Online firm aims to boost Christmas card revenues

The former boss of card company Paper Rose Greetings wants to boost the amount raised through charity Christmas cards each year from £30m to £120m within three years.

Alan Hawkes is to meet the Institute of Fundraising this week to discuss how to increase giving through charity Christmas cards. The meeting will coincide with the launch on 1 August of Hawkes's online card company Studio 51, which will donate 51 per cent of sales to charity.

Hawkes claims the Christmas card business is worth £350m, but only 35 per cent of cards are sold for charity, and many companies that produce such cards donate only a token amount to good causes.

"There is a massive opportunity if you could move 35 per cent to 60 per cent and also increase the amount of donation each time," he said. "I would like to increase the amount donated to charity to £200m in the next 10 years."

Studio 51 is to start a campaign in September for more money from cards to be donated to charity.

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said: "There are some corporations that give only a very small percentage of the sale of cards to charity."

He said the institute's advice was that customers should always buy cards direct from charity shops and catalogues to ensure charities benefit from the sales.

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