Exeter, May 2015

Attaching donations to e-cards: consumers give the cost of cards to charity instead of spending in high-street greeting card retailers

UK charities are getting on board a social enterprise that provides them with a new means to receive donations – an innovative take on the £1.4bn greeting card market.

DontSendMeACard.com offers ‘cards that give’ by encouraging people to celebrate occasions with e-cards, and to donate the cost of printed greeting cards.

The web venture – supported by The School for Social Entrepreneurs at The Dartington Hall Trust – has already attracted the likes of The Honeypot Children's Charity, Trees for Cities, and The WESC Foundation.

Users can give to a cause in two ways, i) Request e-cards and fundraise, and ii) Send e-cards and donate. In each case the cost of greeting cards goes to the designated charity via PayPal or credit card.

Founder Alex Furness says “The reciprocation of cards can be very costly, especially on occasions such as Christmas, where multiple cards are sent each way.”

Alex adds “By shifting to a digital version of receiving sentiment i.e, free e-cards, what would have been spent on cards goes to causes people care about, with our system of attaching donations of the cost of cards.”

Katie Greaves, at environmental charity Trees for Cities, says “You can do your bit for the environment by planting trees instead of sending cards!”, referencing that for every £5 donated in lieu of greeting cards, a tree is planted in an urban area by the charity.

An environmental saving has also been outlined by the Centre for Business and Climate Solutions at Exeter University, who have written a study for DontSendMeACard on the impact of each greeting card sent.

With around 2bn of them being purchased in the UK annually, there is food for thought on embracing a green alternative, as detailed in this infographic created from the report.

Alex summarises “The greeting card market in the UK is the most successful in the world, and rarely suffers during recessions. We’re stuck in this obligation to send cards. It's time to break the mould, and for all good reason – incredible causes that need funds way more than we need cards.”

Charities wishing to be listed can register their organisation here.