Favors

charity favors

So I know there have been debates on here about donating to charity as a wedding favor, so I thought I'd chime in:  I found a website (tisbest.org) where I could buy charity gift cards that allow the recipient to pick the charity (from a list of more than 300).  I had charity cards made up with me and my now-husband's photo on them and gave them as favors.  I get emails whenever they're redeemed -- the emails tell me which charity they picked.  These were really well-received and it's been fun to learn about the charities that the people around me care about.  And then they have a little photo of me and my husband if they want to keep it. 

Okay, just thought I'd mention this website as it's a good charity option I think.  I wanted to do something charitable, but I didn't want to choose the charity FOR someone else (since everyone has different ideas about that).  This was a fun alternative I think.
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Re: charity favors

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    edited May 31
    No, actually, it's not a "fun alternative" because the only "good charity option" in connection with weddings is to donate your own funds, but keep the donation to yourself.

    Your wedding is neither an awareness raiser nor a fundraiser, and it's not appropriate of you to use it as such.

    Your relatives and friends are there to see you get married. You don't  have to give favors-they are not required at all! But if you give donations to charity (more power to you if you do), it is not appropriate or gracious to indicate that they are "in lieu of favors" to your guests. 
    InLoveInQueensDrillSergeantCatMesmrEwe
  • Well in my case, everyone loved it. All my family and friends care about different causes, and there were plenty of options for them to choose from.  Anyone who couldn't find a single thing to care about out of more than 300 possible charities could go without a favor, and that was fine by me.  But the people I know all care about things outside themselves, so it wasn't an issue. 

    And I just posted that so others who were interested in doing a charity option would know about that website.  Favors aren't required anyway.  I don't go to a wedding expecting one.  And if someone donated to a charity on my behalf, I'd be glad of it, even if I didn't get to pick the charity (which my attendees did).
    Australian_girl_in_ParisMoppet82
  • And in case it's not clear:  I didn't ask anyone for cash!  I gave them charity cards that had cash value on them.  I merely asked them to pick the charity that it went to.
    Moppet82
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    Asking for "charity cards" is indeed asking for cash. There is no relevant difference between whether the form of the cash was bills and coins, checks, or plastic cards.

    And "everyone loved it" is not an excuse for inappropriate behavior-let alone promoting future instances of it.

    Sorry, but around here, we don't promote "charity options." We have a lot of threads where we make that plain.
    MesmrEwe
  • edited May 31
    "Your wedding is neither an awareness raiser nor a fundraiser, and it's not appropriate of you to use it as such."

    Actually it's whatever I want it to be. And I have no regrets about asking people to help spread joy in the world by choosing a charity that they believe in for me to contribute to on their behalf.  That wasn't "in lieu of" a favor -- that was a favor. And certainly more memorable than some little whatnot that they'd likely throw away anyway. 
    Australian_girl_in_ParisMoppet82
  • edited May 31
    Asking for charity cards is not asking for cash. And I didn't ask for charity cards. I gave people charity cards which they could use if they wanted or not use if they didn't want. It required zero cash on their part either way.
    Australian_girl_in_Paris
  • What it is to you?  If you don't want to give charity wedding favors, DON'T. I think it's a good thing. I'm glad I did it, and I'm glad other people do it.  It's the only type of wedding favor I ever hope to receive.  I couldn't care less about "appropriate manners." 

    If you give away some little whatnot, there's a good chance that folks will hate it and throw it away.  If they hated the charity card, they could do the same.  So what difference does it make?  In my case, it resulted in a lot of emails where people told me which charities they'd chosen and why.  I really enjoyed learning about that and I do feel joyful about it. 

    My original post is not for you -- it's for the folks out there who would like to do a charity option.  I don't care whether you think that's good manners or not. Fortunately, not all of us are bound by silly rules.

    Australian_girl_in_Paris


  • So I know there have been debates on here about donating to charity as a wedding favor, so I thought I'd chime in:  I found a website (tisbest.org) where I could buy charity gift cards that allow the recipient to pick the charity (from a list of more than 300).  I had charity cards made up with me and my now-husband's photo on them and gave them as favors.  I get emails whenever they're redeemed -- the emails tell me which charity they picked.  These were really well-received and it's been fun to learn about the charities that the people around me care about.  And then they have a little photo of me and my husband if they want to keep it. 

    Okay, just thought I'd mention this website as it's a good charity option I think.  I wanted to do something charitable, but I didn't want to choose the charity FOR someone else (since everyone has different ideas about that).  This was a fun alternative I think.


    JIC


    Well in my case, everyone loved it. All my family and friends care about different causes, and there were plenty of options for them to choose from.  Anyone who couldn't find a single thing to care about out of more than 300 possible charities could go without a favor, and that was fine by me.  But the people I know all care about things outside themselves, so it wasn't an issue. 

    And I just posted that so others who were interested in doing a charity option would know about that website.  Favors aren't required anyway.  I don't go to a wedding expecting one.  And if someone donated to a charity on my behalf, I'd be glad of it, even if I didn't get to pick the charity (which my attendees did).


    To the bolded: charitable giving is something that is deeply personal. A charity that Person A may like, Person B may find has practices that conflict with their values. If Person A donated to that particular charity in Person B's name, Person B would definitely not "be glad."

    Also, this website you are touting - while it does have 300 charities, there are many that are missing that people could not donate to with their gift card. Close friends of mine lost their child to a congenital disorder which has it's own charitable foundation to provide necessary research for this particular disorder. If they had attended your wedding, this would be the charity they would have wanted to donate to. But they wouldn't be able to. And they would probably be pretty hurt about it. 

    My whole point, OP, is while your heart may have been in the right place, you still overstepped your bounds by incorporating something so personal as charitable giving into your wedding. 
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueensSP29
  • Like I said, if they couldn't choose from 300 charities, they could go without a favor. But I don't know anyone who couldn't pick from those choices. I lost my father to Alzheimer's, but that doesn't mean Alzheimer's is the only charity I would ever be interested in supporting.  But we don't need to continue this dialogue. My post was not for you.  I'm not sure why it's your mission to disparage charity gifts, but my post was for others out there who feel like I do.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    Like I said, if they couldn't choose from 300 charities, they could go without a favor. But I don't know anyone who couldn't pick from those choices. I lost my father to Alzheimer's, but that doesn't mean Alzheimer's is the only charity I would ever be interested in supporting.  But we don't need to continue this dialogue. My post was not for you.  I'm not sure why it's your mission to disparage charity gifts, but my post was for others out there who feel like I do.


    Great attitude about your guests, who traveled, bought gifts, and took time out of their day to attend your wedding. 

    To lurkers: Picking a charity/charity gifts as a favor is rude and self-serving.  If you are going to give to a charity, just do it privately.  


    image
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueensDrillSergeantCat
  • Dear lurkers: I personally love receiving charity gifts as a favor. Couldn't care less if it's "rude." I would be glad to receive one at every single wedding I ever go to for the rest of my life.

    No idea why that makes some people so angry.  I've read all the bolded comments, and I don't agree with the opinions expressed therein.  Handing out knickknacks may fit your worldview better, but it doesn't mine or many others. And my original post was NOT for the charity naysayers -- only for those who like the idea.  I wish those of you who are so opposed hadn't hijacked my thread for your own personal ranting.  THAT was rude.
  • I actually don't see much wrong with this. A couple gives each guest a nominal amount to go toward the charity of their choosing? It's something the couple pays for, it doesn't presume the guests all care about the same thing, and it's a small feel good gesture. The only issue I see is that as a bride, I wouldn't want my money going to certain religious or social entities. 


     levioosa said:






    Like I said, if they couldn't choose from 300 charities, they could go without a favor. But I don't know anyone who couldn't pick from those choices. I lost my father to Alzheimer's, but that doesn't mean Alzheimer's is the only charity I would ever be interested in supporting.  But we don't need to continue this dialogue. My post was not for you.  I'm not sure why it's your mission to disparage charity gifts, but my post was for others out there who feel like I do.




    Great attitude about your guests, who traveled, bought gifts, and took time out of their day to attend your wedding. 

    To lurkers: Picking a charity/charity gifts as a favor is rude and self-serving.  If you are going to give to a charity, just do it privately.  


    I don't see the issue here either....I didn't give favors to my guests, some of whom travelled overseas for our wedding. That's etiquette approved...especially since we were sure to host them well for the evening. 
    Australian_girl_in_ParisMoppet82
  • Thanks JediElizabeth. I did have to think about whether I was okay with all of the choices offered and decided that I'd support any of the charities my attendees wanted. I like some charities better than others of course, but I wanted them to pick (not me).

    And agreed it's not necessary to give favors.  We gave a nice dinner, music, etc. after all. I think people remember that part more.
  • Charlotte, I disagree with you. Yours is an opinion, and mine is different. If someone gives me a charity card to donate, I'll consider it a gift. If you don't like the idea, no one's forcing you to use it.


  • Charlotte, I disagree with you. Yours is an opinion, and mine is different. If someone gives me a charity card to donate, I'll consider it a gift. If you don't like the idea, no one's forcing you to use it.


    A gift is something you give to another person. You made a gift to the charity, but not your guests. 
    InLoveInQueensGreenjinjo short+sassy
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member


    I actually don't see much wrong with this. A couple gives each guest a nominal amount to go toward the charity of their choosing? It's something the couple pays for, it doesn't presume the guests all care about the same thing, and it's a small feel good gesture. The only issue I see is that as a bride, I wouldn't want my money going to certain religious or social entities. 


     levioosa said:










    Like I said, if they couldn't choose from 300 charities, they could go without a favor. But I don't know anyone who couldn't pick from those choices. I lost my father to Alzheimer's, but that doesn't mean Alzheimer's is the only charity I would ever be interested in supporting.  But we don't need to continue this dialogue. My post was not for you.  I'm not sure why it's your mission to disparage charity gifts, but my post was for others out there who feel like I do.






    Great attitude about your guests, who traveled, bought gifts, and took time out of their day to attend your wedding. 

    To lurkers: Picking a charity/charity gifts as a favor is rude and self-serving.  If you are going to give to a charity, just do it privately.  




    I don't see the issue here either....I didn't give favors to my guests, some of whom travelled overseas for our wedding. That's etiquette approved...especially since we were sure to host them well for the evening. 


    No one deserves a favor, but it's the attitude of "well if that don't like it, then poo poo for them." It's just feels more than entitled than "we have chocolate cookies available at the end of the night for favors, but Aunt Mary didn't take one." The OPs attitude has been kind of shitty in general though. 


    image
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueenssparklepants41eileenrob
  • edited May 31
    The gift was that I supported a charity of their choice on their behalf.

    Personally I hope someone gives me a gift like that. Not sure why everyone wants to preach against the idea, but it seems to inspire venomous hatred in some.  I don't know people who have zero causes that interest them and my favors were well-received.  My post was for people similar to me whose family and friends would like the charity favor.
  • Hi JaxinBlue, I did research how much money would actually go to the charity. Certainly it's not all of it as there are transaction fees. I avoided those that I could by paying via check (so no money was lost to credit card companies). I'm not sure where you got the $5.05 figure on a $10 card (?), but the transaction fee was $1.95 per card. So a $10 card is worth around $8.05 (30 cents less if you use a credit card).  I think that's enough to be worthwhile when you consider that it's aggregating with lots of other donors.  I don't think it matters if it takes 3 months to get to the charity (makes sense that they'd send it all at once).  In all cases, when you donate to any charity, some of the money is going to the transaction itself.  Obviously it's higher in this case, but that's what allowed giving people a choice.
  • And no, the recipient doesn't get to take a tax deduction, but it didn't cost them anything (free is better than deductible!).
  • JaxInBlueJaxInBlue
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
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    You are right.  I was doing quick math on the 3% and $1.95 fee so the range is closer to $7.75 to $8.05.

    But as someone who works in and with nonprofits and with fundraising, I firmly believe that even with all the aggregation and crowd-sourcing in the world, I'd rather have a donation that goes directly to my organization than one that is split with a 3rd party or a credit card processing site.
    image
    Anniversary


    MesmrEwe
  • That I totally understand. But I wanted to give out cards and a choice so I let some of the money go into the transaction itself.  I suspect the charities that receive it would rather have a direct donation but that they'd take a donation with a transaction fee over no donation at all.
  • edited May 31
    To each their own. And I definitely prefer some charities over others, but I wanted to support the ones my family and friends believe in. Many of my family members are religious (I am not), but I'm fine with giving to religious organizations that they believe in. Not everybody would be fine with that, and that's okay. This was merely an option that I liked that I wanted to share. If people like the idea of charity favors (OBVIOUSLY not everyone does), this was one possibility.

    As far as the fear that you're trying to make yourself look good (something others have mentioned on here):  If you put on a fancy wedding dress, chances are people are going to think you're trying to look good.  If you buy a nice catered meal or hire a good band or a hoppin' DJ, people are going to think you're trying to look good.  If you do you your hair and makeup (horrors!), people are going to think you're trying to look good. And if you use a charitable donation as a favor, people are going to think you're trying to look good.  Heck, if you do nice chocolates as a wedding favor, people are going to think you're trying to look good.  And to that I say who cares?  It's your wedding.  Look good if you want to.

    I have been really surprised by the level of anger on this board at the thought of a charity card rather than a traditional favor. I'm certainly not trying to force the idea on you, just relating my experience with it. I knew my audience, and hopefully you knew yours.  If you want to give away a candle or a coaster or a CD or some other whatnot, I certainly have no problem with it.  I might argue that your recipient might not like it or might throw it away -- but I won't argue that because it doesn't matter.  You can't please everyone.  No matter what food you serve at your wedding, someone might not like it.  No matter how great the music is, someone might not like it.

    It's fine that you don't like charity cards as a gift.  By all means, avoid it if it doesn't work for you.  My post was for those out there who feel like I do and might like hearing about the option I used.  I really wasn't posting it for those of you with an axe to grind.
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I also don't see this as asking for cash from your guests because YOU are the one paying. However, I also think the idea of saying I'm donating to a charity instead of a favor is icky. I guess at least you're letting them choose where it goes. At the same time it's like you're wanting to show off what a good person you are while also knowing that a large number of your guests aren't going to go to that website and use the card.

    You'll see that many, many of us actually say don't do favors unless their edible. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensshort+sassy
  • edited May 31
    Actually I didn't say anything to folks about donating to a charity instead of a favor. I literally just gave out charity cards (in a little bag that also included wedding-bubbles and a thank-you note). People were free to not take one or leave it behind if they opened it and didn't like it. I have no idea what the venom is about, but I've discovered that this board gets angry about wedding favors.

    As far as edible favors, lots of folks have allergies and/or don't like certain foods. Goes into can't-please-everyone again. I did think about edible favors also at one point and decided I'd do better with charity in my group.
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