The 89 charities that are members of 4C, the charity Christmas card brand of the Charity Christmas Card Council, are to receive a small windfall when the brand transfers to rival card producer Cards World.
The council was set up by charities in 1966 to provide charity Christmas cards to corporate clients. Charity members pay £675+VAT a year to join the list, and clients then choose a charity from the list to receive 20p from each card they send. Last year, according to chief executive Neville Bass, the biggest client bought £50,000 worth of cards.
But recently, said Bass, growing use of electronic media and companies' desire to find more imaginative ways of remembering their clients at Christmas, has caused a decline in the amount customers spend. As the council is a non-profit organisation, the commercial risk became too great and the board decided to exit the market while it remained solvent.
Ten companies submitted bids for the enterprise, and Cards World was selected as the organisation most likely to confer enduring benefits on the member charities. Cards World provides the same service as 4C, but will only donate 10p to its members from each card sold.
As part of the deal, it has undertaken to take on at least three-quarters of 4C's members.