Causes Launches Charitable Giving Gift Card

Gift cards have been a popular way for online games, and more recently social games, to sell virtual currency to cash-paying users, and now Causes is bringing the payment option to online charitable donations.

It began selling charitable giving gift cards yesterday at Safeway and Vons retail store locations in California, in partnership with gift card provider Blackhawk. Recipients of the cards have the opportunity to choose to donate to more than 1.5 million Causes charities online and purchases of the gift cards are tax-deductible.

The Facebook Causes app has about 25 million monthly active users according to our AppData service.

Blackhawk is a subsidiary of Safeway that provides prepaid and financial payments products. Previously, we’ve written about Blackhawk’s efforts to allow Facebook users to purchase iTunes on Facebook. The launch of the Causes gift cards comes before the holiday season and will allow customers to donate to organizations like the Red Cross, UNICEF, the Sierra Club and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

To learn more about virtual goods and Facebook, check out our latest report, Inside Virtual Goods: Tracking the US Virtual Goods Market, 2010-2011.