Disrupting icon

Posted by Alex Furness, January 2019

Disrupting the £1.75 billion UK greeting card market by turning donations in lieu of cards into a trend

I was told by a friend recently that he dislikes the term ‘disrupting’.

Now I'm not short on terms that bother me too. But I told him that I actually quite like this one.

Possibly because I can’t think of another word that better sums up our intention when developing new tools and features within DontSendMeACard.com.

As a startup we're continually looking to take more and more people away from purchasing and sending high-street greeting cards, to donating the cost of cards and stamps instead to charity – essentially upsetting or 'disrupting' the traditional paper greeting card industry.

Why?

Well there’s a few reasons that I have summarised here for you:

• Charities rely on donations and we are spending £1.75bn annually on sending each other bits of cardboard
• Giving in lieu of cards doesn’t cost you any more than you would have spent on them anyway
• Greeting cards are actually a tremendous waste – see infographic
• Printed charity greeting cards just don't cut it in terms of the share given – read UK Fundraising article
• People like our alternative :)

Becoming a trend

Being featured in The Telegraph as a trend was quite exciting for us to receive that kind of exposure. Read Mark Molloy’s full article here.

I’m not going to lie and say it’s been one easy ride to being hailed in national news. Starting something new and putting it out there is hard work.

Fortunately though we’re at the point now where we’ve built up a brand and reputation that is liked and trusted by charities and users.

What fuels us as a trend is our users giving and sending e-cards to all of their friends and family, who in turn see that they have donated and follow suit and do the same.

Parkinson's UK ecards

Quality artwork such as these examples from Parkinson's UK increase our popularity

The combined voice of our charity partners inviting their supporters by email and social media creates mass exposure of the idea.

Dogs Trust alone talking about using our system on their Facebook page has over 1 million followers. Shelter are one of the largest charities in the UK and we’ve worked directly with them managing a successful fundraising campaign.

Charities running successful campaigns with DontSendMeACard builds trust in our system and brand

For the initiative to continue to disrupt this large traditional market, we really do need to keep upping that trend factor.

Recent developments

DontSendMeACard has progressed as follows:

Charities

394 charities

We now have hundreds of charity partners on board fundraising for a wide range of causes. More widely recognised organisations are joining too such as The Salvation Army and Clic Sargent.

E-Cards

186k+ e-cards sent

With over 180,000 e-cards sent instead of greeting cards, DontSendMeACard users have saved 26 tonnes of carbon (CO2e, or carbon equivalent).

Gift Aid

Gift Aid

Charities are now processing Gift Aid on donations adding 25p on top of every £1 given.

Corporate giving

Corporate giving

Companies can give via the platform and upload their logo to send branded e-cards.

International charities

International charities

We have expanded the system to accommodate US non-profits and are working to integrate other currencies.

In the News

In the News

• Sofii.org – A glowing review in 'Shelter’s hugely successful Christmas ecard campaign'
 BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – Invited on to discuss Christmas cards and the alternatives
Charity Times – 'Hundreds of charities to receive donations from e-cards'
Charity Digital News: 'Shelter hails charity ecard system'

Scaling up

Just over three years ago I wrote a post entitled The Concept Behind DontSendMeACard.

It's incredible to go from an initial idea and to grow to this point. The point of this article however isn't just to share our metrics and progress, but to get your input.

So, what are your thoughts...

• What do you think will help us scale and further the initiative?
• Are you a charity that would like to join us?
• Do you like the idea and want to send e-cards and donate in lieu of cards?

"We signed up for DontSendMeACard recently, and were floored that the very next day we received our first donation of a massive £457! This was without any promotion from our charity. We are now receiving a number of donations after sharing the initiative with supporters."

Brain Tumour Support
"We have consistently raised more money each year with the DontSendMeACard platform. With the ability for us to use our own e-card artwork, we are able to offer a solution for cards to Rain Rescue supporters, without having to build and maintain our own e-card system."

Lauren, Deputy Charity Manager, Rain Rescue
Alex
Alex Furness

Alex is Co-Founder of DontSendMeACard and Web & Graphic Designer at Future Imaging