During the early 1900ís, Madame Walker donated money to African American organizations such as the NAACP, Home for the Aged in Louisiana and Indianapolis, the Needy in Indianapolis, YMCA of Indianapolis, as well as the National Association of Colored Women for various programs that the organizations had. All of her donations to the charities were generous in size. In 1918 Sarah made the largest donation for the effort the National Association of Colored Women were putting on to buy the house of Fredrick Douglass and make it into a museum. In 1919 she made the then 10 year old NAACP's largest donation ever of $5,000 to their Anti-lynching campaign. She also gave lectures at black conventions that were sponsored by powerful black institutes. Madame Walker's contributions during this time show that African Americans were struggling to gain independence, freedom, and a sense of self worth by equalizing civil rights and finding their own identity as a community.
As much money and time Sarah donated to organizations, she also worked extremely hard on her own business. In 1905 Sarah founded a conditioning lotion that straightened hair and was designed to heal the scalp through more frequent shampooing. In 1906 she built her own factory, called Madame CJ Manufacturing Company, and sold by advertisements and door-to-door sales. Sarah had a large amount of people working for her. She encouraged her agents to support black philanthropic work. She organized her agents into "Walker Clubs" in 1916 for a convention that she was to hold in 1917. During the convention she gave cash prizes to the clubs that did the most community philanthropic work. She also gave prizes to the most generous local affiliates in her area. By doing so, Madame Walker brought union and a family sense of pride to people in the community by bringing people together and encouraging people to reach out to others in need of help.