independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

As little as 10pc of price of some cards goes to good causes

Charities often get little share of the price of Christmas cards
Charities often get little share of the price of Christmas cards

MANY of the country's charities believe boxes of fundraising Christmas cards should clearly state how much goes directly to the good cause.

As little as 10pc from the sale of some charity cards retailed through third parties are passed on to the charities whose names are displayed on the packages.

Charities point out that the monies are received at little cost and are extremely important to support various causes from helping those living on the streets to supporting those in countries stricken by floods and famine.

The National Consumer Agency confirmed traders were not required to inform consumers of the percentage going to charity on the packaging.

"The agency would be in favour of greater price transparency in this area to ensure that consumers have all of the necessary information to compare prices and make informed choices," a spokeswoman said.

Some of the cards on the market such as the Special Editions Cards state on the packaging that they deliver 63c per pack of €6.50 to Focus Ireland, with the same packs retailing for Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Others sold for charities -- including the Irish Heart Foundation, Irish Cancer Society and Barnardos -- by a third party don't state the amount donated on the pack.

On packets sold by Lantz Stationary it states the firm has donated more than €450,000 to charities since 2004.

Packs sold for €2.50 in Dunnes Stores state 10pc or 25c goes to St Vincent de Paul, and in Marks and Spencer packs tell customers 20pc of the €7 spent on cards is divided between Focus Ireland and the Marie Keating Foundation.

In Next it states 15pc goes towards Barnardos and the Make A Wish Foundation.

Aid charity Concern said it would like to see it clearly stated on the package the amount that would go to charity.

The charity, which does not sell through third parties, earned just over €9,000 last year from the sale of its cards online, through its Christmas catalogue and at its offices. A spokeswoman said they receive 73pc of every card sold.

BOOST

Oxfam Ireland, which sells cards only through its chain of 51 shops, made €100,000 last year and pointed out 70pc of the cost goes towards its work.

Both Trocaire and Temple Street Children's Hospital are selling through a third party for the first time. And a spokeswoman for Temple Street said they were using a third party to help avoid "production costs and expand availability", and it was marked on the pack how much they would receive.

Many of the charities pointed out they try to sell Christmas cards direct to get 100pc of the profit but they do rely on the third-party sales to boost income.

Irish Independent

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