Donors Unite Turns Gift Cards into Charitable Giving

July 17, 2017        
By: Steven Anderson

The gift card; is it a way to ensure the right gift at the right place? Or is it the ultimate cop-out gift for the person who doesn’t care enough to know what the right gift is? No matter what you think about gift cards, they’re big trade around the world, particularly around holiday time. Donors Unite takes advantage of our love for the gift card and connects it with charity to make an impressive new whole.

Donors Unite basically takes those old “A donation has been made in your name” paper cards and compresses it down into a gift card instead. Gift cards start at $10 each, and allow the buyer to give the gift of not only a charitable donation, but also the resulting tax deduction that comes along with such a thing.

With over 1.5 million charities involved in Donors Unite, there’s going to be a charity here for just about any donor. It works out well for several reasons; not only is there the range of options, but there’s also the vastly simplified ease of use. Charities no longer have to engage in the “ask” that ends up sounding more like the “beg”. Donors get an easy way to provide payments, and gift-givers get a great way to provide these gifts at their choice of price points.

There’s a downside here, though; those who want to hand out such cards need to join Donors Unite at a $25 charge per year, though that comes with all necessary tax letters and the like, which makes the bookkeeping part of things simpler.

It’s charging a pretty hefty amount for convenience, and it really might only work out well for someone who makes several such gifts a year. I’d say at least five to make the annual fee worthwhile. There’s certainly a value to convenience, though, and the notion of charitable gift-giving isn’t such a bad idea. Especially if done for younger folks, it’s a great way to encourage charity, and for older folks, a tax deduction seldom goes unneeded when conveniently packaged.

It will be interesting to see how well this works going forward, because for right now, it’s got a potential to fall flat or be at least a limited success.

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