Instead of going directly to a store or gift card site, search for them using GoodSearch.com.
And when you do make a purchase, the site will donate a portion of your purchase price to a charity of your choosing.
Nancy Montvydas of Soroptimist is one of the GoodSearch's local beneficiaries.
She explains, "So at the end of the year, Soroptimist gets a nice check from our supporters and the money didn't come out of their pockets, which is really a nice thing. They're able to help support our mission without putting cash out on their end."
If your favorite registered non-profit or school isn't already on the GoodSearch's list, you can sign them up. And you can use the site to find money-saving coupon codes.A
nd you can also benefit charities when you eat out.
All you have to do is register a credit or debit card with GoodDining.com and use it when you eat a participating restaurant. 6% of your bill will be donated to your charity.
And if you're looking for a last-minute gift with special meaning, here's another idea.
If you have rewards points with American Express or with a Citi Bank charge card, you can use those points to make a charitable donation.
You can choose a charity that's important to the recipient, donate in their honor and they'll get an email acknowledging your generosity. For American Express's charity plan, click here. For CitiBank's, click here.