It is estimated that out of about $160 billion of gift cards sold in 2021, more than $3 billion will be worth more. , [+] Those cards will go to waste. Cardfunder is planning to change all of these things.
According to the Digital Journal, the United States gift cards market was estimated at $158.26 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $167.71 billion in 2022, and is projected to grow at a 6.25% annual rate and reach $227.82 billion by 2030.
According to Russ Howard, founder and CEO of Cardfunder, more than $3 billion of those cards are wasted annually, bringing the total to more than $40 billion over the past decade. In fact, 51% of American adults have at least one unused gift card, BankRate has found. The average person has $116 in these unspent funds, and 73% have had their gift card for a year or more.
Russ laid out these key spinning stats to me in a recent phone interview and it was the inspiration for their new Cardfunder startup. “We are a purpose-driven company that aims to innovate and accelerate delivery,” Howard says. “It’s fast, it’s easy, and it makes a meaningful impact without disrupting their other charity type of events.”
This isn’t the first time Russ has entered the secondary or repurpose market. Russ created the largest “buy-sell-business” model in American history two decades ago. From 2000–2004, Russ led the formation of GameStop’s software/hardware improvement strategy, which became the largest operation of its kind in the US. prior to the companies’ 2002 IPO into a unified GameStop brand.
pay it forward
Cardfunder is a “turn-key” event-in-the-box fund-raising model designed to provide non-profit , [+] A very painless procedure, with a capital infusion.
Russ takes great pleasure from the early results of its “turn-key” event-in-the-box fund-raising model, which is designed to provide non-profits with capital infusion in a very painless process . It is currently being used by schools and churches, but Russ hopes the program will be used by other nonprofits and other community fundraisers for youth sports. “A church group raised $20K in one weekend, the biggest nontraditional event ever for them,” he said with great pride, though surprised.
CardFunder 2000 accepts cards from various regional and national brand vendors with minimum $5 dollar balances. They use a number of secondary resellers and gift card marketplaces. The rates offered for gift card exchanges vary by merchant and marketplace, but Russ indicated that they are able to return between 60% and 85% of the face value of the remaining card back to charities. The turnaround time is approximately two weeks.
Innovate at no upfront cost
Cardfunder founder and CEO Russ Howard talks about being able to “accelerate innovation and giving” , [+] And do it comfortably.” The best part is that there is no upfront investment for groups, so there is zero risk.
We are able to “accelerate innovation and deliver and do it with ease.” The best part is that there is no upfront investment for groups, so there is zero risk. They simply download the complete toolkit, which includes simple and well-designed “how to tools” for promoting events on their platform’s social media sites. These events do not necessarily replace other annual fundraisers, but can become additional “purpose-driven” campaigns, giving great returns to all parties with a sense of satisfaction in the process.
Russ indicated that an app was in the works that they expect to introduce in three to four months. This will enable a group to use a “top-down” approach as applicable to the current “bottom-up” do-it-yourself approach. Return sharing will be different, but it enables groups to outsource the entire process to CardFunder if desired.
The quality of Social Media Toolkit is first rate. Russ and his team clearly took advantage , [+] Of great graphic design talent, to enable any nonprofit to put together a compelling event or campaign, without much of the heavy lifting.
Russ doesn’t like to be thought of as a disruptor, but that’s all the traces of disruption in my mind. And besides being an incredible idea, at a time when all nonprofits are being forced to do more with less, they’ve done their “brand packaging” homework.
The quality of Social Media Toolkit is first rate. Russ and his team clearly took advantage of some great graphic design talent to enable any nonprofit to put together a compelling event or campaign with no heavy lifting. Once activated the group can expect its community to take notice, and begin searching drawers, purses, pantries and wallets in a sort of “lost and funds” effort.