Home Blog How To Organise The Best Leaving Card and Collection

How To Organise The Best Leaving Card and Collection

Photo of Andy Cakebread Andy Cakebread 30 November 2022
Office workers checking an online leaving card

The Great Resignation post-pandemic has seen a big shift in the number of people moving roles - especially among young professionals. This raises a lot of questions about employee engagement in the world of work, shifting personal priorities and whether there is a seismic shift toward more hybrid working in the modern workplace.

It also means there is an increased demand for leaving cards and collections. However, there is a danger that a ‘leaving card’ fatigue could set in and prevent any meaningful farewell. Organisations will have to adapt to this higher rate of churn in the workforce. It also means it is more important that everyone parts on good terms. Negative PR is not something a forward-looking organisation needs to court in today’s social media driven world.

So, how can organisations ensure they make the most of their departing employees’ last day?

Here are the options for a leaving card and collection, the pros and cons of each and some essential tips to help you organise the best farewell card and collection.

Thankbox leaving card icon of a waving hand Start your perfect leaving card and collection

A Thankbox is the easiest, classiest and most fun way to organise a leaving card and collection. It takes seconds to create and invite everyone to contribute. Zero hassle, total sincerity.

Traditional Paper Leaving Card And Collection

The paper card and collection in an envelope remain a classic way to say goodbye. It is traditional and personal. You can collect donations from colleagues in small or large amounts, maybe depending on the person's length of service. It’s important to think about how much you’re collecting for the gift – too much may put people off, too little may be a bit of an embarrassment. Sometimes companies will make the contribution and require employees to simply write in a card.

Advantages Of Traditional Paper Leaving Cards

  1. Tangible Keepsake: One of the biggest advantages of a traditional paper card and collection in an envelope is that it provides a tangible keepsake for the departing employee. This way, they will always have something to remember about the time spent with their colleagues.

  2. Showcases Generosity: It’s also a great way to showcase individuals’ generosity in the team and a statement of value to the leaving coworker – everyone is contributing to something meaningful. This can also help boost workplace morale.

  3. Personal: A paper card allows for free-form communication. Any artist on the team can draw a recollection of a key milestone, or even a caricature of the departing person! All messages are written in the hand of each person making it a very personal statement.

Disadvantages of Traditional Paper Leaving Cards

  1. Time Consuming & Inefficient : This collection method can be extremely time-consuming, as the card must be passed around the office and collected manually. Pity the poor organiser - having to figure out who to remind, who has contributed and how to arrange proxy contributions from those not able to be in the office - illness, holidays or remote workers out on the road. And then there’s the gift - having to counsel colleagues about the most appropriate gift. A traditional paper card and collection consumes a lot of time and is very unproductive.

  2. Limited Space : There’s also limited space to write a message – most cards may have a few lines for messages, but it’s not enough for everyone in the organisation to write their unique message. And it looks a bit half-baked if blank sheets of paper are inserted into the card.

  3. Bland Sentiments : Limited space has a consequence. It can be hard to come up with meaningful messages. So the temptation to simply write ‘good luck’, ‘we’ll miss you’ or ‘enjoy your new role’ is strong. Lack of space to write mean bland sentiments win out over sincere and personalised farewells.

  4. Less Money Collected: This collection method relies heavily on cash, which is rapidly declining as a form of payment due to digitalisation - especially post-pandemic. Giving fatigue is one thing, but expecting everyone to have cash when they write their message will only reduce the collection pot total. Poor collection amounts are an embarrassment for the departing employee.

  5. Rapid Decline In Cash Use : As mentioned, cash is rapidly declining as a form of payment due to digitalisation and advances in payment technology. This is an issue for organisations when collecting money for the gift for the departing employee. It’s important to have alternative payment options available to get more generous donations from colleagues - this is not something many (if any) organisations are able to facilitate.

  6. Excluded Employees : A paper card and collection is an acceptable solution if everyone is in the same work location. Anything beyond this - multiple locations, overseas offices, a high proportion of remote or hybrid workers for example - renders this method totally ineffective and inappropriate.

  7. Ineffective : The issues relating to cash and employees who are not in one place of work render the traditional card very ineffective. Not something any organisation wants when it comes to retaining positive relationships with those leaving for pastures new. A collection pot and leaving card need to be effective in the modern workplace.

A Paper Card and Online Leaving Collection Combination

Another option is to combine a paper card with an online collection service.

This ensures the collection and gifting process is easier and the collection pot is more likely to be a representative and appropriate value. Online collections are a great way to collect larger amounts of money from colleagues and most importantly include those further away who may not be able to contribute in advance or attend the farewell.

As the world moves more and more online, it's no surprise that organisations are considering online collections for leaving cards. This approach has advantages and disadvantages, which we'll explore here.

It’s important to note the upsides and downsides of a paper card noted above remain with this solution.

Advantages of an online collection for a gift.

  1. Collect More: You may be able to collect a bit more money this way, as people are generally more comfortable donating money online than they are in person. The more people will receive the message, the more money you’ll get.

  2. Easy to organise and manage : An online collection pot is easy to set-up and manage. A simple link is shared to everyone invited to contribute. There is no need to handle a bundle of transactions, or keep a tab on a load of cash.

  3. More redemption options : With most online collection services the choice of gift is with the recipient. They can elect to have their collection as a gift card from a retailer or as a pre-paid debit card loaded with the collection amount.

There are other important things to consider with online cash collection services. Primarily:

  • How the service provider handles foreign currencies.

  • Whether redemptions are a physical card or totally digital option.

  • Fee structures. All fees need to be clear and transparent.

With services like Thankbox, anyone, anywhere in the world is able to choose a digital gift card from hundreds of popular retailers or take a pre-paid card in local currency.

Disadvantages of a Paper Card and Online Collection

  1. Put simply - it’s not a solution. There is one huge issue with a paper leaving card and an online collection. They are totally separate. So it makes no sense to invite people from all over the organisation to contribute and then not let them sign anything if they’re not located where the card is.

  2. Extra Work : An online card and separate online collection creates extra work for organisers and contributors. Organisers still have to manage the distribution of a physical card and keep an eye on the online collection. Contributors are faced with two (if they’re able to sign the card) totally separate actions. Not efficient or effective.

Aside from these glaring issues this can only be considered an option if an organisation is small enough to allow a card to be distributed to every member of staff. Then it makes some sense to utilise an online collection service to avoid cash being used.

When deciding whether or not to set up an online collection for a departing colleague weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Thankbox leaving card icon of a waving hand Start your perfect leaving card and collection

A Thankbox is the easiest, classiest and most fun way to organise a leaving card and collection. It takes seconds to create and invite everyone to contribute. Zero hassle, total sincerity.

An Integrated Online Group Leaving Card And Collection

We come to the integrated online card and collection solution.

This combines the convenience and security of an online gift collection platform with the fun, inclusive and creative features of online group cards and boards. It is simple to use and allows for a wide range of options, including the ability to add photos, text, and video.

The integrated online leaving card and collection option also provides a range of ready to go design options that are suited to any occasion. It makes it easy to create a professional-looking card. Once the card has been created, the user can share it with friends and family via email or social media.

As the world transforms digitally people work in different ways and locations. Group leaving cards are increasingly becoming the default option for organisations of all sizes and types.

Here, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of using an integrated online cards and collection pot service so you can determine if it’s the right choice for your organisation.

Advantages Of Online Cards

  1. Ease of Use : A clear advantage of group cards is they are extremely easy to use. All you need is an internet connection, and anyone can sign a card from anywhere in the world. This is a major advantage over physical cards, which need to be signed in person or by proxy.

  2. Time-Saving: Online cards save time. With a physical card, everyone has to take turns signing it, and then it has to be delivered to the recipient. With an online card, everyone can sign it whenever they want, and it can be sent electronically. The whole world can be invited and all sign in minutes - in theory!

  3. Unrivalled Creativity and expression : An online leaving card is digital, so options for everyone to express themselves are near limitless. You can make full use of images, fonts, backgrounds, videos and GIFs to say what you want and how you want. Completely personalised ecards are so much more creative and fun than a pen and paper!

  4. Everyone's Included : Online cards are more inclusive than physical cards because anyone, anywhere, online can add a message. This is essential for organisations with employees in different time zones, those frequently travelling, or a post-pandemic huge increase in employees working from home or remotely. Quite simply, nobody is left out.

  5. Never run out of space: Compared to physical cards and boards, online leaving cards have no limit to the number of people who can sign the card. And you don’t have to worry about running out of space for your message. It’s limitless - a good example is the public Thankbox wishing David Attenborough a happy 96th birthday. Thousands of people shared their love and best wishes to the great man.

  6. Efficient : With an integrated online card and collection, contributors add their message and chip in to the collection at the same time. That’s common sense and a very efficient use of everyone’s time. For organisers too the integrated service is a blessing. All reminders, scheduling and heavy-lifting is done by the service provider. Once the organiser presses Send, the recipient receives their card and can choose their gift card all at the same time.

  7. A forever keepsake: An online card is always available, from anywhere in the world and on any device. Anybody with the link will always be able to view the leaving card. A physical card is normally popped into a drawer or box and forgotten about.

  8. Huge variety of redemption choices: It’s mentioned above, but worth repeating. The colleague leaving gets their card from ALL their coworkers and is able to redeem the collection pot with a huge number of leading retailers (or opt for a prepaid debit card).


This is a tricky question. For the vast majority of organisations an integrated online leaving card and gift collection is the perfect solution. There are no drawbacks.

Perhaps the use-case where the traditional paper card and collection still has a role to play is in very small, single site workplaces where a preference for a physical card remains. However, the ease of use, time-saving nature, and cost-effectiveness of the integrated online solution often outweigh the disadvantages for many organisations. It's important to weigh all factors before deciding if online cards are right for your organisation's needs.

Summing Up!

An integrated online leaving card and collection is a convenient, creative and cost-effective way for companies and organisations to say farewell to colleagues.

  • It's a great way to stay in touch with those you care about, even after they have moved away - it is kept forever as a constant reminder of good times.

  • The inclusion of an integrated collection service with the online card is a bit of a no-brainer. Nobody organises a leaving card and misses out the collection.

  • Cash collections and paper cards have many, many disadvantages.

  • Bolting on a third-party collection service to an online card (or paper card) is more work and hassle for everyone.

Services like Thankbox make life easier, more fun and memorable for everyone - organisers, contributors and, above all, the recipient.

Thankbox leaving card icon of a waving hand Start your perfect leaving card and collection

A Thankbox is the easiest, classiest and most fun way to organise a leaving card and collection. It takes seconds to create and invite everyone to contribute. Zero hassle, total sincerity.