With the season of goodwill upon us you might be writing this year’s batch of Christmas cards. For many people sending cards is not only a way to spread yuletide cheer, it’s also an opportunity to give to good causes.
Many cards include a donation to charity – but just how generous are charity Christmas cards? Well, Which? research has found that some retailers donate less than 10% of the sales price of their cards to charity.
We looked at charity Christmas cards on sale at 15 high street stores. Sadly Asda was the least generous – it donates just 20p from the £3 sales price of its charity Christmas cards – this works out at a donation of about 6.7%. John Lewis on the other hand donates 25% of the sales price across its full range of Christmas cards.
Varying donations for charity cards
Other stores donate different amounts depending on which pack of charity cards you buy. For example WH Smith and Waitrose both sell one pack of cards where 100% goes to charity. But on most of their cards they donate just 10%.
There’s also a lot of variation in the number of cards that include a charitable donation. Next for example includes a 15% charitable donation on its entire range of Christmas cards but Marks and Spencer only include a donation on some of their cards.
Check before you buy
Another thing to watch out for is whether VAT is deducted from the donations or not, some retailers include it, some don’t. For example WH Smith does not include VAT in the donation therefore cards promising a 100% donation only provide an 80% donation fee, and those offering 10% in effect donate 8% after VAT.
Some retailers also told us that they don’t donate percentages of the sale price of their cards. For example Morrisons will be donating £50,000 to Save the Children and Tesco is guaranteeing to donate £275,000 to Diabetes UK. So even if a retailer isn’t passing on your money it may still be giving in other ways – it’s worth checking out the shop’s donation policy.
So will you be sending charity Christmas cards this year? Has our investigation given you motivation to check just how much your charity of choice will receive?