Baby, Kids, & Teens Gift Guide: Best Last Minute Gifts

Baby, Kids, & Teens Gift Guide: Best Last Minute Gifts

You’re stressed out. For weeks, you’ve searched for the perfect holiday gifts for the kids, babies, and teens in your life—something trendy, something impressive, something…budget-friendly—and now, time’s running out.

No worries. Check out this list of 10 exciting, memorable, last-minute gifts your family (and your bank account) will thank you for.

1. Walmart | Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer – $59.99

Head-to-toe comfort makes sure baby stays safe and sound, while an overhead mobile entertains with cuddly friends. Create the ultimate moment of calm with a soft-touch control panel that adjusts vibration, music, and sound effects.

2. Sunglass Hut | Ray-Ban Jr. – $73.00

With a future so bright, they’ll need a solid pair of shades! Treat your favorite little one in your life to the stylishly vintage look of sunglasses.

3. Macy’s | Victrola Solid Suitcase Bluetooth Record Player – $59.99

No one would guess that a portable party sleeps inside this sleek suitcase. Perfect for music lovers, open the latch to unleash a 3-speed turntable for vinyl, built-in speakers, and Bluetooth compatibility.

4. Johnnie-O | Sully Jr. 1/4 Zip Pullover – $69.99

Not ready for the button-down look, but need something a step above casual? Gift a pullover with sweatshirt-comfort vibes that also works well over polos and dress shirts.

5. Build-a-Bear | Twinkle the Reindeer – $26.00

Imagine seeing this pink-furred beauty under the tree. Twinkle comes with a signature name medallion; customize her with a cape, tutu, sound effects and even scents, like cotton candy!

6. Buy Buy Baby | Personalized Sherpa Baby Blanket – $38.99

Encourage sweet dreams and keep young sleepers warm with a combination of faux micro mink and faux sheepskin Sherpa. Decorate with baby’s name to create a special memento.

7. Shop Disney | “Cars 3” 8 Piece Car Set + Mack Truck – $59.95

What adventures will Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sally and the rest of the crew get into next? Mack serves as a sturdy die-cast carrier that speaks 10 different phrases with the press of his hat.

8. Barnes & Noble | Star Wars: The Han Solo Triology –$25.00

Calling all Star Wars fans! This leather-bound publication chronicles the youthful adventures and fugitive exploits of Han Solo – before and after he joined forces with the lovable Chewbacca.

9. Toys R Us | Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage Playset – $199.99

Dubbed ‘Playset of the Year,’ snag the over 3-foot tall parking garage for a Hot Wheels fanatic. Equipped with motorized elevator, kids can store more than 140 cars in one place, as well as engage in fun challenges and side-by-side races.

10. The Honest Co. | Baby Arrival Gift Set – $49.95

Treat baby and parents to an assortment of infant must-haves made with safe, natural ingredients. Packed in a lightweight, reusable wooden box, this gift set includes size 1 diapers, 2-in-1 cleanser, lotion, all-purpose balm, and orange-scented hand sanitizer.

Never miss a cash back opportunity by downloading our Giving Assistant Button

Freely in Hope: Empowering Survivors of Sexual Violence

Freely in Hope: Empowering Survivors of Sexual Violence

This article was written by Lauren Rutherford, Charity Advocate at Giving Assistant. You can read more about Freely in Hope and ways to support their scholars here.

As a Charity Advocate with Giving Assistant, I have the honor of hearing the stories of change makers in communities near and far. One such group has shown what it means to help sexual assault victims view themselves as survivors. By doing so, Freely in Hope has connected the plights of women on the other side of the world with individuals in Giving Assistant’s own backyard.

Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Freely in Hope is a nonprofit organization that assists survivors of sexual assault in Kenya and Zambia by way of education and opportunities in leadership development and restorative storytelling.

Through their community centers, Freely in Hope runs violence prevention workshops, art therapy, HIV prevention trainings and more to women and girls from urban slums and rural villages. The Freely in Hope scholars, young women who are survivors of or vulnerable to sexual violence, receive academic scholarships, health care, safe housing, and counseling. With the support of this faith-based nonprofit, the scholars now have visions of themselves as nurses, lawyers, women’s rights advocates, and more.

The ultimate vision of Freely in Hope, however, is to see an end to the cycle of sexual violence.

Nearly one in three Kenyan girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18; in Zambia, 59% of women have been sexually violated. Freely in Hope bravely works through the complex and destructive issues facing women in these countries and beyond, such as: human trafficking, rape, female genital mutilation, and child marriage.

Although this is no small task, it was clear at Freely in Hope’s 7th Anniversary Gala in August 2017 that the Freely in Hope team and the FIH scholars are eager to continue working hard to achieve and expand their mission.

Hosted in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, I had the honor of attending the Gala. The Gala raised over $100,000 to bring five new scholars into the program in Kenya. Attendees wrote handwritten letters to Freely in Hope scholars, enjoyed live music, and listened to the powerful story of Maryclare, one of FIH’s first scholars in Kenya. Maryclare, an advocate of storytelling as a means of healing, shared her own accounts of sexual violence and abuse at the Gala.  

Although Maryclare’s story was haunting, her story was also transformative— an impressive example of Freely in Hope’s mission brought to life. Today, Maryclare is a Program Designer and Storyteller for Freely in Hope, paying forward the benefits she reaped from the initiative. FIH once helped her to reclaim her voice. Now, it provides a platform for her to do the same for those who need it most.

I am excited to have an organization like this based where I live and work. And, Giving Assistant is proud to work with and support the mission of Freely in Hope!

Giving Assistant hopes that you’ll join us in supporting Freely in Hope through everyday purchases and holiday shopping at over 3,000 online retailers. If you’re already part of the Giving Assistant community, your next step is to select Freely in Hope on your account settings menu. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can join here to begin donating a portion or all of your cash back to Freely in Hope.

Giving Week: These 46 Brands Are Offering Double Cash Back!

Giving Week: These 46 Brands Are Offering Double Cash Back!

We’re feeling generous, and so are your favorite brands! How does doubling your cash back sound?

November 28th to December 3rd is Giving Week and we’re celebrating by throwing a Double Cash Back, Double Giving Event!

That means when you do a little holiday shopping this week, you’ll be earning and giving more in turn. Pretty sweet, huh? Take a look at which 46 brands (yes, 46!) are offering double cash back deals during our Giving Week celebration!

1. Alternative Apparel | Up to 12% Cash Back

Let’s get back to basics, and see what happens when sustainability and innovation meet. Known as a ‘fabric-first company,’ shop men and women’s apparel made from organic and soft eco-materials to make a difference with your dollars.

2. Barnes & Noble | Up to 8% Cash Back

Calling all book lovers! From biographies to graphic novels, this national chain satisfies anyone’s literature fix, as well as sells magazines, music, games, toys and noteworthy gifts (like the company’s own brand of e-readers and tablets, Nook).

3. Bed Bath & Beyond | Up to 8% Cash Back

Linens and toasters and blenders, oh my! Shop here to find just the right touches to outfit your kitchen, dining room, bathroom and bedroom with everything you need.

4. BioClarity | Up to 20% Cash Back

Let plant power fight your skincare battles! Get healthier, clearer, balanced skin with products that soothe inflammation, reduce redness, shrink pores and get rid of blemishes.

5. BuyBuy BABY | Up to 6% Cash Back

Where do you go when baby needs new shoes? Ease into parenthood, prepare for a pregnancy or treat a toddler to a new toy with the help of a store that offers an array of essentials, such as diaper bags, strollers, car seats, and baby nursery furniture.

6. Chaco | Up to 16% Cash Back

Ready to hit the trail, travel by water, or embark on a new adventure without a care in the world? Be prepared with premium footwear (from boots to flips) made to withstand the elements along with accessories that stand the test of time.

7. Charlotte Russe | Up to 8% Cash Back

Outfit your closet with a new LBD, or spring for a pair of hi-waist, boyfriend or skinny jeans. When you need to expand your wardrobe possibilities, start by exploring the savings offered here on the latest trends in clothes, denim, shoes, and accessories.

8. Christmas Tree Shops | Up to 8% Cash Back

Don’t let the name fool you…while perfect for holiday shopping, this haven for affordably-priced goodies is open all year-round. Catch a bargain deal on furniture, home decor, and kitchen must-haves and so much more.

9. The Coffee & Bean Leaf | Up to 8% Cash Back

Coffee and tea lovers unite! Make sure you get your daily coffee or tea fix with top notch products by The Coffee & Bean Leaf. From delicious house blend coffee to tea infusers to a one touch milk frother— you’ll be making the perfect cup of Joe (or tea!) in no time.

10. Dazadi | Up to 8% Cash Back

Furnishing man caves, family rooms and play dens with home recreation fun since 2002, this is the place to go when you’re in need of a pool table, basketball hoop, shuffleboard table, air hockey table, foosball table or arcade games.

11. Deus ex Machina | Up to 12% Cash Back

In a wave of camo, army green, sand and denim, not only can you purchase jeans, jackets, caps, and goggles with personality, but also motorcycles, bicycles and surf boards from their flagship stores.

12. Dick’s Sporting Goods | Up to 10% Cash Back

Junior joined the soccer team? Building a home gym for the New Year? Shop competitively-priced sporting goods at a store known for its wide selection of active wear, footwear, sports equipment and athletic gear.

13. | Up to 35% Cash Back

Save on your next meal, movie, car rental, hotel stay, or night out on the town when you have a coupon booklet jam-packed with savings in your possession. Digital membership is also available, where you can take advantage of fast, on-the-go discounts for thousands of local and national brands.

14. Etsy | Up to 5% Cash Back

Want a one-of-a-kind statement necklace? Shopping for your cousin’s wedding? Need a Christmas gift that puts all others to shame? Then, it’s highly recommended you check out the online marketplace known for its unique handmade and vintage goods.

15. Foreo | Up to 20% Cash Back

Want a healthy glow that lets your natural beauty shine? See results by adding a sonic facial cleansing brush, Foreo cleanser, ISSA electric toothbrush or IRIS eye massager to your beauty regimen.  

16. | Up to 10% Cash Back

Need of a new pair of unmentionables? Don’t be shy when shopping top brands of lingerie, shapewear, pajamas, loungewear and undergarments with an inventory for both men and women.

17. GearBest | Up to 6% Cash Back

Want to pay less for cool toys, tools, drones, mobile accessories, outdoor fun, and entertainment that keeps the entire family busy? Look no further than this favorite tech and gadget emporium.

18. GelPro | Up to 5% Cash Back

Stop doing the painful ‘I-can’t-take-it-anymore’ shuffle in the kitchen or office. Purchase anti-fatigue comfort mats for your home or workspace, which makes it easier to stand in one place for longer periods of time.

19. | Up to 24% Cash Back

From geek-chic to flattering silhouettes, it’s important to choose a pair of glasses that represents your personality. Here, you can browse a collection of designer frames, as well as customize prescription sunglasses or eyeglasses online.

20. Gourmet Gift Baskets | Up to 10% Cash Back

There’s nothing like a stash of goodies to show someone you care. Featuring brands we all love, you’ll find gift baskets, buckets and towers filled with snacks, fruit, popcorn, chocolates, baked goods, coffee, tea and beer – many themed for holidays and special occasions.

21. Harmon | Up to 12% Cash Back

You want to look your best, don’t you? Don’t pay full price for name brand health and beauty supplies when discounted Neutrogena, Olay, Pantene, L’Oreal, Roc and Maybelline are well within your reach.

22. Harry & David | Up to 6% Cash Back

You haven’t tasted a ‘real’ pear until you sink your teeth into a Royal Riviera from the same company that ships out decadent gift baskets, chocolate covered strawberries, Moose Munch popcorn, and other gourmet food gifts.

23. Hotter US | Up to 16% Cash Back

Don’t let ill-fitting shoes put a dent in your stride, shop a collection of footwear that not only feels comfortable, but also encourages ‘happy, healthy feet.’ Your arches and toes will thank you for the hidden foam cushions, extra wide shoe sizes, and ultra-supportive soles.

24. Hotwire | Up to 6% Cash Back

Where do you turn to when you need to hit the road (or skies), but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to arrange it? What you need is a travel website that offers discount prices on airline tickets (even last-minute flights), hotel rooms, rental cars, and vacation packages.

25. Ideal Fit | Up to 10% Cash Back

Let’s go, ladies! Take your pre- and post-workouts to the next level when you fuel your body with protein bars, burn fat, and build lean muscle with a lineup of premium fitness supplements made specifically for a woman’s body.

26. Journeys | Up to 12% Cash Back

Can you hear the latest styles calling your name? They’re telling you to shop here to snag deals on the hottest brands and latest trends, which includes footwear, hoodies, backpacks, socks and hats from the likes of Adidas, Vans, JanSport, Levis and Marvel Comics.

27. Keds | Up to 16% Cash Back

Ladies, first! For over 100 years, this company has been supplying women with fashionable footwear that now includes canvas classics, glittery bridal sneakers, the MLB Collection, Minnie Mouse styles, and leather shoes available in a variety of patterns, personalities and colors.

28. Kenneth Cole | Up to 6% Cash Back

Stay on top of the latest trends by shopping for men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories that include Chelsea boots, rose gold footwear, metallic boots, and velvet dresses.

29. Lelo | Up to 30% Cash Back

Let’s get sensual! Double your pleasure and double the cash back when you shop intimate bedroom goodies, including a luxe line of 24K gold stimulation, massage candles and gift sets.

30. Lorex Technology | Up to 16% Cash Back

Who has your back both inside and outside your home? That would be a professional-grade HD security camera system that monitors your residence – imagine just one camera can cover entire street views.

31. Luisaviaroma | Up to 10% Cash Back

Shop a collection of exclusive fashion that features a mix of up-and-coming trends and established designers. Get V.I.P. treatment with an exclusive ‘Buy It First’ service that lets you pre-order styles directly off the runway.

32. Merrell | Up to 14% Cash Back

From casual hikes to performing tactical duties, Merrell has you covered with outdoor footwear, clothing and accessories made for women, men and kids. Stay warm with waterproof Arctic Grip winter boots, Sherpa jackets, zip hoodies, and pullover fleeces.

33. | Up to 20% Cash Back

Got an important announcement or message you’d like to shout from the rooftops? It’s much easier when you browse from a bevy of designs to order unique invitations and cards from this company for baby showers, weddings, birthdays, special occasions, and the holidays.

34. Motiv Ring | Up to 17% Cash Back

Looks like a stylish ring…but it’s so much more. One of the smallest fitness trackers on the market not only monitors your activity, sleep hours and heart rate every hour of the day, but can also be worn in the shower.

35. NA-KD | Up to 30% Cash Back

Need a splash of color or the kind of outfit that stops traffic? Shop the latest in global designs where over 100 international brands can’t wait for a place in your closet.

36. Oakley SI | Up to 12% Cash Back

Safety + comfort + performance = heavy-duty equipment that protects the eyes whether you’re in the field for the military, government, law enforcement, or emergency medical situations. OSI eyewear and accessories provide all-weather solutions for on- and off-duty pursuits.

37. Saucony | Up to 16% Cash Back

Calling all runners and fitness enthusiasts! In order to crush your personal best, stay ahead of the pack, and reach all goals – you’re going to need high-performance running shoes, apparel and gear from a company backed by a reputation for delivering high quality and craftsmanship.

38. Shoe Carnival | Up to 12% Cash Back

It’s a party every time you find a good deal on shoes and accessories for the entire family. Let’s celebrate by adding a new handbag or pair of heels, boots, sneakers, or sandals to your collection.

39. Sperry | Up to 14% Cash Back

They’ve been around for a while, so they know their stuff when it comes to outfitting men, women and kids with boat shoes, deck shoes, loafers and nautical gear for both sea-bound and on-ground adventures.

40. Stride Rite | Up to 14% Cash Back

Sending kids to school in style since 1919, shop here to get double cash back savings on shoes, sneakers, boots and sandals that meet the needs of lil’ babes to bigger kiddies.

41. Superdry | Up to 16% Cash Back

As far as clothing goes, sometimes you just need to make a statement. This brand is a favorite of celebrities, who enjoy the hand-drawn graphics and unique styles that blend vintage Americana with Japanese-inspiration with the flair of Brits.

42. TaylorMade Golf | Up to 12% Cash Back

With an inventory featuring high performance golf gear and touting one of the best drivers on the market, elevate your game with TaylorMade Golf savings. And while you’re at it, take a moment to add a few fairways, irons, wedges, putters, golf balls and other accessories to your wish list.

43. Tours4Fun | Up to 6% Cash Back

Don’t stay inside all day…go out and see the sights! But first, snag double cash back when you book your next holiday vacation package, sightseeing tour, cruise or day trip for around-the-world travel and getaways within your own backyard.

44. Wolferman’s | Up to 12% Cash Back

Discover a tradition of fine baking that dates back over 100 years! Producing English muffins with quite a reputation, you might also fall in love with this brand’s specialty foods, gourmet bakery treats, blended coffee, and breakfast gift baskets.

45. World Market | Up to 12% Cash Back

There’s a whole new world waiting for you when you shop regional favorites, imported finds, and international goods at a market offering some of the most affordable prices online. You just might find your next rug, dinner plates, pair of earrings, throw pillow, or bottle of wine here.

46. Coordinates Collection | Up to 8% Cash Back

Map out the unforgettable moments in your life with customizable jewelry that features the longitude + latitude coordinates of the special places that mean the most.

Start earning double cash back now and never miss a cash back opportunity by downloading our Giving Assistant Button! Happy Giving Week!

16 Best Cyber Monday Deals + Cash Back Super Savings

16 Best Cyber Monday Deals + Cash Back Super Savings

No lines to wait in and no crowds to brave.

After the dust of Black Friday settles, there are still plenty of ways to save money that don’t require you to sit in a lawn chair for hours until the doors of your favorite store fling open.

There are endless sales ready for the taking at an online-only party that you attend without ever leaving the comforts of your own home. So…get comfortable, sit back, relax, and take advantage of these Cyber Monday cash back deals like the ones offered by the following brands below.

1. Ancestry | Up to 15% Cash Back

How deep do your roots run? Ancestry DNA kits uncover a branch of your family tree amid some of the 200 million+ photos, scanned docs, and handwritten tales that represent the genealogy and history of individuals in the U.S. and abroad.

Gift box displaying Ancestry DNA holiday sale tag

2. Blue Nile | Up to 5% Cash Back

If you’re looking for ‘bling’ that stops time, then a good place to start is probably with one of the biggest, online diamond retailers. You’ll also find plenty of gemstones to keep you busy, as well as birthstone jewelry, engagement rings and wedding bands.  

Pair of diamond earrings to buy from Blue Nile

3. Eileen Fisher | Up to 9% Cash Back

Effortlessly pull off a casual vibe with the classic, elegant look of women’s clothing that blends comfort with eco-friendly designs and business practices.

4. Etsy | Up to 5% Cash Back

Get lost in a wonderland of handmade creations that include art, personalized jewelry, food and toys. People from all over the world make, buy and sell one-of-a-kind, artisan goodies and vintage swag that offers a lil’ something for everyone. And note that all sales made on Etsy help support human creativity!

5. Farfetch | Up to 9% Cash Back

‘Luxury’ is this fashion retail hub’s middle name. Come find out why it has a reputation for attracting the masses with a lineup of clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories that represent more than 700 brands and boutiques from all over the world.

6. FitFlop | Up to 12% Cash Back

Want to feel like you’re walking on air? Ergonomics really do make a difference in the way your shoes feel, and FitFlop is a master at it when making shoes, sneakers, clogs, boots and sandals equipped with Microwobbleboard™ comfort.

7. Foreo | Up to 13% Cash Back

Tap into the power of European beauty secrets and skincare with a Swedish brand that markets “For Every One.” Award-winning facial cleansing solutions, sonic toothbrushes and eye massagers are just the tip of the iceberg.

8. GearBest | Up to 5% Cash Back

It’s time to get your geek on! This is the place to browse when you’re in need of satisfying a craving for new electronic gadgets, cool toys, cell phone accessories, and creative apparel at affordable prices.

9. Gilt | Up to 3% Cash Back

Become a member to unlock the savings for leading fashions. You’ll have your pick of luxe Italian labels, designer shoes and handbags, leather goods, jewelry, exclusive services and much more.

10. Groupon | Up to 7% Cash Back

Explore something new with discounted vouchers that connect consumers to local businesses and a never-ending supply of goods. There’s literally a Groupon for everyone, whether it’s for a restaurant, nail salon, spa, hotel, museum, bowling alley, concert…you get the picture.

11. Home Depot | Up to 8% Cash Back

Known as power tool heaven and a dreamland for construction plans, this home improvement headquarters provides goods and services that satisfy everyday needs. It’s one of the first places people go when they want to fix, enhance, upgrade and update “home sweet home” and beyond.

12. Jane | Up to 8% Cash Back

Spend a bit of time on this daily boutique deal site, and you’re sure to fall for some of the hottest trends in home décor and fashion on the market. You won’t be able to ignore the hundreds of goods frequently featured with deeply-discounted prices.

13. Oakley | Up to 6% Cash Back

Top-notch eye protection can’t be beat…just ask the extreme athletes who wear Oakleys as they snowboard, ski, ride, cycle, surf or golf. In addition to cutting-edge eyewear, the company also sells top-notch clothing, accessories and sports equipment.

14. Ray-Ban | Up to 8% Cash Back

A leader in the premium eyewear market, you don’t always need a prescription to get a hold of these eyeglasses. And…when you want to set trends, make sure to choose a pair of iconic frames, like an eye-catching pair of Aviators.

15. Tempur-pedic | Special Holiday Offers!

Your entire body will thank you. Say ‘goodbye’ to a hard night’s sleep and make sure you catch some solid zzz’s when buying high-end memory foam mattress sets and pillows from one of the most well-known bedding companies in the business.

16. World Market | Up to 8% Cash Back

It’s time to upgrade your home décor with the kind of furniture that no one else you know has. Global designs and other goods from this store also include pillows, imported rugs, food, beverages, candy, kitchenware and incredible gift ideas.

Discover more super saving Cyber Monday deals here and never miss a cash back opportunity by downloading our Giving Assistant Button! Happy shopping!

15 Best Black Friday Deals To Buy Online

15 Best Black Friday Deals To Buy Online

It’s that time of year again! You’re trying to save the most money on holiday gifts and there seems to be ‘deep discounts,’ ‘can’t miss sales’ and ‘super buys’ at every turn.

We got you covered. Your favorite brands are offering insanely low prices on everything under the sun so act fast!

Below are some of the best Black Friday deals we have seen in 2017, but hurry before something on your to buy list sells out!

1. Eileen Fisher | 15% Off Purchase (New Customers) + Cash Back

Settle your eco-conscious mind by shopping sale items that feature a sweet lineup of clothing, shoes and accessories representing organic, sustainable, artisanal, and fair trade goods.

2. Gearbest | 10% Off Sitewide + Cash Back

Electronics and gadgets on sale make some of the best gifts and stocking stuffers, don’t they? This week, fall deep into a rabbit hole filled with retro toys, fun novelties, drones, outdoor entertainment, and remote control excitement.

3. Etsy | Cyber Sale + Cash Back

In search of unique gift ideas…the ones you don’t see in a department store? Find the ‘best present ever’ (that you never knew existed) when you browse a creative collection of handmade treasures from artisans featured on Etsy.

4. Net-A-Porter | Up to 50% Off + Cash Back

Shop luxe fashion and gifts for less! You know you want to snag discounts on designer clothing and other splurges, like runway-ready shoes, flashy accessories, jewelry, and beauty must-haves.

5. Farfetch | 10% Off Purchase (New Customers) + Cash Back

Fashion + luxury + Black Friday sales = spectacularly selfie-worthy finds that include vintage styles, handbags, crowd-stopping footwear and designer clothing for men, women and kids.

6. Groupon | 20% Sitewide + Cash Back

Sound the alarms! One of the most popular online marketplaces is now offering a chance for you to save money on literally anything – from dinner at a Thai restaurant to craft beer delivery to Swedish massage for two.

7. Healthmate Forever | 15% Off Orders $200+ & Cash Back

Overdoing it at the gym? Need New Year’s motivation? Rehabbing an injury? There’s a sale on wellness devices that stimulate the muscles and knocks out pain that you don’t want to miss.

8. | Up to 50% Off Your Complete Order + Cash Back

Things are looking up for you this holiday! With designer eyewear from the likes of Burberry, Coach, Ray-Ban and Oakley, don’t miss a sale that takes up to half off frames and lenses.

9. T-Mobile | Additional $100 Off Select Smartphones + Cash Back

Stop hiding that cracked screen or complaining about old tech glitches! Stay current with Black Friday savings, and save a cool hundred on your next purchase.

10. Gilt | 70% Off Vince Sale + Cash Back

Everyone likes saving on designer threads, right? When a closet is in need of cashmere, suede or silk, consider shopping a sale that offers laid back, modern styles for women and men.

11. Home Depot | Up to 20% Off Home Accents + Cash Back

Who knew the largest home improvement retailer in the world sells faux fur mink throws, hand-painted vases, and musical jewelry boxes? Take home décor to the next level by shopping here for special values this Black Friday.  

12. eBags | Up to 70% Off Deals + Cash Back

You can never have too many bags. Shop the lowest prices of the season, and find extreme deals for fashionable handbags, luggage, backpacks, travel accessories, and sports gear.

13. Nike | Extra 25% Off Sale + Cash Back

Caked-on mud, worn bottoms, and shoelaces hanging on by their last thread…these are the signs of someone who needs a new pair of trainers. Take advantage of Black Friday deals to save on footwear and other select sportswear featuring that iconic Swoosh.

14. Pier 1 | 25% Off Sitewide + Cash Back

Turn a room from ‘blah’ to ‘boom’ with Black Friday savings on a sophisticated new piece of furniture – from hand-painted bird chests to wooden organization cabinets with character.

15. Backcountry | 20% Off 1 Full-Priced Item + Cash Back

When that insulated puff jacket or pair of yoga pants has seen better days, it’s time for a lil’ bit of wardrobe elevation. It’s now easier to outfit future outdoor/active adventures by cutting costs on regular-priced, gearhead-approved apparel, footwear and accessories.

Discover more super saving Black Friday deals here and never miss a cash back opportunity by downloading our Giving Assistant Button! Happy shopping!

Change Makers: Marine Conservation Institute

Change Makers: Marine Conservation Institute

These responses were provided by Marine Conservation Institute’s Communications Coordinator, Matt Coomer. Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your organization!

Q: Tell us about the Marine Conservation Institute

We’re based in Seattle, Glen Ellen (Bay Area CA), and Washington D.C.

Since Dr. Elliott Norse founded Marine Conservation Institute in 1996, we have been a major player in efforts to save our ocean. We help bridge the gap between scientists, who understand marine ecosystems, and policymakers who determine their fate.

In 2000, at our urging, President Clinton called for a national system of marine protected areas, or MPAs.

In 2006 and 2009, we built the scientific support for President Bush to establish three colossal MPAs in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This move was a game-changing moment for conservation: it marked the first time a vast ocean area was strongly protected from fishing – a significant impact that humans have on marine ecosystems. This momentum led to more strong MPAs being created in recent years.

Since seeing marine conservation biology become a vibrant science worldwide, we have shifted our attention to increasing the quantity and quality of protection for the ocean’s best places. To realize this dream, we launched a major initiative, the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES, pronounced “glories”). GLORES is dedicated to building a network of marine reserves that strongly protect 30% of the global ocean. It is a collaborative effort working to save marine life and protect biodiversity through effective measures on the water.

Our President Dr. Lance Morgan, GLORES Science Fellow Dr. Sarah Hameed, and Board Chair Dr. David Johns with Global Ocean Refuge managers after our awards at IMPAC4.

We are also dedicated to providing the world’s most accurate assessment of MPA coverage and strength through the Atlas of Marine Protection, or As countries race to reach globally established levels of marine protection, it is important that MPAs be planned and managed to achieve real conservation benefits. Because some places are called MPAs but still allow destructive activities like fishing and oil development, has gained widespread recognition for assessing protection on the water, rather than simply showing declared space. Our interactive map and analyses offer a true picture of marine protection progress, showing successes and how far we still have to go.

Q: What is your organization’s overall mission?

Our mission is to secure permanent, strong protection for the ocean’s most important places.

Q: What are a few goals your organization has been focusing on this year?

This year, our team has been focused on fighting attempts to remove protections for U.S. marine national monuments and sanctuaries, tracking new MPA developments on the Atlas of Marine Protection, and welcoming our first Global Ocean Refuges to the GLORES network.

We are also involved in raising public awareness about the California seamounts, which are underwater volcanoes and deep-sea mountain ranges off the coast that support rich, fragile ecosystems. These undersea mountains are home to ancient corals, delicate glass sponges and chemo-synthetic communities. The more people we reach about their natural value, the more likely it is that they can be protected in the future.

Our scientists are also busy researching other vulnerable ecosystems in the deep sea and ways to protect their biodiversity as well as maintain their resilience.

Q: Can you discuss some of your major successes?

Our biggest recent success was awarding the first Global Ocean Refuges at the 4th International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) in Chile.

Our distinguished GLORES Science Council used science-based criteria to evaluate promising MPAs and found that three sites met our strictest standards for protecting marine biodiversity:

  1. Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia)
  2. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (The Philippines)
  3. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (U.S.)

It was our privilege to honor their conservation achievements and recognize each site with the Global Ocean Refuge Platinum award. We will continue promoting their success and help other marine reserves follow their shining example.

The Atlas of Marine Protection was also recently recognized, as National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence Dr. Enric Sala used its data to show the state of marine protection at the Our Ocean conference. The resulting Malta Declaration was signed by prominent marine scientists from around the world and called for stronger MPAs with verifiable conservation measures, a point we strongly support and echo in our mapping work. As nations hopefully listen to this message and create more effective MPAs, will continue showing the real marine protection situation on the ocean.

A simplified version of the MPAtlas global marine protection map as of December 2016. Unfortunately, not all of the MPAs shown provide the same level of effective protection for ocean ecosystems.

Q: Can you share a few alarming stats that have low awareness?

We want to make everyone aware that, in spite of increasing numbers of MPA announcements, only about 3% of the world’s oceans are protected today. And, of that small amount, approximately 1.5% is strongly protected in no-take marine reserves, which is, according to leading scientists, the most effective design for protecting ecosystems. As an example of the urgency for marine protection, 60% of coral reefs are currently threatened by human activities and it is likely that 100% of coral reefs will bleach by 2050. Our oceans are in decline and they need more protection if we’re going to stop or reverse these sad trends.

Modern boats now fish in every ice-free ocean region. Despite their new technology, some studies show that global fish catches peaked years ago and that up to 90% of large tunas and billfishes may be gone. When you mix in human-caused habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change impacts, our ocean’s ability to sustain life is threatened. As renowned marine biologist and Marine Conservation Institute Board Member Dr. Sylvia Earle famously said, “No ocean, no life. No blue, no green. No ocean, no us.” The Global Ocean Refuge System will help us reverse the trend of ocean degradation and ensure a healthy ocean that supports the planet’s amazing biodiversity.

Q: What can we do in our daily lives to help support your cause?

In addition to donating to our organization, we welcome the public to nominate great MPAs for Global Ocean Refuge awards and to help spread the word about GLORES. We’re always looking for new organizations and businesses to partner with as well, so if you know another group that would be interested in collaborating on GLORES, please let us know! Also, tell your friends about the best place to find accurate MPA information,!

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Shark swimming in sea with fish around it

Global Ocean Refuge Platinum award-winner Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary protects abundant marine life, including this Galapagos shark. Edited here, original photo courtesy of SFF Malpelo.

Q: How important are donors for the Marine Conservation Institute?

Donors are essential to fulfilling our mission and we put every dollar received to good use. Our Board Member and Treasurer Burgess Raby likes to describe us as, “… a ‘lean and mean’ organization, with a focus on applying every possible cent of its income to its mission of securing permanent, strong protection for the ocean’s most important places.” We especially appreciate our Ocean Guardians, donors who give over $1000, and give them special access to our work and recognition throughout the year. Membership in this program makes the perfect gift for any ocean lover in your life!

Q: How has your experience been with Giving Assistant?

Our Giving Assistant experience has been great; it gives a nice return to our organization when users shop at its many popular stores.

With the holidays right around the corner, the support we receive through Giving Assistant is helpful in boosting our year-end donations. We really appreciate its focus on giving to charities and nonprofits that are working to protect our world!

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?

GLORES will keep growing in 2018 and beyond, so please tell everyone you know and keep an eye out for new Global Ocean Refuges!

Two masked boobies birds

Masked boobies in the Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary. Edited here, original photo by Ramón Pulido courtesy of Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia.

Feature photo by Bo Mancao.

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