolatey-smelling hand and body cream that incorporates ethically sourced ingredients and donates 100% of the purchase price to grassroots charities. The donation still happens if you buy one of their pre-wrapped Christmas gifts that includes Charity Pot—what’s more convenient than a bunch of colorful, brightly scented products already wrapped up with a bow?

Brand Takeaway: Your products should always be the star, but you don’t have to lose your charitable and sustainable message. Choosing a key product as the center of your charitable giving campaign can boost sales of that individual product, plus complementary items.


5. BarkBox

How could we forget our furry friends this holiday season? We take every opportunity to spoil our furbabies, and BarkBox’s subscription service makes it easy with thoughtfully designed toys and carefully formulated treats for pups of all sizes. In addition to sending you thoughtfully designed toys and carefully formulated treats every month, BarkBox donates 10% of every subscription box purchase and 5% of every BarkShop purchase to dogs in need. Want to give even more? New subscribers can sign up through the Give Back page and on BarkBox’s site and BarkBox will donate either a box of goods or cash to a shelter or rescue of your choice.

Brand Takeaway: When you’re using a subscription model, it’s easy to remind customers every month of the good you’re doing with a portion of their purchase and make them think twice before ending their subscription. Also, it’s hard to go wrong with puppies on your homepage.



When it comes to building your brand, it’s essential to keep your values-driven messaging clear. Even more important is to act on those values—show your customers that you’re willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Need help figuring out how to reflect your company values in your marketing? Sparxoo’s strategy experts are here to help.