Posted by Alex Furness, February 2016
February 14th is quickly arriving. Last year we rushed out to blow an estimated £57 million on cards and £1.9 billion in total celebrating Valentine's Day1.
Here's how to show your Valentine that you care, and avoid the commercial cards and teddies by donating the cost equivalent to one of 48 UK charities.
The spending splurge
The average per person spend last year was an estimated £53.38 each on Valentine's Day cards, gifts, flowers and dinners out1.
With the total amount spent last year in the UK getting close to £2 billion, have we succumbed too much to the obligation of splurging on overpriced tat, and getting a spot in a packed restaurant?
The alternative that gives back
DontSendMeACard.com works by selecting a charity, composing an e-card and message, and donating the equivalent cost of a Valentine's card.
Once you've made your donation you are then able to send your Valentine e-card, upon which the recipient will see that you donated to a charity in lieu of buying a card.
You can pre-select the cost equivalent of a greeting card from £1 up to £10. The option to donate more, up to £300, is also offered, if you wish to include the cost of gifts and a dinner out as part of your donation to your selected cause.
48 UK charities to support
A wide range of causes that you can back with the cost of cards has joined.
A selection of children's charities such as Jessie's Fund, KIDS and The Honeypot Children's Charity are on board.
Or for those interested in protecting the environment and wildlife, The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Trees for Cities and MARINElife are included in the list of 48 signed up so far.
Plus many other causes to support – including muscular dystrophy with The Muscle Help Foundation, visual impairment and blindness with WESC Foundation, and animal shelters including Rain Rescue that save pets in crisis situations – have joined.
Example – £1 pays for 4 meals with FareShare
Katie Greaves, Corporate Development Coordinator at FareShare says, "We’re delighted to be receiving money that would otherwise be spent on greeting cards, preventing unnecessary waste. Every £1 donated to us provides 4 meals for vulnerable and hungry people using surplus food which would have otherwise been wasted."
"Every £1 donated to us provides 4 meals for vulnerable and hungry people."
When put into perspective like that, you can see that even if you donate a small amount such as the cost of a card, you really can make a difference.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
We've streamlined the site as much as possible, to the point that you don't even have to register for an account – you can simply make a quick donation and send your Valentine e-card. Then pop back the next time you need to send a card for a special occasion, a birthday for example. It's that easy.
Increasing the sentiment of cards
We've been asked "but what about the sentiment of a card?" quite a few times, and we feel that the sentiment is in fact increased when you send our charity e-cards and donate the cost of cards.
Why does a message have to be inscribed on to a printed piece of glittery cardboard costing £4.99 for it to be special or sentimental?
Send one of our e-cards, and choose a cause that your Valentine cares about, to show your thoughtfulness over the type of card purchased.
To learn more about sending a Valentine's Day e-card this year and supporting a UK charity, visit www.DontSendMeACard.comSend Valentine's E-Card