22 answers

Asking for Donations Rather than Gifts - Is It Tacky?

I will soon be celebrating a milestone birthday and my husband wants to throw me a party. I don't want friends to bring gifts; I'd rather have them make a small donation to a local charity that I support. (The charity is secular and not political, so no one would disagree with the organization's mission.) Is it tacky to ask for donations in lieu of gifts?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't like receiving requests for charitable donations in this context. If you don't want gifts then write that down on the invite. By asking/suggesting people make a donation you are implying they would have bought you a gift and you are exerting control over the details of that gift giving. Even if you say "only if you want to give something......." I don't think either is appropriate. Tacky.

1 mom found this helpful

I've gotta say, after thinking about this, I'm in the camp that thinks ANY mention f gifts for an adult birthday party is just tacky. "No gifts, please!" is about all you should say.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Actually, I have to disagree with everyone who posted before me. I think any mention of gifts of any kind on an invitation is tacky. A gift is left to the discretion of the giver and no one HAS to give something specific as a gift. If you don't want gifts but would rather donations be made, have your husband spread the word when people call to RSVP, but then graciously accept whatever you receive. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful

I think it's a lovely idea.

The phrasing is key - you want to make sure that invitees don't feel obligated to donate, but if they'd like too, here's something that could honor you.

What about something like "the best gift that you can give is your friendship, so no presents please. If you wish to make a donation, please consider XYZ charity."

Happy Birthday!

4 moms found this helpful

Nope, not at all. My sister and BIL did this with the 1st birthday of their daughter recently and everyone thought it was a really neat idea. My sister chose a feed-the-children charity so it was appropriate too.

Oh, was also gonna tell you, what they wrote on the invitation was "The only presents required is your PRESENCE, but if you feel like giving we will be accepting cash donations for Feed the Children on the day of the party. Thank You." Short, sweet and to the point.

2 moms found this helpful

Not tacky at all.

We've had a few people do it for children's birthdays. We even put the following statement in our son's invitations (4 year-old's party): "Please do not feel obligated to bring a gift - your child's friendship is the most important gift he could ever receive" - to take the pressure off people who simply aren't in the financial position to get one.

But, another friend put something on her daughter's invitation that said, "No gifts please. If you'd like to make a donation in her name to the Hamilton County Humane Society, here are some of the items they're requesting". I LOVED IT!

I personally need nothing - only time with the people most important to me. I wish our culture would stop being so focused on gifts and more focused on each other.

GOOD FOR YOU! And, Happy Birthday!

1 mom found this helpful

I would prefer everyone have that attitude!

1 mom found this helpful

At most, I would put "no gifts, please". Any mention of gifts on an invitation is considered tacky. If someone asks your husband what to get you, he can let them know about the charity you like. I don't think people feel as obligated to get gifts for an adult birthday party as they do for a kid's party, anyway.

1 mom found this helpful

No. It would be tacky if you asked for cash. But if you say on the invite: Please, no gifts. People who wish to contribute can make a donation to ......... Or something like that.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't like receiving requests for charitable donations in this context. If you don't want gifts then write that down on the invite. By asking/suggesting people make a donation you are implying they would have bought you a gift and you are exerting control over the details of that gift giving. Even if you say "only if you want to give something......." I don't think either is appropriate. Tacky.

1 mom found this helpful

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