Buying charity Christmas cards – how much goes to charity?

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Many of us like buying charity Christmas cards, but how much of that money actually benefits your favourite causes? Find out.

Buying charity Christmas cards

If you’re shopping for Christmas cards and you want a charity – or charities – to benefit, make sure you choose carefully. It’s easy to buy charity Christmas cards in your supermarket, but you could be giving as little as 10% (or less) of the money you spend to charity. But if you buy direct from charity card sellers, it could be nearer to 70%, or even more.

We’ve looked at the charity Christmas cards available in supermarkets, department stores and other stores as well as specific charity card outlets. This is what we found (we’ve listed the individual shops in alphabetical order):

Charity Christmas card shops

 You’ll give the most money to charities if you buy direct from them. Depending on where you live, you can also buy from charity Christmas card ‘pop up’ shops that take over church halls and other venues in the run-up to Christmas. You can also help charities by buying online from charity card websites. We’ve listed the two biggest charity card websites.

Cards for charity

You can find your nearest Christmas charity card shop on the not-for-profit organisation Cards for Charity website, which is run by Cards for Good Causes.

How much do cards cost? Prices vary, but they start at £2 for a pack of ten (20p each) to £10 for a pack of 4 (£2.50 each).

How much goes to charity? Roughly 70p in every £1 goes to charity. It’s a bit less than this because the organisation deducts the VAT payable on the amount retained by Cards for Good Causes. The money that’s retained covers the overhead costs including the running of the 300 pop-up shops every year, the maintenance of the website and the day to day running of the organisation.

Which charities are supported? Dozens of different charities. You can see a list of the charities supported and click on their name for details of cards sold to raise money for them. They support many more charities via their network of seasonal pop-up shops. You can find out which charities your local shop supports on the ‘Find a shop page’.

Combined Charities’ Christmas Shops

This website acts as a shop window for different charities. You order cards directly from them and they receive 100% of the selling price, although they will have to pay for manufacture and distribution. The website funds itself by selling gifts alongside the charity cards in the half a dozen shops operating in the Manchester area.

How much do cards cost? Prices vary depending on the card and the charity, but £3.50 to £4.50 for a pack of ten isn’t unusual, making a card cost 35p – 45p.

How much goes to charity? The website doesn’t take a percentage for acting as a showcase, so charities receive the full selling price.

Which charities are supported? Several dozen charities, including some smaller ones, showcase their cards through the site.

Charity Christmas cards in supermarkets

If you’re buying your Christmas cards in a supermarket, you can support a range of charities by choosing a charity card. Generally only around 10% of the purchase price goes to a charity, but because they sell so many cards, charities can get quite a sizeable donation. Some supermarkets support a range of charities while others pick a different charity to support each year.

Aldi

Aldi sells a range of five different charity Christmas card packs, however at the time of writing they have all sold out online.

How much do cards cost? £1.99 for a pack of 6 (33p each). 

How much goes to charity? 50p from every pack is donated.

Which charities are supported? Teenage Cancer Trust.

Asda

Asda has a range of 14 charity Christmas card packs, which they told us are only available to buy online. We can’t link to charity Christmas cards on their own as the website doesn’t let us. The card packs with the Pudsey Bear icon next to them are the charity cards!

How much do cards cost? They range in price from £3 for a pack of 20 (15p each) to £4 for a pack of six (67p each).

How much goes to charity? 10% of the cost of the card.

Which charities are supported? They only support one charity every year and this year it’s BBC Children in Need.

Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s is selling a range of charity Christmas cards this year.

How much do cards cost? Cards range in price from £2.50 for ten (25p each) to £4 for five (80p each).

SAVVY TIP: at the time or writing, Sainsbury’s has a three for two sale on Christmas cards.

How much goes to charity? 10% of the retail price.

Which charities are supported? The donation is divided equally between The British Legion and Comic Relief.

Tesco

Tesco charity Christmas cards are listed online as no longer being sold. However, Tesco’s press office told us that they will be stocking charity Christmas cards this year.

How much goes to charity? Tesco told us that they will contribute approximately £300,000 across the three Tesco charity partners.

Which charities are supported? The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK.

Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose & Partners has a large selection of charity Christmas cards. The cards that have a donation to charity are marked on the boxes.

How much do cards cost? Cards cost from £3 for a pack of 30 (10p each) to £5 for a pack of 20 (25p each).

How much goes to charity? The packs say that 10% of the purchase price goes to charity.

Which charities are supported? The Wildlife Trust, Autistic Society and Whizz Kids.

SAVVY TIP: at the time of writing, Waitrose & Partners has a three for two offer on Christmas cards.

Charity cards in department stores

Debenhams

Debenhams is only selling charity Christmas cards this year. They are available to buy in store, not online.

How much do cards cost? Cards range in price from £5 to £6 for a pack of 18 (27p to 33p each) up to £4 to £10 for a premium card.

How much goes to charity? A minimum donation of £100,000, split between five charities (minimum £20,000 each).

Which charities are supported? BBC Children in Need, Help for Heroes, Breast Cancer Now, Look Good Feel Better and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

John Lewis

John Lewis sells a large range of charity Christmas cards. The way they’re set out means that you can see on the website how much goes to charity without having to click on individual packs, which is helpful. If you click on the individual packs, and scroll down to ‘Product specifications’ you can see the charity/ies the money is going to.

How much do cards cost? The charity cards range in price from £3.50 for a pack of 24 (15p each) to £9.50 for a pack of 20 (48p each)

How much goes to charity? Depending on the pack, 10% or 25% is donated to the charities.

Which charities are supported? Some of the charities include: Marie Curie, Alzheimer’s Society, Together for Short Lives, RSPCA, St Mungo’s, the Stroke Association, Shelter and more.

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer sells a range of charity Christmas cards.

How much do cards cost? You can buy single charity cards from £3.50 each and packs of 20 cards from £5 (25p each).

How much goes to charity? M&S says online that from selling the charity Christmas cards, they donate £350,000 to their charity partners.

Which charities are supported? Breast Cancer Now (48% of donation), Macmillan Cancer Support (48%) and the Marie Keating Foundation (4%).

WH Smith

WH Smith sells a range of charity Christmas cards and, unlike most retailers, has a ‘charity Christmas cards’ filter on its website, which is quite helpful.

How much do cards cost? Cards start at £2.99 for a pack of 25 (12p each) to £3.49 for a pack of ten (35p each).

SAVVY TIP: at the time of writing, there are offers on a range of Christmas cards, so you may pay more than this.

How much goes to charity? 10% of the purchase price (excluding VAT).

Which charities are supported? It’s split equally between the following charities: Cancer Research, National Literacy Trust and Mind.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

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