Registry and Gift Forum

Gifts to Charity in lieu of wedding presents

This is our second marriage and our home is all set up.  We're both consummate volunteers and spend much of our non-working time with non-profit groups.  We'd like to say that we will use cash gifts from guests (assuming people bring gifts - no requirement!) to make donations to certain charities that are important to us.  The wording I have so far is:  In lieu of gifts, we will be making donations to area non-profit organizations that are important to us.  Thank you!   Then we list the 3 organizations.    This has proven incredibly difficult to write and ensure we are conveying the right message.  Does anyone have experience with this?  Help?  Writers out there?  Could really use some guidance.  Thanks in advance! 

Re: Gifts to Charity in lieu of wedding presents

  • You're having a hard time putting it in writing because there's not a polite way to write it. Even if you aren't keeping it, it comes down to asking for money. 

    Don't register and don't accept any showers. Don't mention gifts to anyone, but when people ask, tell them that you don't need anything, but if they really insist you'd prefer they make a donation in your name to one of your charitable organizations. Then change the subject. You're free to donate any gifts you do receive to your charities, but there's really no reason to share that info with your guests. 

    Also, ditto PP. Charities can be tricky with people. These are charities that you volunteer with and are obviously passionate about, but not everyone will want to fund them. Maybe they disagree with the mission or how the charity itself is run (e.g. how much of the budget goes to operating costs vs. how much to what they are trying to accomplish.) Maybe they just care more about another program. My uncle would never donate to SPCA or Humane Society, because in his words, we shouldn't be focused on animals when there are people starving to death. Instead of trying to get them to donate to your charities, it's better to just quietly donate anything given to you. 
    So much this.   There are so many charities out there that are divisive but then those that may not appear divisive can be ones that people report having an anecdotal bad taste.  

    If people give gifts you're welcome to quietly donate them but please don't ask for donations in lieu of gifts.   
  • Yep, what the PPs said. Also, it is never okay to tout your own generosity. I know that's not what you were going for, but it's never cool to mention when you've donated anything to charity, especially when what you donated came to you as a gift.

    Just don't register and give anything you like to the charities you like. It's also perfectly okay to keep the cash and upgrade your toaster or whatever. Just write thank you notes!
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