|   Posted: May 10, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – May 10, 2016 – Compassion International, the world’s largest child development through sponsorship ministry, is tapping into a unique source of charitable giving – unused gift cards – with its new CardFunder® program that launched this month. Gift cards have been the most requested gift item nine years in a row, according to the National Retail Federation, but sometimes those cards go unused. In fact, a Blackhawk Network survey* showed that 51 percent of consumers currently have unused gift cards.

“CardFunder represents a new avenue for charitable giving and enables more people to participate by giving a resource they already have – unused gift cards,” said Jeanne Wilkinson, director of corporate relations at Compassion International. “By donating gift cards, individuals are able to support Compassion’s mission of helping children around the world escape poverty. Our message is simple: Give a gift card. Change a life.”

Compassion’s CardFunder program makes it easy for individuals and groups to turn their unspent gift cards into charitable donations. Individuals can make an online donation by entering their gift card information at Compassion.com/CardFunder. Large groups, like youth groups, businesses and service organizations, may host CardFunder drives to physically collect gift cards and send them to Compassion as one large donation. Visit the CardFunder web site, Compassion.com/CardFunder, to download information and tools.

In 2015, a Missouri youth group held a CardFunder pilot drive that generated more than 750 gift cards in just two hours. “The CardFunder drive was a great activity for our youth because it was so quick and easy for them to go out and collect the cards,” said Mitch Grainger, family pastor at First Baptist Church of Warrensburg. “The idea of our youth having such a huge impact on the lives of children on the other side of the world was awesome!”

*Blackhawk’s Exchange Survey is an Internet-based survey conducted by Blackhawk Network in September 2015. The sample size included 1,100 American respondents.

About Compassion International

Founded in 1952, Compassion International is a Christian child development organization that works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion revolutionized the fight against global poverty by working exclusively with the Church to lift children out of spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. Compassion partners with more than 8,000 churches in 25 countries to deliver its holistic child development program to over 2 million babies, children and young adults. Its Child Sponsorship Program has been validated through independent, empirical research.