Donate $109 to Major Charities for $6

I have recently resurrected my interest in Swagbucks as shopping and coupon printing portal. Last week I noticed an offer on their homepage: Make a one-time donation of $25 to Covenant House, receive 2,500 Swagbucks ($25). This morning, I figured out how this probably works – there’s a donor-sponsored Million Dollar Match going on and they’re $250K away from maxing it out by the 3/31/15 deadline. They don’t leave that money on the table and they build their donation base, smart!

Then today I saw a donation offer for World Wildlife Fund: Symbolically adopt an elephant for $9/month, get 1,500 SBs ($15), an eco-shopping tote and a stuffed elephant (or penguin or sea turtle). I’m a sucker for those shopping totes, lol. I’ve supported WWF on and off since their campaign for tiger preservation when I was in college.

And THEN I noticed a Swagbucks “Give + You Shall Receive” offer (if you’re not a member, it would be superniceynice if you clicked the link in my twitter profile blurb) – every month you give an initial or one-time donation to 2 charities, you get 300 bonus SBs ($3). Give to 3, get $6. Give to 4 or more, get $18. Only first-month donations count so it’s not something to get crazy with, but this seems a good month for me to go for it because I’ve already given to two. And of course I used my US Bank TravelPerks credit card to earn 3 points per $ for charitable contributions.

So the best way to maximize what you give while minimizing the cost looks like this:


  • The charities in the table are those that represent the best cashback value. Other options include the ASPCA, the Humane Society, Feeding America, Catholic Relief, Child Fund and Defenders of the Wilderness.
  • The fine print warns that your Swagbucks may not be awarded for cancelling too quickly, but my experience from 2013 showed that cancelling after the second monthly contribution works out fine. Bear in mind that most of the current options have ongoing bonuses for the first 4-6 months if you feel inclined to keep it going a bit longer.
  • I don’t benefit in any way from you doing this (maybe if you sign up through my link, but I’m not sure). I just like finding new and unusual ways to stretch a buck, especially the ones earmarked for charity.
  • If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, you can cash in points for gift cards or a PayPal deposit. All options are currently valued at 100 Swagbucks = $1.

Additional charity “deal” – Child Fund is one of those sponsor-a-child-for-$XX-a-month charities. In this case, $28/month. If you do it for 6 months, you’ll pay $168 total and get 14,000 SBs ($140) back. I’m tempted by this, but it can be hard to cancel when you have a little face attached to your donation every month.