I went online this afternoon thinking I would cash in some points on my Capital One credit card for gift certificates. Then I noticed the Capital One No Hassle Giving Site – a partnership with one my favorite services, Network for Good. Instead of gift certificates for the nieces and nephews, I ended up cashing in 40,000 points to make $25 donations to 16 nonprofits.
Capital One covers the transaction fees, so 100% of your donation, paid for with a charge to your card or by redeeming points, goes to your charity.
This is a beautiful thing for me because
(1) It’s “free” to me. Yes, I did spend a whole lot of dimes over the last year or two to rack up those points, but I have no out-of-pocket costs now to make these donations.
(2) The donations are fully tax-deductible as cash equivalents.
(3) While I had intended to make a few more charitable gifts before year’s end, I didn’t intend to give to 16 groups. But spending the points was like free money. I couldn’t stop myself. It was really fun.
(4) Always looking for a blogging angle, I’m going to add this to my ongoing “What I Got When I Gave” experiment, where I keep track of the communications I receive from various nonprofits after making a first-time donation. I’ll let you know what happens with this batch of donations.
Now, how can you use this information?
Capital One has about 50 million customer accounts. Odds are many of your supporters have one of their cards in their wallets. Why not include a link to the No Hassle Giving site in your next email newsletter asking the Capital One card holders to redeem some points for you?
Now what the heck am I getting the nieces and nephews?