Ever want to give back to Seattle, but think your donation might be too small to make a difference? We’ve rounded up some awesome local businesses and nonprofits where small gifts can make a huge impact for our Evergrey Giving Guide.
Why? Because sometimes our wallets aren’t as big as our hearts — and giving back is easier than you think.
DIRECTLY TO YOUR NEIGHBORS
What is it? An app connecting Seattleites to their unhoused neighbors using a “beacon.” App users get notified when they’re near a beacon-holder so they can learn their story and needs.
Makes change by… Building relationships between locals and folks who are often ignored.
Cost: The app is free, but you can use the app to give money to a beacon-holder so they can get necessities like food, clothing, and bus passes.
» Real Rent Duwamish
What is it? A giving program that supports members of the Duwamish Tribe, whose Chief Si’ahl inspired Seattle’s name. Duwamish land was signed away to settlers in 1855 in a treaty, but settlers never upheld their promises.
Makes change by… Helping locals confront Seattle’s history head-on and support a tribal nation that doesn’t get federal assistance. The org hopes locals can build stronger relationships with the Duwamish through monthly donations, or “rent.” as a modern way of honoring the unfulfilled treaty.
Cost: The org has a handy way to help you decide what to give on any budget.
WHEN YOU’RE HANGRY
» Conscious Eatery
What is it? A sandwich spot in Georgetown owned by rad Seattleites who want to make sure struggling locals can get a tasty, filling meal.
Makes change by… Giving away a meal for every meal you buy yourself. Conscious Eatery partners with Mary’s Place, White Center Food Bank, Roots Young Adult Shelter, and Saint Vincent de Paul to hand out fresh food. They’ve donated 13,000 meals to date.
Cost: $5 – $10
» Cookie Counter
What is it? A vegan ice creamery and bakery in Greenwood. Toasted marshmallow sundae, anyone?
Makes change by… Letting customers buy a treat coupon for someone who’s struggling. The coupons get pinned to Cookie Counter’s “paying it forward” board and a neighbor in need can grab one to buy something sweet.
Cost: $4.50 – $32
Reader Vicki Weeks let us know that Chaco Canyon Café, which has spots in West Seattle and Greenwood, has a pay-it-forward system, too.
TO HELP FEED LOCAL FAMILIES
» Elk Run Farm
What is it? A small community-run farm fighting food insecurity with a wide reach throughout South King County.
Makes change by… Giving its fresh produce to 12 food banks throughout the region. Their workers and volunteers also teach local youth about urban farming.
Cost: You can donate any amount once or make it a monthly donation
» City Fruit
What is it? A program that sees Seattle yards as an urban farms. Happen to have a fruit tree at home? They’ll help take care of it and harvest the excess fruit for you.
Makes change by… Donating our backyard fruit to local families in need. In 2014, City Fruit harvested nearly 28,000 pounds of fruit and served 70,000 families.
Cost: $25 or four hours of volunteering for membership, which covers the cost of registering your tree and harvesting it. How ‘bout them apples?
TO FUND SOCIAL CHANGE
» Rainier Valley Corps
What is it? An org that supports organizing and nonprofits led by people of color (POC).
Makes change by… Training the next generation of young leaders, providing resources for POC-led nonprofits, and encouraging collaboration across communities.
Cost: $25 supports leadership and advocacy training sessions for Rainier Valley Corps fellows, who aim to start new nonprofits that’ll support their communities’ needs. You can also opt to donate monthly.
» Faith Action Network
What is it? An interfaith group of organizers advocating for social justice issues around Washington state.
Makes change by… Talking with elected leaders about needs like housing affordability, voting rights, and supporting marginalized communities.
Cost: You can sign up to make monthly donations of $10 or more, or make a one-time donation.
» For the People
What is it? A brand new collective — seriously, their launch party is tomorrow — that helps financially support Northwestern community organizers, including Seattle climate justice activist Zarna Joshi.
Makes change by… Easing financial burdens for activists so they can focus on leading social justice projects.
Cost: $5 or more, which can be made monthly or just once.
Big thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which made this project possible. For more stories and resources to help you give like you live here, check out the other posts in our Evergrey Giving Guide.