Always the Season to be Generous: Our Picks for Giving

  • December 5, 2017
  • Caitlin New

There’s something irresistibly wonderful about knowing you’ve played a part in bringing joy to a family or child during the holidays. At INK, we transform into elves and hit the stores of Austin, Denver, and now New York to buy holiday gifts for families in need. But while giving during the holiday is a marvelous thing, most charitable giving is done year-round.

Last year, individuals, corporations, and foundations donated more than $390 billion to the philanthropic sector. This was the sixth time in 40 years that all major philanthropic subsectors saw growth in giving.

Many nonprofit organizations actually benefit more from year-round giving than from major fundraisers, as recurring donations allow these organizations to more accurately forecast and plan their programs throughout the year to maximize the impact to their communities.

If you’re considering making an impact this season—and throughout 2018—check out some of our favorite organizations. From individual to corporate giving, our picks have programs that fit any size budget.


Gazelle Foundation
Its mission: To create clean water systems for remote villages in Burundi.
How you can help this holiday: This month, register for the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K and sign up for a fundraising page to participate in the Austin Gives Miles program. Be sure to choose Gazelle Foundation as your charity! Learn more about how you can help here.
Recurring donations: Donate here and choose the option to give monthly.

Susan G. Komen Austin
Its mission: To save lives locally and end breast cancer globally. The organization serves the women and men in the city’s five-county area battling breast cancer by removing barriers to care for the uninsured and underinsured.
How you can help this holiday: Breast Cancer Awareness Month may be behind us, but the holiday season can be particularly difficult for survivors and their families. Supporting Komen Austin before the end of the year will help the organization meet its fundraising goals to better serve our community’s survivors in the new year.
Recurring donations: Donate here and choose the option to give monthly.

Foundation Communities
In Austin, we partner with Foundation Communities to sponsor families for its Holiday Assistance Program.
Its mission: To provide affordable, attractive homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families, veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.
How you can help this holiday: It’s too late to sponsor a family today, but you can still participate in the donation gift drive, and purchase gifts from the wish list. Or make a donation here and they’ll do the shopping for you!
Recurring donations: Donate here and set a reminder to donate monthly.


SafeHouse Denver
Its mission: To assist adults, children, and youth in reclaiming their right to a life free from domestic violence.
How you can help this holiday: Today is Colorado Gives Day (#COGivesDay) and if you donate today, the value of your gift will be increased by a $1M incentive fund. Plus, just $75 provides one woman one night of shelter. Donate now.
Recurring donations: Donate monthly here and choose the monthly option.

Arapahoe House
Our Denver team partnered with the Arapahoe House to adopt a family for its holiday giving program.
Its mission: To provide life-changing substance use and mental health disorder treatment.
How you can help this holiday: All families have sponsors already for this holiday, but you can participate in the Holiday Care Package program, which benefits individuals in its resident treatment programs, by donating here. Do so today during Denver Gives Day to maximize your impact.
Recurring donations: Donate here and choose the recurring donation option.

Harvesting Hope
By way of current INK client Choozle, our Denver team was introduced to Harvesting Hope 5K and its fearless leaders who help bring awareness to Prader-Willi Syndrome.
Its mission: To find a cure for Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a genetic disorder that causes insatiable hunger, life-threatening obesity, and intellectual disability. Harvesting Hope 5K was started by two Denver moms, both with young children living with PWS. Each year, the communities of Denver and Stapleton come together on Thanksgiving day to trot in a 5K for a good cause. Thanksgiving can be a particularly difficult time for those dealing with PWS, which prompted the founders to create Harvesting Hope, and provide local families with an opportunity to celebrate and be thankful together, rather than focusing on the difficult parts of the holiday. All proceeds from the race go to the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research.
How you can help this holiday: The annual race has already taken place, but Harvesting Hope accepts donations on behalf of the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research throughout the year. You can also shop through Amazon Smiles, where a portion of your purchase can be donated to the Foundation.

Recurring donations: Donate here and choose the recurring gift option.


City Harvest
Its Mission: To end hunger in communities throughout New York City. They do this through food rescue and distribution, education, and other practical, innovative solutions.
How you can help this holiday: The City Harvest + Daily News is holding the biggest food drive of the year right now, with a goal of collecting one million pounds to help feed hungry New Yorkers this holiday season. There are opportunities for schools and corporations—just visit this site to see downloadable materials and kits to get started. Can’t participate physically? There’s a way to donate to participate as well.
Recurring donations: Donate here and choose the monthly option.

New York Cares
Our New York elves joined the Winter Wishes program from New York Cares for our first year in the Big Apple.
Its mission: To mobilize caring New Yorkers in volunteer service to meet pressing social needs in the city.
How you can help this holiday: Each year, New York Cares collects and reads tens of thousands of wish list letters from hundreds of homeless shelters, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Each wish is matched with a volunteer who will purchase, wrap, send gifts fulfilling these wishes. The traditional letter registration is complete, but you can still participate in the group’s Amazon Wishlist to ensure all remaining winter wishes are granted and delivered on time.
Recurring donations: Donate here and choose the monthly gift option.

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