Get your cards marked

My mind has already been drawn toward Christmas (or is it Winterval, Pete?) and I like many others will soon be sending cards to those I care about and cards to others for reasons I’m not sure of.

Like many people I use the opportunity to support charities by purchasing cards from them or in an increasingly environmentally aware world sending e-cards.

This year I intend to support an additional initiative by Amnesty and add a few names of:

prisoners of conscience, people under sentence of death, human rights defenders under threat because of their work, and others at risk.

to my list

Details are available on the Amnesty, British section, website. I can’t see it on Amnesty Ireland but they are promoting a Carols for Freedom event in Dublin.

  • susan

    What a timely reminder, Mark. And cards to help the homeless are also available at

    And speaking of Winterval, I’ve been waiting for the slightest excuse to post a link to Toby Keith’s “War on CHristmas,” and this will do:

    Beannachtaí an tSéasúir, y’all.

  • pith

    “human rights defenders”. Is that a flute band? They’ll get no card from me.

  • Rory

    As one who worked as an accountant in the charity sector for many years I would just remind people of some of the subtleties of aiding your charity of choice by purchasing Christmas cards to aid them.

    The best return to the charity is if you purchase direct from the charity through its trading outlet which allows for all profits to go to the charity. If buying in shops and supermarkets you may discover two avenues whereby charity cards are marketed – the most visible will be the supermarket’s ‘own brand’ cards ‘sold in aid of charity x, y, z’. The return to the charities on these cards per card can be quite miserly, often no more than a few pence per card and really is no more or less than a cynical ploy by the supermarkets to profit from the sale of these cards by exploiting the goodwill of the charity. However the huge volume of sales through these outlets may yet mean a hefty boost to the charity’s income and no charity could afford to refuse the deal offered.

    The other marketing outlet is through the Charity Christmas Cards Council (4C’s)and this is a marketing outlet that allows the charity to retain all profits after marketing costs and means that the return per card to the charity is many, many times greater than that offered by the supermarket’s deal.

    I have seen 4C’s cards on sale in supermarkets alongside their ‘own brand’ charity cards and if confronted with such a choice it would be best for the charity if you plump for the first choice.