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From the desk of Todd Tomlin: Innovations in Incentives – Charity Edition

Inspired by the launch of a recent charity-focused initiative at Ncentiva, and as an off-shoot of the Gift Card Innovation Showcase, I’d like to highlight some meaningful initiatives companies in the reward, incentive, payments and gift card industries are doing to support non-profit organizations with much needed funds.

These companies enable charity organizations to tap into non-cash donors through alternate means of allowing consumers to donate to their favorite cause should they not have, or in addition to, the funds available to give or time to volunteer.

Ncentiva – In association with the Incentive Marketing Association, Ncentiva launched its first charity partnership with The INN Between Salt Lake City, enabling consumers to donate unneeded electronics (iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, etc.) with 50% of the proceeds going to The INN Between. Consumers then get to select from over 300 different gift card brands, gift cards for themselves with the other 50% of their electronic device value.

CardFunder – With over $3 billion in gift cards going unused every year, CardFunder seeks to turn those unwanted gift cards into charitable donations. CardFunder enables charities to reach their donor base in a unique way. Through CardFunder, consumers can donate all of an un- or partially-used gift card. CardFunder then turns the value of those gift cards into cash donations to the charity promoting the initiative.

The Giving Block – Part of Shift4 Payments, The Giving Block allows consumers to donate cryptocurrency to their favorite causes. Non-profits can tap into the fastest growing donor demographic, those with cryptocurrencies. The receiving charity doesn’t receive the cryptocurrency, but instead the cryptocurrency, be it Bitcoin, Ethereum or others, is converted to US Dollars and given to the charity.

Charity on Top – With over 1.8 million charities to choose from, recipients of the Charity on Top gift card can donate the total value of the card to their favorite non-profit. While consumers can purchase a Charity on Top gift card, the card is included in many incentive, reward and recognition catalogs allowing members of loyalty programs or employee engagement programs to redeem points towards this gift card that gives back.

Loyalty Programs – Be it Nectar, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Delta SkyMiles or Hilton HHonors points, these are just a few of the many coalition, bank, airline and hotel loyalty programs that allow consumers to donate miles/points to a good cause. This provides a great way for those with point/mile balances large or small to still give without reaching into their wallet.

By no means is this list intended to be all encompassing on what innovations exist in the charitable giving space related to loyalty, incentives, payments and gift cards. There are so many more to be uncovered! If you have an innovation you want to share, please drop me a line at