WHAT IS A CHARITY GIFT CARD?

Charity gift cards allow a gift giver to make a charitable donation that the gift recipient can direct to the charity of their choice. The giver makes a charitable donation to the charity gift card provider, which holds which holds the funds. More...

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What do they look like?

While most charity gift cards are quite similar in the way they work, they can differ greatly in appearance. A charity gift card can be made of plastic (just like a conventional gift card), printed on paper, or sent as an email card. More...


Why do charity gift cards make good gifts?

There are many occasions when a gift of some kind is appropriate – and often expected and necessary. Some examples are birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, bar/bat mitzvahs and during the December holiday season. Often at these times we must choose a gift for someone who already has everything they really need and want. More...


Charity gift cards and deductibility

When a charity gift card is purchased, the purchaser is making a donation to the sponsoring non-profit provider. As such, the purchase price for charity gift cards is usually tax deductible. It’s important to note that the deduction is taken by the person who actually purchased the charity gift card, and not by the gift recipient who is redeeming the card. More...


More Charity Gift Card Information and Resources

Below you will find resources to learn more about charity gift cards. You will find a citation from Wikipedia, as well as additional resources to help you make your charity gift card decision. You’ll also find a number of links that will direct you to publications and articles about a number of the charity gift card providers. More...


Charity Gift Card Comparison Chart | Leading Charity Gift Card Providers

  TisBest Charity Choice The Good Card Global Giving Donors Unite Charity on Top
Sponsoring Organization TisBest Philanthropy Special Kids Fund Network for Good Global Giving Donors Unite Management Corp. Charity on Top Foundation, Inc.
Overall Ranking
Fees
Ease of Use
Gift Card Quality
Customization
User Experience
Comments The first charity gift card - introduced in 2007. Intuitive website. Custom images printed on physical cards for free, with no minimum quantity. Same or next day shipping. Offers special branding for businesses. Low fees. Unclear purchase and redemption programs. Customization only for bulk orders; long lead times. High to very high fees. Direct donation website, with charity gift card offering. Only one card image is available. No custom cards. Low fees. International giving portal also offering charity gift cards. Clean interface. Customization available. Long lead times. Very high fees. Well designed and easy to use website. Does not offer physical gift cards. Fees are variable and difficult to understand. Operated by a for-profit company. First appeared in 2016. Launched in 2016. Card ordering is easy, but image choices are not great. No custom image handling is available. Fees are low. The Terms reveal for-profit company involvement.
 

Fees (Financial Efficiency)

Charity gift cards are a type of financial instrument. You deposit money with the sponsoring organization and the person to whom you give the card chooses the charity that will receive the money. All charity gift card providers charge a fee to provide the gift cards, operate the websites and make the charity gift card concept possible. Look for fees that are lower, that are not percentage based and that are clearly disclosed and easy to understand.

Website Ease of Use

Charity gift cards are purchased through the web. Look for websites that make it easy to understand what your options are and how to choose among them. Organizations should offer telephone and email support. Redeeming a charity gift card should be a pleasant experience with an opportunity to learn about causes and organizations. Steer clear of websites that are confusing or difficult to navigate for you or your gift card recipients.

Gift Card Quality

Since charity gift cards are a gift, you want it to look attractive, in addition to doing good in the world. Gift cards should be printed with a high quality image, be easy to read and arrive in attractive packaging. Look for providers that offer plastic and paper product made of 100% recycled content.

Customization Features and Service

All charity gift card providers offer some degree of customization and offer email and print-your-own options; some will create your card in plastic and send it in the mail. Providers offer a range of different card designs. Look for providers that offer customization with no minimum quantities and no additional costs. Look out for custom cards with a minimum order, long lead times, and additional costs.

Gift Recipient Experience

All charity gift cards are redeemed on a website. That experience should be simple, enjoyable and engaging for the person who received the charity gift card as a gift. Look for websites that clearly indicate where and how to spend a gift card and offer charity suggestions or categories.