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Which? Charity Cards

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Based on a recent Which? survey reported in the Guardian newspaper, charities get more money per card from Cards for Good Causes shops than from any other UK retailer. The Cards for Good Causes shop will remain open in our church Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm until Thursday 17th December.

Some retailers pay charities as little as 10p per pack whereas Cards for Good Causes (CFGC) pays the participating charities (or their trading subsidiaries) at least 70p in the pound from their card sales, less the VAT payable on the amount retained to cover overheads. Here is the full Guardian article which appeared on Monday 16th November.

"Some retailers hand over as little as 10p per pack of Christmas cards to charity, according to an investigation that reveals a huge variation in the amount given to good causes from each pack sold.

The consumer group Which? looked at 13 major retailers and supermarkets for their charity Christmas card offerings this year. At what appears to be the least generous end of the scale, the Co-op gives nearly 7% (10p) of its £1.50 cards to food poverty and food bank charity FareShare, while Lidl gives the equivalent of 8% (10p) of a pack price to children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

WH Smith donates 100% of the price of its BBC Children in Need charity cards, but for others which it sells, only 10% or 20% is donated.

At the same time, Aldi and John Lewis branded cards donate 25% to the charities they support. John Lewis also sells a range of other charity cards where 10% is donated.

However, Morrisons has pledged to donate £50,000 to the Sue Ryder chain of charity shops, regardless of how many packs of its charity cards are sold. Tesco is also selling a range of charity cards and donating a total of £300,000 to Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Of other major retailers, Asda said that it is not selling charity Christmas cards this year. Marks & Spencer is giving 20% to Unicef, Macmillan and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The full investigation is published in the December issue of Which? magazine. Which? editor Richard Headland said: "There are real differences between how retailers donate to good causes, so people may want to look out for this if they are planning to buy charity cards this festive season."

Retailers often print what percentage of the sale price goes to charity on the packet, but not how it compares to other shops.

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A spokeswoman for Lidl said its charity Christmas cards were only one aspect of its support for its charity partner CLIC Sargent, for which it is on target to have donated a total of £1m by the end of 2016. "We have a multi-faceted approach to raising money for the charity's important work and we review it every year", she said.

The Co-op also defended its record. "We are a major supporter of charities and good causes and fundraise in a number of ways," said a Co-op spokesperson.

"All the proceeds from all our bags for life sales will go to local good causes and as well as giving 10p per Christmas card to Fareshare we are providing them with all our depot surplus food, providing a million meals a year. This Christmas our festive sandwich sales will also result in a £50,000 donation to our official charity of the year partner, The British Red Cross and we aim to raise millions of pounds for them over the next two years."

For several years the Guardian's Money section has highlighted how little of the purchase price of Christmas cards goes to the charity concerned.

A Royal Mail spokesman said there was no sign that Britons intended to cut back on sending Christmas cards this year, despite the rise of e-cards and people choosing to make charitable donations directly. A recent survey carried out by One Poll indicated people in the UK intend to continue sending Christmas cards, the spokesman said: "Over two thirds (68%) of those asked said they will be sending the same number of Christmas cards as they did last year, and 10% plan to send more." The survey was carried out in October 2015 and saw 2,000 adults "who celebrate Christmas" respond."

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