Some stores let customers buy a gift donation instead of a physical product. In general, this means the face value of the gift card is donated to a designated charity. Some other stores sell gift cards that can be redeemed later by the recipient for the charity of their choice.

There are some workarounds for this that may work.

  • Keep in mind that gift card revenue is tracked differently in Shopify, so be sure this complies with your accounting needs.
  • If selling donations without giving the recipient the choice of charity, the purchase will be created as a gift card.
  • Branded gift card plan users can hide the gift card code but it may still appear in the HTML code that makes up the page and could, in theory, be seen and redeemed. If your store only sells gift card donations, this may not be an issue because customers cannot buy gift cards with another gift card.
  • If, however, you sell other items, keep in mind there is the possibility someone could find the code and use it to make a purchase for a product or service.
  • If you let customers use a gift card to determine what charity they want to make a donation to, keep in mind that your cannot use a gift card to buy a gift card — so the "donations" need to be regular products (not gift card products).
  • Keep in mind that Shopify's reporting may limit the ability to generate reports to help you issue donations so it may require some manual reporting on your end, depending on your exact needs.

Of course, you should also be sure you are complying with all local laws and regulations and making sure funds actually get to the organizations as advertised. There may also be tax or accounting implications for you "passing along" donations on behalf of the customer. Always consultant an attorney or financial professional for answers to these questions.