Charity shops 'give best deal on Christmas cards'

The Charities Advisory Trust is advising charities to sell as many of their Christmas cards as possible through their own shops or volunteers to ensure more funds reach the cause.

The trust's latest Charity Christmas Card Awards highlighted how little money goes to charities once card manufacturers and retailers have taken their cut.

This year, John Lewis was given the 'Scrooge Award' for displaying 548 designs from dozens of charities, with an average of only 7.9 per cent of the price going to the cause.

Hilary Blume, director of the trust, said she was appalled that large charities did not seem to agree that charities should receive at least 10 per cent from sales of cards.

She said: "Trying to get charities to act in concert is not easy. There is always someone prepared to undercut. If the big charities did ask for a 10 per cent minimum, that would set the norm."

Cancer Research UK admits that it typically receives between 5 and 10 per cent from cards sold through the high street retailers, when it is the sole charity.

From those sold in its own shops, the percentage received varies slightly between cards but is never less than 50 per cent.

Georgia Veats, a spokeswoman for CRUK, said that the charity agreed "in principle" with the trust that 10 per cent should be a minimum contribution.

A spokesman for John Lewis said it encouraged manufacturers to pass 10 per cent of the cost to the charity.

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