In the six years that I have been lucky enough to be Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association I have seen my fair share of ideas. If I had had ten pounds for every company that had promised to solve all of charity retail’s problems (usually through some online offer!) I’d have been able to start my own charity for retired Chief Executives! Just occasionally however I’ve been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of an idea that really has had the power to transform the world of charity retail for the better, and one of the most exciting things that has come across my desk in those six years has been the idea of The Charity Shop Gift Card.
The card has the most fantastic potential to drive charity shop sales both in terms of gifts as you and I would know them – birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid etc – but also as vehicles for local authorities and other providers to replace clothing and other vouchers. By using The Charity Shop Gift Card providers will give people and families a much more sustainable, sophisticated, secure and dignified way of shopping for the items they need. As with many of the innovations that charity retail is so well known for, the transformative power of The Charity Shop Gift Card transcends simple profit. At its best it will be a community provision which will transform the whole notion of providing aid in kind to the people who need it most.
And finally there is the great potential for businesses to use them as corporate gifts and incentives whilst supporting good causes.
I’m really so pleased that CRA has been able to help get this initiative off the ground and I’m looking forward to as many of our member charities as possible signing up. We already have substantial national coverage for the gift card across hundreds of our shops, with more to come in the near future. The gift cards can now be bought in outlets such as WHSmith and very shortly will be available in major supermarkets offering consumers a truly sustainable gift option.
This has been such a fantastically rewarding project to work on! We are very grateful to The Charity Shop Gift Card and Acceptcards for their phenomenally hard work which has brought this wonderful product into being. If you’re a charity retailer – sign up! If you’re a business, buy some for your employees and customers! If you’re an individual, buy some and go charity shopping! The Charity Shop Gift Card is here!
Featured blog written by Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association