father's day 2023

The Best Gifts for Dad (That Do Good, Too)

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Dads are notoriously hard to buy gifts for, which can make Father’s Day a shopping conundrum. But a gift that gives back is a twofer in thoughtfulness — your dad gets something he might not have ever bought for himself and a good cause gets a donation. So we went in search of the best presents with a charitable component so you can do some good while celebrating the man who taught you the important things, like how to flip a pancake or catch a fish. Almost all of the philanthropic gifts below are from brands we’ve written about before, and should arrive by Father’s Day, which is on June 18 this year. But as the date gets closer, stock availability and shipping times will change — so if you see something you like, add it to your cart sooner rather than later.


If he spends a lot of time in the woods, a LifeStraw — the Sharpie-size device that filters bacteria and parasites out of water from any source — is especially useful. (Just dip the end in and drink.) For every one sold, LifeStraw will donate safe drinking water to a child in Kenya for a school year.

He won’t mistake the Parks Project’s trippy, Grateful Dead–esque, frog-printed camp chair for anyone else’s at the park or around a firepit. And as a bonus: The organization works toward preserving parklands through volunteering and education.

Ember’s self-heating mug has frequently been seen on the Strategist. It’s even available in a portable travel-mug style, where you can tell the temperature of what’s inside from the outside (it’s displayed in an alarm-clock-like font). When the travel mug is purchased in red, 3 percent of the price goes to Project Red’s Global Fund, which supports programs working to end epidemics like AIDS.

Here’s a preppy pick: a branded water bottle featuring Ralph Lauren’s famed horse-riding polo player. It was made in partnership with GiveMeTap, with $2 from each one sold donated to installing water pumps in rural Ghana.

Any cheese enthusiast will like this box — which features Parmesan herb cheese and beef-and-garlic summer sausage that would pair nicely on any charcuterie board. It’s part of the Smile Farms collection, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting the namesake nonprofit, which creates work opportunities in the agricultural industry for those with disabilities.

Material’s cutting board counts Strategist kitchen-and-dining writer Emma Wartzman and food stylist Judy Kim as fans. “The texture of it is probably the most important feature,” Kim says. “Some other plastic ones are so sleek and so smooth, you can feel your knife slip sometimes, even just a little bit.” Half of the proceeds from this taupe “To Pó-Po with Love” shade are donated to Heart of Dinner, which delivers meals to Asian American elders in underserved communities.

The Chinatown Collection from Pearl River Mart gives back 100 percent of its profits to Chinatown businesses (in collaboration with the nonprofit Welcome to Chinatown). This set is a nod to the drinks at Fong On, the oldest family-run tofu shop in New York City.

Socks aren’t the most inventive gift, but they are among the most useful. Give your dad these exercise-efficient ones designed with cushioning and ventilation to minimize the chances of discomfort (or a case of athlete’s foot). And for every pair sold, the brand donates a pair to someone experiencing homelessness.

Though ties are ubiquitous on Father’s Day, this one supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s efforts to cure childhood cancer. It’s understated (and will be work-appropriate) with a pattern that includes polka dots and the hospital’s logo.

The dad who’s a scent snob will be delighted by California-based Flamingo Estate’s farm-fresh smells (its heirloom-tomato candle is a highlight). This candle (which was recently featured in our guide to gifts that give back for moms) has notes of musk, green leaves, and honeyed blossoms. The full $65 purchase price is promised to the People Concern, a social-services nonprofit in Los Angeles.

You can add a little luxury to his grooming routine with this Caswell-Massey aftershave. Inspired by one of the company’s perfumes, it’s scented with anise and amber and has a cooling menthol base. It’s also part of a floral-themed collaboration between the 270-year-old bespoke soap-maker and the New York Botanical Garden, with a portion of all profits funding the garden’s plant-conservation and research work.

When you buy this sweatshirt, made in a partnership between Conscious Step and Nickelodeon, $5 from your purchase goes to Oceana. One of the sleeves has a cartoon of SpongeBob’s face embroidered on it.

The patch on this T-shirt — from “resistance knitwear line” Lingua Franca — is a play on the classic “keep off the grass” lawn sign. As for the “doing good” part: 10 percent of the proceeds will go to the cannabis-reform-focused Last Prisoner Project.

Back in 2016, Everlane launched its 100% Human Collection — this tee is one of the latest additions, made from the same cotton as the company’s signature crews — with 10 percent of profits from each item in the capsule donated to the ACLU.

Streetwear label Krost’s latest line supports Eden Reforestation Projects, which plants trees in places like Madagascar and Mozambique. That includes these mesh basketball shorts patterned with mushrooms.

As part of Ralph Lauren’s “Pink Pony” campaign, 25 percent of the purchase price of this fleece — when customized with one of the brand’s blush-colored logos — will go to a network of cancer charities around the world. You can also choose between a crewneck and a hoodie, and you can print up to ten characters on the back.

Whether he’s a beginner birder who just watches pigeons at the park or a more experienced one who can tell a bluebird from a blue jay, he’ll like this goldfinch-printed sweatshirt that supports the National Audubon Society’s conservation work.

British artist Luke Edward Hall’s work could meet the design-minded dad’s standards. The coffee-table book — published late last year — has photos from the interiors of Hall’s Cotswolds cottage and London apartment. And like his now sold-out Greek-vase-emblazoned sweatshirt (which was part of a Rowing Blazers collaboration we previously featured on the site), a portion of the book’s proceeds will benefit the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the American Classical League’s Committee for Latin and Greek.

For the art-collecting dad, turn to Summertime Gallery, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that provides studio space, materials, and mentorship to neurodivergent artists. Paige Wery, director of Tierra del Sol Gallery in Los Angeles, highly recommends Summertime’s postcard subscription as “the perfect way to say hello to loved ones and learn about an artist you might not have known.” Every month, Dad will get a new postcard with proceeds benefiting both the artist and Summertime.

Every purchase on Social Goods funds a donation to a different cause. This 100-piece puzzle helps the environmental-justice organization Natural Resources Defense Council. The pieces are taken from NASA-archived photographs of the Earth from outer space.

Profits from the Whitney Shop support the museum’s research and conservation efforts. The shop is full of hidden gems, like this salt-and-pepper-shaker set that’s made from Limoges porcelain and modeled after Andy Warhol’s famous soup cans.

For a donation of $2 per tree, the Nebraska-based Arbor Day Foundation will plant a minimum of 25 trees in Dad’s honor (and you can put “Father’s Day” on a printed celebration certificate so he never forgets). You can choose which forest in need — like the Chippewa in Minnesota — will get the trees, too.

Each of the ten blends in this tea sampler is inspired by a national park, and 10 percent of the proceeds are donated right back to the parks system. “Yellowstone” has notes of blue cornflower, prickly pear, and bergamot. “Shenandoah” features lemon, ginger, and an elderberry finish. And “Yosemite” brews a cup with flavors of spearmint, pineapple, and marigold petals.

The “Lioness” roast from La Colombe — a Philly-based brand favored by musician Lauv — is on the sweet side, with notes of caramel apple, cocoa, and almonds. La Colombe is giving $2 from each package of beans to the ACLU.

The Getty Museum Store rivals the MoMa Design Store in unexpected delightfulness — and purchases from the shop support the museum’s many educational programs. This olive oil is made in a Puglia mill and has flavors of almond and artichoke, plus it comes in a splatter-esque, hand-painted ceramic jug.


It’s a corkscrew and verifiable objet d’art in one. And when you buy the piece from Olivela’s site, your purchase helps provide essential supplies to Save the Children.

Replace his collection of cords with this minimalist charger. It can power up to two Qi-certified devices at once (read: the newest iPhone and AirPods in their case). And as with the corkscrew above, if you buy it at Olivela, you’re also donating to Save the Children.

Turn to the Smithsonian Store for the history-obsessed dad. All the revenue from the shop directly supports new exhibitions, public programs, and outreach initiatives across the institution’s museums. This throwback Boeing-logo duffel bag would work for the jet-setter (or aerophile) in your life.

If he’s more of a radiohead, this Tiny Desk Concert mug helps make the beloved NPR series possible by funding public-radio programming. And while you’re at it: An NPR Coffee Club subscription could be a much-appreciated accompaniment.

To further champion media that relies on “viewers like you,” we suggest browsing ShopPBS. This turntable supports the broadcaster’s public TV programming. This is a take on the record-player purveyor’s Cruiser, but with bigger built-in speakers.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The Best Gifts for Dad (That Do Good, Too)