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How Nonprofits Support Individuals & Families with Gift Cards

Nonprofits help their target populations in all sorts of ways. Some focus on connecting people to services to help their clients overcome hardship, some help source housing for unhoused individuals, some connect clients to their communities to find jobs or build skills.

One common thread that almost all nonprofits use to support individuals and families is gift cards. Read on to learn how our non-profit customers are using gift cards to provide basic needs support, emergency services aid, homelessness prevention resources, hunger relief assistance and financial assistance to their clients.

Basic Needs Support

Gift cards can provide support for a variety of basic needs. If a client has a myriad of needs, gift card donations of various types, like those for food, personal items and clothing could all help that person get back on their feet or make ends meet to maintain a job or to help support a family. These nonprofit gift cards:

  • Can come from a variety of different retailers
  • Serve clients with diverse needs
  • Empower clients of the nonprofit to shop for themselves, using the gift card donation, rather than needing to accept donated clothes or shop in a food pantry.

Empowering nonprofit clients to meet their own basic needs, as one of our non-profit customers in New York does, rather than providing items can be the first step in helping someone overcoming hardship or who just survived a traumatic event.

Emergency Services Aid

After a traumatic event like a house fire or a natural disaster, families and individuals who have been affected have a number of immediate, urgent needs. They need to put a roof over their heads, find basic support items, file insurance claims and often tend to a range of injuries. When a nonprofit responds to individuals and families in this type of distress gift cards can often ease some of the chaos and panic.

Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens notes “Gift cards in $25 - $50 increments allow us to provide instant financial relief” in these types of situations.

Gift cards are great in these types of situations because they provide both the nonprofit and recipient with:

  • Instant assistance
  • Flexibility in denomination
  • A variety of retailers and categories in which the gift card can provide support

The Engage2Reward™ Gift Card Ordering Platform offers a versatile solution that can be highly beneficial in situations where individuals and families are facing acute traumatic incidents, homelessness, food insecurity, and other challenges.

Our platform provides the flexibility to order and distribute both digital and physical gift cards from over 300 retailers. With individual and bulk fulfillment options, instant delivery, custom branding, and personalized messages to each recipient, our platform allows for timely and efficient support to those in need.

Additionally, with volume-based discounts, two-factor security options, single sign-on integration, and comprehensive reporting and analytics, our platform offers a fast, easy, and secure way to fund and distribute gift cards to your community. 

Homelessness Prevention

When an individual or family is facing homelessness, it is often because they can’t pay a variety of bills including a mortgage or rent, utilities, grocery bills or other critical household expenses. For nonprofits, providing relief in these categories can prevent an entire household from becoming unhoused. Gift cards provide the flexibility for nonprofits to maximize gift card donations and donation funds to provide relief to families. For non-profits providing gift cards from cash funds, gift cards:

  • Can be provided from one or many of almost any retailer
  • Are easy to deliver electronically or in physical form, providing acute relief
  • Can adjust to fit any budget

The threat of homelessness can come on suddenly and require quick relief. Gift cards can provide easy access for nonprofits and clients alike.

Hunger Relief Assistance

Food insecurity in America remains at an all-time high since the COVID-19 pandemic. With a lot of pandemic-era aid programs ending, more and more Americans are losing access to social programs that helped them access fresh food. For food banks and nonprofits this means a spike in community need for hunger relief assistance and for food access assistance to prevent food insecurity emergencies.

Nonprofits can use gift cards, donated or acquired with donated funds, to provide food insecure clients with access to grocery stores and food retailers in their neighborhoods. This not only takes the pressure off local food banks, but it also provides dignity and access to non-emergency food outlets to clients. These gift cards can be provided on an individual household basis or through broader community outreach initiatives among populations nonprofits typically serve.

Financial Assistance

Sometimes nonprofit clients just need help getting back on their feet. These outreaches and fulfillments of requests often are categorized under the broad umbrella of “financial assistance.” This could be a family or individual in an acute financial bind due to temporary job loss or death of a spouse, or it could be an immigrant to the United States who needs a little extra to get settled in their new home. In these broad situations cash funds can be helpful but gift cards can help nonprofits ensure:

  • Provided financial support falls in certain approved categories of expenses
  • Allow gift card donations to be transferred directly to clients
  • Donations arrive to clients in need quickly and efficiently, regardless of physical distance.

Conclusion

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Gift cards are often thought of as small luxuries, convenient gifts to give friends, loved ones or employees. However, gift cards are versatile resources for nonprofits, providing flexible, convenient ways for nonprofits to serve their communities and clients, regardless of the situation.

Discover the endless possibilities of how the Engage2Reward™ Gift Card Ordering Platform can uplift your nonprofit and provide your recipients with a safe and secure way to receive the support they need.

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