Fundraising Idea: Gift Cards





Maybe you’ve used gift cards in gift baskets for silent auctions before, or as prizes for your most successful fundraising volunteers, but have you considered doing a fundraiser by collecting gift cards and cashing them in?

Especially during the winter holidays, people get lots of gift cards for presents. Sure, you will most likely want to go shopping and spend them yourself, but what about gift cards you receive that are for stores you don’t care much about, or that are partially spent and are adding up in your wallet?

Chances are you have a gift card in your wallet right now with just a few dollars on it (or that’s for a store you never get to) that you’ve had for over a year. You’d like to use it somehow, or get rid of it, but you certainly don’t want to throw it away. If you saw a box where you could simply drop it and have it be for a good cause – you might just donate it, wouldn’t you?

With this fundraiser you simply collect gift cards, new or partially spent, through a drop box or jar that’s easily accessible to your potential donor. You would set this up similar to how you would set up a jar asking for people’s change as a donation. Secure the box or jar to a counter for example, add a sign, and you’re ready to go.

As with any fundraiser, be sure to announce it on your website and Facebook page or any newsletter you’re sending out. This fundraiser also works well as an add-on fundraiser; think Walkathon, crafts, sales at a game etc.

The perfect time to start this fundraiser may be at the end of a year or beginning of a new year, when people are flush with gift cards for presents.

What can you do with donated gift cards?

You can sell your gift cards at websites like GiftCardGranny.com, GiftCards.com, CardPool.com, which will pay up to 92% of the gift card’s value. You can choose from receiving a cashier’s check, an Amazon gift card, or a PayPal payment into your account.

These gift card exchanges might also buy partially spent gift cards, or cards with store credit. You can find out the value of a gift card by calling the number on the back of the card.

For other sites that buy gift cards, search get cash for gift card.

If you receive gift cards of a very small value, instead of trading them in, it may make more sense to hold on to them and use them yourself. For example, if you receive cards for office supply or wholesale stores you could buy your office supplies there, items for a booth fundraiser etc.

In any case, gift cards are almost like cash, so make sure you keep any donated gift cards under lock and key until they can be traded in.

(Image: iStockPhoto/alexsl)



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  1. Posted by 100 + Fundraising Ideas! | Fundraiser Ideas and Events 10th January, 2013 at 8:17 am

    […] – Gift card fundraiser […]

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