With World AIDS day coming up on December 1 and Trump’s recent budget cut proposals in the news, the spotlight on HIV and AIDS awareness has returned, causing many people to consider how they can donate this holiday season.
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In 2018, the Trump Administration proposed budget cuts for the 2019 fiscal year that would have taken away millions in federal funding from multiple HIV/AIDS prevention programs. While Congress denied those budget cuts, advocacy groups around the world are worried that similar cuts will be passed in the future. This has sparked a renewed effort to raise money for research and patient assistance.
Donating to causes such as HIV and AIDS research has become easier than ever as more organizations begin using online donation portals and partnering with businesses such as Amazon. Everyday shoppers can effortlessly support the fight against HIV and AIDS just by being mindful of where they shop online.
Shop smarter and make a difference
Organizations such as (RED) have been partnering with brands to help raise money and awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS. By shopping for these brands or through certain portals, you can contribute to health and community programs around the world that are working to stop HIV/AIDS.
(RED) is one of the largest and most well-known organizations dedicated to the elimination of HIV/AIDS. Every year, they partner with big brands to collaborate on special edition items. Brands donate a certain amount to the Global Fund for each purchase of a (RED) collection item.
Here are some their 2018 partners:
- Apple. Apple has an entire line of products to support (RED), including a special edition iPhone XR.
- Beats. Beats donates a portion of every sale of (PRODUCT)RED™ headphones and speakers.
- Telcel and Claro. These companies donate a portion of every (TELCEL)RED phone purchase to help fund programs in high-prevalence countries in Africa and Latin America.
- Durex. A percentage of each purchase of (DUREX)RED condoms will go towards The Keeping Girls in School Programme in South Africa, helping promote sexual health practices that prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- AirAsia. The airline has committed to set aside a portion of its revenues from certain activities and promotions throughout 2019.
You can check out the full list of collaborations that support (RED)’s mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic on their website. You can also support (RED) by shopping for products on Amazon. Amazon offers a large line of (RED) products, including a few of the special edition items listed above, to online customers. online.
Using your credit card to fight HIV/AIDS
By using your credit card to donate, you can earn rewards or cash back on your donation purchase.
Those rewards can also be donated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Multiple airlines have at least one donation partner that contribute to the cause, and there are a few hotel chains that also allow you to donate rewards points to charities like Unicef, which uses funds to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.
If you are an American Express cardholder, you can also use the JustGiving website to use your Membership Rewards® to donate to a wide variety of charities, including Aid for Aids International.
Choosing a reputable charity to support
As it becomes easier to donate online and support causes through co-branded shopping experiences, it also becomes easier to fall prey to scams. Here are a few things to consider when choosing where to donate and which charities to support:
- Check to see if they are a 501(c)(3) charity. This exemption status is typically a high indicator that an organization isn’t secretly supporting private stakeholders or individual interests. You can do a quick online search through an IRS finder tool, or you can call toll-free at 1-877-829-5500.
- Know where they spend their money. Many charities spend more money on fundraising than they do on actually helping the cause(s) they support. If a charity is spending less than 50 percent of its budget on their programs, you might want to consider donating to an organization where you know your money is going directly towards helping people in need.
- Donate at the source. While GoFundMe pages and other crowdfunding sites have gone viral in recent years with campaigns that support just about any and every cause, it’s always safer to donate to organizations and causes directly through their website donation portals.
- Keep your information safe. Make sure you aren’t sharing information unless it’s through a secure form on a secure website.
Tip: Contributing to a cause you care about is enough motivation to donate, but there are other benefits to supporting HIV/AIDS organizations this holiday season. Reputable charities that have 501(c)(3) federal tax exempt status allow you to use your donations as a deduction for federal taxes. (Note that rewards points and miles are not considered tax-deductible.)
There are so many ways you can help those in need all year round. By using credit card rewards and being mindful of where you shop, you can help change the lives of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from HIV/AIDS.