father's day 2021

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

Photo-Illustration: retailers

You may have noticed some posts from our friends at the Strategist on the Cut. They’ll be dropping in every now and again, sharing their expertise on the basics you don’t have time to research and the weird and wonderful things you don’t yet know you need.

If you’re going to give your dad something for Father’s Day — which you should — why not make it a gift that also gives back? We’ve found the best presents around that also have a charitable component, so you can do some good while celebrating the man who taught you important things like how to flip a pancake, catch a fish, or look cool in a pair of New Balances. Rest assured these are truly charitable: None of the brands included give less than 10 percent to a cause (because if it’s just one percent, what’s the point?), and many promise to donate full proceeds to relief funds and nonprofits. Some even let you choose a local charity of your choice.

Some things are expected to arrive by Father’s Day — June 20th — but as the date gets closer, stock and shipping times will change, so if you see something you like, go ahead and add it to your cart now.

We featured this cutting board in our list of Mother’s Day gifts that give back and in our roundup of products specifically giving back to the AAPI community, and we think it would make a great Father’s Day present, too. Material is donating 50 percent of the profits from two of its popular cutting-board colors — this bright green, called Reimagine Justice, and a neutral beige called To Pó-Po With Love — to Heart of Dinner and Drive Change.

Looking to treat your dad to something splurge-worthy? Give him the closest thing to a professional shave at home: a Gillette Heated Razor. The Art of Shaving will donate 25 percent of all sales of the razors, up to $25,000, to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Whether they’re brand-new dads or experienced grandpas, a nice-looking (and hard to stain) tote is always something dads can use. This dark-green bag from Heart of Dinner is sturdy, stylish, and gives back to the AAPI community in NYC. One hundred percent of the proceeds from each purchase goes to helping Heart of Dinner support Asian elders with culturally thoughtful care packages of fresh food.

If your dad makes yearly trips to different National Parks, this poster was made for him. The bold graphic poster serves as both wall art and a checklist, so he can keep track of his quest to visit them all. Proceeds help support the National Parks Conservation Association and its mission to preserve public lands for generations to come.

Whiskey (or rum) stones are an admittedly overdone dad gift, but this set is different. In addition to the the stones, the kit includes glasses, coasters, and a freezing bag for the stones — and 20 percent of proceeds support Save the Children.

Photo: Jedd Cooney

Artsy dads will appreciate a print for a good cause, like this one from photographer Jedd Cooney and Hope 4 India. The organization is selling a wide range of 8.5-by-11-inch prints (all for $150) donated by generous photographers from around the world. Proceeds go toward supplying emergency support and oxygen to fight COVID-19 in India.

A hoodie might seem like an obvious dad gift, but this one supports Chinatown’s Wo Hop restaurant, which originally opened in 1938, making it the second-oldest restaurant in Chinatown. Profits will go directly to the restaurant’s two locations Wo Hop 17 and Wo Hop Next Door.

This U.K.-based brand has a wide range of stylish and affordable watches, with something for every kind of dad. Plus, a portion of every watch purchase goes toward providing children in sub-Saharan Africa with uniforms needed to attend school and solar lights that let them study after dark without electricity or burning kerosene.

Gardening can be hard on the back and knees. This foldable seat helps with that — and holds Dad’s tools all in one place. Uncommon Goods donates a portion of every purchase to a charity of the buyer’s choice. Some of the charities it partners with include the International Rescue Committee, RAINN, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


Outdoorsy dads know the importance of clean drinking water, so give yours a LifeStraw. The Sharpie-marker-size device is key on camping and hiking trips, as it filters out 99.99 percent of bacteria and parasites from any water source. Just dip the end in a pond and drink. For every one sold, LifeStraw will donate safe drinking water to a child for an entire school year.

Give your dad some exceptionally well-designed merch from one of his favorite restaurants, like Win Son in Brooklyn or Rustic Canyon in Los Angeles. Ninety-five percent of profits will go straight to the restaurant; 5 percent will benefit a restaurant-worker relief fund.

If your dad could use a new pair of summer shoes, consider these rainbow Tevas. Although the hiking-sandal company doesn’t donate a specific amount for each purchase, it did give $35,000 to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to help empower the LGBTQ+ community and provide a platform for self-expression.

Forty percent of the proceeds from this sleek kitchen-compost bin — ideal for dads who garden — will be donated to a local organization of your choice. (If your dad already has a compost bin he loves, Boon Supply has plenty of other kitchen gear, all of which benefit a good cause.)

Lush’s Charity Pot lotion is a rich, subtly scented cream (great for cracked hands!), and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit small grassroots organizations “in the areas of human rights, animal protection, and environmental justice.”

For the dad who loves to hydrate (or needs a little motivation to do so), this company donates clean water to a person in need every time the bottle is refilled. Their Fill It Forward campaign has filled more than 3 million cups of clean water.

$72 for 4

Socks may not be the most interesting gift, but they are among the most useful — and for every pair of these Strategist-approved socks sold, Bombas donates a pair.

These lightly scented candles will help make Dad’s house feel more homey. In addition to supporting women artisans and refugees living and working in the United States, Prosperity Candle is donating 15 percent of the revenue from its handmade candles to the International Medical Corps, an initiative that delivers medical care to refugees and displaced families worldwide.

This pair of NPR sweat shorts absolutely screams DAD. The fact that buying a pair helps support his favorite shows is just a bonus.

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