Do you buy charity Christmas cards? I always do. In fact I buy charity products whenever I can. I guess there are people out there (ok, from my small number of readers there may be one!) thinking that I’m taking away from those in business but I don’t think so.
The retail charity sector is small compared to other business and mainly sells pre-loved items anyway. I’ve tried to find some figures on this and it was quite difficult. The charity sector is increasing but appears to be around 0.25% of all retail sales – hardly a threat!
As charities need more and more funds they are looking for other ways to increase their share with coffee shops, bridal shops, greeting cards and new goods. I support them when I can but it’s still a small part of what we spend.
I absolutely insist on buying charity Christmas cards and I know that many other people do too. But how much of the cost is going to the charity.
I have given dozens of talks to community groups such as WIs, pensioners’ groups, Rotary groups etc on behalf of St Peter’s Hospice. I would speak for about 45 minutes about the fundraising I was doing and about the hospice itself but the item that always got the biggest reaction was Christmas cards!
PLEASE PLEASE buy Christmas cards directly from the charity you wish to support. Most charities have websites, shops or local offices. DO NOT buy from a high street store.
As an example, this pack from John Lewis costs 4.50 and the website clearly states that a donation of 10% is made to charity. So we spend £4.50 and the charity get 45p.
Similarly, and even worse, this pack from The Greetings Card Company also costs £4.50 and is advertised as supporting Marie Curie, which indeed it does, to the tune of 34p per pack!
Conversely, a pack on the Marie Curie website costs £4.25 and 100% of profits go to the charity. I’m not naïve enough to think that this means that Marie Curie raise £4.25 but from people I know who work in this area I understand that charities aim for between 70 and 80% profits on their cards. This means that from this pack of cards they benefit to the tune of between £2.98 and £3.40. That’s about 10 TIMES the donation received from the commercial store.
Of course I’m hoping that ALL of my readers will buy St Peter’s Hospice Christmas Goods either online or at one of the 52 high street shops in and around Bristol. Click here to find your nearest shop. But most people have their own favourite or important charity so please support yours.
*AND BUY DIRECT FROM THEM THIS YEAR!*