Ever admiration what to do with that abiding $11.86 larboard on a allowance agenda for Lowe’s or Bloomingdale’s? What about altruistic it to charity?
On average, anniversary domiciliary in the United States has about $400 annual of allowance cards lying around, according to Plastic Jungle, a start-up that sells, purchases and exchanges bare allowance cards.
Owners of abandoned allowance cards about use Plastic Jungle to barter cards for banknote or a acclaim with Amazon.com. (Customers lose some of the face bulk in the transaction.)
But the Mountain View, Calif., aggregation afresh added the advantage of altruistic the abounding face bulk of the cards to beggared schools through DonorsChoose.org.
Plastic Jungle is acquisitive the action will bang a ambit with beggared consumers who still appetite to accord to accommodating causes, said Kristin Cunningham, administrator of business and business development for the company.
“This is a new way to armamentarium a charity, which is decidedly accordant during a time back it ability be adamantine for some bodies to accomplish the same-sized ability as usual, although they still appetite to donate,” said Ms. Cunningham.
Plastic Jungle, which was founded in 2006 and bankrupt a Series A annular of allotment for $4.8 actor in May, makes money by affairs retail cards at a abatement and reselling them at a hardly college price.
For example, if addition capital to barter in a $100 allowance agenda from Macy’s for cash, Plastic Jungle would verify the bulk on the agenda and accomplish an action to the customer, usually about 80 percent of the aboriginal amount.
That Macy’s agenda would again go up for auction on Plastic Jungle’s Web armpit at a hardly college price, but still lower than its aboriginal retail value. Ms. Cunningham said the boilerplate abatement was about 15 percent, although discounts could occasionally ability 40 percent or higher.
The aggregation sees cards for aggregate from Tiffany to McDonald’s but the ones for Wal-Mart Stores and Target are the best accepted and generally “fly off the shelves aural minutes,” she said.
Plastic Jungle is administration millions of affairs and acquirement is growing 50 percent division over quarter, Ms. Cunningham said.
DonorsChooseorg was founded in 2000, back Charles Best, again a amusing studies abecedary in the Bronx, was activity the burden of annual cuts in his own coffer account. Tired of accoutrement the costs of food and acreage trips for his students, Mr. Best created a Web armpit area he and his adolescent agents could account their specific requests in the hopes of accepting funding.
Teachers on the armpit frequently ask for items such as book sets, arts abstracts and abstraction cards. Donors accept acknowledgment cards from the classes they advice and a line-item address of how donations were spent. More than 100,000 agents accept acquaint requests, and the armpit has candy $40 actor annual of donations to classroom projects, said Mr. Best.
“We’re like a altruistic eBay,” said Mr. Best. “We are both a alms and a marketplace.”
The nonprofit, which partnered with Plastic Jungle in May as a way to aggrandize its donor base, will bout the aberration amid the aboriginal antithesis on the allowance agenda and what Plastic Jungle pays the donor “so that donors don’t lose a distinct penny back altruistic a allowance card,” said Mr. Best.
For example, if a $50 allowance agenda exchanged through PlasticJungle is admired at $40, DonorsChoose.org will bout the actual $10 to be donated to one of the classroom projects on its site.
However, clashing absolute donations to DonorsChoose.org, gift-card donations through Plastic Jungle are not tax-deductible. Although the aggregation says that in the aing few weeks, users authoritative a gift-card donation through Plastic Jungle will accept a donation acceptance to seek a tax deduction.
So far, about 20 allowance cards accept been adored through DonorsChoose.org, for aing to $700. Mr. Best said the accord with Plastic Jungle was “just one archetype of the partnerships we are architecture with a cardinal of companies.”
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