Holiday shopping gives back to Northern Michigan’s downtown Traverse City when you participate in Shop Your Community Day on November 9, 2013.

When you’re doing your holiday shopping this year, don’t just pay; pay it forward. That’s the message of Shop Your Community Day, an annual event hosted by the Downtown Traverse City Association. Held on the second Saturday in November, Shop Your Community Day helps holiday shoppers support local businesses as well as their favorite regional nonprofits with each purchase they make. It’s a brilliantly simple idea: When shoppers make a purchase at participating downtown Traverse City businesses or restaurants, 15 percent of the sale price is donated to the nonprofit of the shopper’s choosing from a list of 50 regional Northern Michigan charities. A local blood bank is even on hand, offering a donation for every person who gives blood. The event draws people from all over Northern Michigan, many of whom meet up with friends and family to make a day of it. “It’s not your typical hectic, crowded holiday shopping experience—and it’s a win-win for everyone,” says Downtown Traverse City Association’s Colleen Paveglio.

Since the event was first launched in 2005, Shop Your Community Day has raised more than $131,000 for local nonprofits, with $25,000 raised in just one day last year. Help make 2013 the best year yet; this year’s Shop Your Community Day happens November 9.

Find the list of participating nonprofits and downtown 
merchants at