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Charities Boosted by E-Mail Christmas Card Plan

December 9, 2000

THE ghost of Christmas future has visited a major Ulster company and helped it find the spirit of the season. And now the company has responded by not sending out any Christmas cards. But accountancy firm Deloitte and Touche is not acting like a big business Scrooge, because all the money it would have spent on buying cards and postage will now be given to charity. The company has decided instead to send its customers festive greetings through e-mail. When a recipient opens the message they are invited to go to a website with Deloitte and Touche's special seasonal greeting. "There are two main reasons why we are doing this - technology and charity," said Paul Clarke, partner in charge of the consultancy practice in Belfast. "We are a hi-tech company that tries to conduct as much business as possible online and this is just the natural extension of that. "We are also committed to charities and are delighted that people will be able to benefit from us using the technological age in this way. "It really is 21st Century fundraising."The charity which will benefit will be Macmillan Cancer Relief. A spokeswoman for that organisation said they were "delighted". "It is great that people do think about Macmillan and people with cancer at Christmas time," she added. "This is an amazing gesture and we are very grateful."Deloitte and Touche will be doing this across the UK, but in Belfast alone around 5,000 cards are usually sent. "Since they cost between around 60p to Ј1 to produce and send that means we will be raising around Ј5,000 ourselves," Mr Clarke added. "We are only around one thousandth of the company as a whole, so there will be real benefits."Deloitte and Touche are not the only company to be sending e-Christmas cards. Holywood-based internet company The Internet Business is also sending season's greetings electronically. Mr Clarke also pointed out that while other companies in the Belfast area were worried about getting their cards out on time because of the postal dispute, Deloitte and Touche had no such fears. To see more of the Belfast Telegraph or, to subscribe, go to

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