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The Best Way to Collect Money for a Gift

Photo of Andy Cakebread Andy Cakebread 06 June 2022
A wrapped gift with a Just for you card as a personalised celebration

Who doesn’t like receiving a heartfelt card and gift or gift card? We all love to feel loved, so the desire to celebrate others is totally natural. There are so many life events and occasions for people - coworkers, friends or family - to celebrate a worthy person. It could be someone leaving work, or retiring. Or maybe a birthday, engagement, new baby, wedding, speedy recovery, new home or milestone work anniversary.

What is the best way that guarantees everybody has the chance to contribute?

A card and gift collection is the perfect way to celebrate someone and make them feel truly special. All very simple too - buy a card, ask for contributions, choose a gift, hold a presentation and celebrate all together. Big problem though. That only works if everyone is in the same (small) place. But modern life isn’t that easy.

Work teams, friendship groups and families can be all over the globe. In the post-Covid world more people work remotely for much of the working week. It has also seen the demise of cash considerably accelerated. So, even if everyone is in the same office the chance of everyone having cash to hand when the collection pot comes around is increasingly less and less likely.

Cash is a poor choice for gift collections. Its use has been declining for decades.
The falling use of cash in the UK economy to Q4 2020. From the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin

How to organise the ultimate card and gift collection?

The days of the ‘traditional’ card and collection pot are over. That’s clear. Less cash, people are more mobile and remote. Any collection and card going the traditional route of paper card and large envelope of cash will exclude a lot of people. In doing so, it severely compromises the sincerity and positive outcome of the exercise. And anyway, what to do with all that cash? Somebody has to count it and figure out what to spend it on. Not very efficient and certainly not great at making someone feel special and valued.

Online is the way forward for fully inclusive, efficient and rewarding card and gift collections to celebrate achievement and mark life’s great events. But how?

Thankbox paper aeroplane sent icon for an online card and collection pot Start your card and collection for a gift now.

Celebrating any occasion with a wonderful card and, if you need one, collection for a gift is easy, fun and highly personal with a Thankbox. Make someone feel really special.

Organise an online collection.

Collecting cash from people online makes sense. You can be anywhere in the world and still contribute. No hard cash is needed and administration of the collection pot is extremely straightforward. Amounts collected can, depending on the provider, be redeemed for a variety of gift card options and even Visa or Mastercard prepaid cards.

It’s slick, simple and super inclusive. Currency conversions are normally taken care of by the online cash collection provider too.

Organise an online card.

Just like cash collecting, online is the way to go for group greeting cards. All events and needs are available from the myriad virtual card services. Again, it doesn’t matter where anybody is in the world. If they’re online they can add their personal best wishes ensuring nobody is left out. There are two types of online card:

Traditional paper cards online

Typically a catalogue of pre-existing designs are indexed in card categories (birthdays for example). The user selects a card, shares a link for people invited to 'sign' the card.

Online paper cards are not without issues and limitations may apply:

  • Space may still be an issue - those signing may have word or character limit

  • Personalisation in terms of fonts and colours can have restrictions

  • Adding images is a must have in the 21st Century - it’s worth checking if this feature is allowed in a paper card

  • Zero media - videos and GIFs are simply not an option with a paper card

  • They are not environmentally friendly - resources are used to make, print, send and deliver the card. There is a cost to the planet.

Digital, or virtual, ecards.

If it’s not a paper card then a virtual, or digital, card is ideal for celebrating. It’s everything an online paper card isn’t. Everyone can contribute and (depending on the provider) really express themselves with a flourish by using uploaded images, videos and GIFs. Colours, fonts, backgrounds and other personalisation features really help add character to contributions.

So, to collect money for a gift and celebrate someone’s deserving achievement, organising an online card and gift collection is the perfect solution. Or is it?

You see, there are plenty of virtual card services - either online paper cards or digital ecards - and plenty of online cash collection services. Big problem though. They’re not integrated. Which equals a huge faff factor. Everything has to be done twice:

  • Invitations to contribute to the collection pot and sign the card. Duplicated.

  • Sending the ecard and chosen gift card or prepaid debit card - two different processes.

  • Opening the card and receiving the gift will never happen at the same time in the same package. That's very poor for what's meant to be a great experience.

A card and collection are like strawberries and cream. They’re made for each other.

Strawberries and cream. Essential together like a Thankbox card and gift collection.

But who wants to order strawberries and go elsewhere for the cream? That’s nuts.

Organise an integrated online card and collection pot.

If the occasion needs a gift, then it also needs a card.

Services, like Thankbox, feature all that’s great about an online card with an optional, integrated cash collection service. Work celebrations like promotions, new jobs, retirement and work anniversaries must have both a card and gift collection. As do personal life events - birthdays, weddings, engagements, anniversaries and all kinds of personal achievements worthy of congratulations and celebrating.

An integrated service has many advantages. It’s:

  1. Fully inclusive - anyone, anywhere can sign the card and chip in to the collection. And contributions are private - only the total is visible.

  2. Efficient and slick - it’s all done at the same time. No signing into two separate services.

  3. Global and universal - if you’re online you can join the celebration. Plus, hurdles like currency management and gift card redemption are all taken care of. The organiser can be in the UK, the recipient in Mexico - borders are of no concern.

  4. Modern and multimedia - personalise away with fonts, messages, card themes, video, GIFs and photos.

  5. Unrestricted - there is no limit to the length of a message. Tell your full story or keep it crisp and brief. Everybody can be themselves.

  6. Green, very green - no raw materials, transportation or product handling. So no emissions. And, if the provider is carbon negative, like Thankbox (planting trees, using 100% renewable energy, no office), that’s a massive plus tick for the planet.

To conclude: The best way to collect money for a gift is…

If everybody celebrating is all together and numbers are small - a small office, immediate family, or a local interest or friendship group, then the highly personal and intimate nature of a paper card and cash collection may be the best option.

But! As soon as one person is excluded by being remote then online is the best option. And while plenty of standalone virtual greetings card suppliers and collection pot providers exist, it makes no sense to use separate services.

The best way to collect money for a gift is to have the online card and gift collection pot in the same place.

If the online card and cash collection pot are integrated within the same service everyone’s happy.

The organiser: the process is super efficient. One service, one dashboard, one payment, one big smile.

Contributors: an easy, swift and fun experience. Contributors add cash, write their message and use video, images or GIFs in one slick session. Any changed minds can easily edit their message and top-up their cash contribution to the gift collection.

Most importantly, the recipient gets everything at the same time - a wonderful virtual card celebration of them and their choice of gift card.

An integrated online card and collection pot for a gift is the only way that lets everybody celebrate and make somebody feel extra special and truly loved.

Thankbox paper aeroplane sent icon for an online card and collection pot Start your card and collection for a gift now.

Celebrating any occasion with a wonderful card and, if you need one, collection for a gift is easy, fun and highly personal with a Thankbox. Make someone feel really special.

With HQ over 200 miles away and 16 other branches around the country it's always very difficult to get a card signed or contributions collected for a significant occasion. So I looked online. I found a few that looked ok until you dug deeper and there was always something missing. I was on the verge of giving up when I came across Thankbox. It was absolutely brilliant. The recipient was thrilled with it and reads the messages over and over. David Wilson

Read David's full review and more on Trustpilot. See what people say on Capterra Photo credits: Gift with tag - Pixabay on Pexels; Strawberries - Susanne Jutzeler, Pexels; Cash use graph - The Bank of England.