28 answers

How Do You Politely Ask for Money Instead of Physical Gift for a Birthday Party?

Hi, mamas. My daughter's birthday is approaching--sh'e turning 4. We are excited and have a fun theme planned for the party. We'll be inviting around 20-25 kids/families we know. Here's the dilemna: Is there a proper way to let people know we would prefer money or gift cards? Don't get me wrong, I don't expect anything, and that's not why we are having the party! But I know my relatives and friends will start asking what our daughter needs/wants, and the truth is, we are over-run with clothes and toys. Between things I bought on sale last year, Christmas, 4 sets of grandparents spoiling her, etc.....this child is SET. There's no more space in her bedroom or play area! (And that's even after a garage sale/give-away pile). The only thing we could really use for her is help to pay for swim lessons and a few enrichment camps this summer (I find art/music lessons, etc to be more valuable than toys anyway!). Is that too rude to mention to guests we invite? I don't want to offend anybody, but we really don' need any material things this year. Thanks in advance for your input!

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I appreciate the many responses from moms who understood where I was coming from! The thing with our group of family and friends is that they ALWAYS ask what she wants for a gift, and in the past, I have always tried to think of a specific, tangible thing to tell each person. So I was just trying to figure out how to work the response when they ask this year. I never assume that anyone has to get her anything! I believe I said that in my original question even. We are NOT materialistic people! And like us, many of our friends are tight on funds because of the ecomony, but for the friends and relatives who are doing well, I know that when they ask, they are wanting to really give her something she wants or uses. So I want to be honest, that's all. Thanks again for all your responses...I think I will go with "no gifts necessary" on the E-vite and then handle questions that arise on an individual basis.

Featured Answers

There is no polite way to ask for money as a gift. It's exceptionally rude and presumptuous.

The best way to "ask" for money is if the gift-givers approach you and ask "So, Susie's birthday is coming up - what might she like for her birthday?" and THEN you can ask for cash gifts. They're still not required to give that as a gift though.

2 moms found this helpful

You can't tell people what to give ... that's rude. However, if they ask for ideas, you could say something like, "Daughter just loves to go shopping, so a small gift card would be fun for her." Another thought is to ask people to make a donation to a charity in her name, since it sounds like you've been very fortunate and she's well stocked with toys and clothes. You can't really expect people to want to pay for special activities like swim lessons, unless perhaps it's a grandparent.

2 moms found this helpful

I always frown upon being told what to give, however, as a mom I understand. Try saying "gift cards optional" at the bottom of the invite. Or even being honest " in lieu of gifts we are trying to send baby to swim lessons! Any monetary contributions are welcomed!"

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Rude Rude Rude....I don't care what the situation is. If you ask for a specific gift such as money than you are missing the whole point of someone giving you a gift and you are implying that you expect a gift at all. Let people get what they want. You have three options: use it, donate it, or regift it.

*Edited* I was not in any way trying to attack you. You asked in your headline---"how to politely ask for money in place of physical gifts?" It is my personal opinion that there is NO polite way to do any such thing, recommending any gift is assuming you are getting one. I don't think I misunderstood you, I just disagree with what you are trying to do. "Your gift is present enough" on the invite would be as far as I would take it. I don't agree with putting something about gift cards or soliciting money towards your child's activities. I think it is tacky period. If grandma call and asks, I think you say that any gift is appreciated and leave it at that. Again this is all just my opinion, and if you didn't want different opinions, then don't ask.

5 moms found this helpful

FIRST: I am sorry you are getting so slammed here but it must be something you need to hear....

The thought of asking for money when you are throwing a birthday party (or ANY party, wedding) for your child is TACKY. You are not hosting a fundraiser!

If you can't afford the party, DON"T THROW IT. I would never go to a party where $$ was requested....plain no no tacky in my book.

At our parties, I say no gifts please. A couple of times, I asked people to bring something for the animal shelter if they wanted to bring something and thenwe delivered the goods to the shelter. Another time was donating for the food pantry and we delivered that as well.

Parties are not supposed to be given to received gifts. PLEASE do not do this.

4 moms found this helpful

If she already has enough, then tell people "No gifts, please". I wouldn't mention gift cards, money or ask people to pay for my kids lessons. I, too, agree that lessons are more important than toys, but that's something that shouldn't be expected from others. Your family will need to pay for these yourself. Or, if you have that kind of relationship with your relatives, ask them. But not your child's friends.

4 moms found this helpful

I am in the same boat with my daughter...but I couldn't possibly ask for money instead of toys. My parents asked what to get her and I said they could contribute to her college fund or do savings bonds if they liked...but that's my parents and felt totally comfy letting them know. But for friends or other relatives...it would be very rude to say bring money instead of toys/clothes.

I would say just tell them no gifts necessary. I'm sure some people may still show up with gifts and then some may get that money would be better appreciated.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm in the "you can't ask for cash" camp. My son received an invitation with "Cash in lieu of gifts is appreciated as ---- is saving up for a Nintendo DS." I let my son go to the party, even though I was quite turned-off. I bought him a yo-yo and put $5 in a card. The yo-yo was the only gift he received.

When my son wanted drum lessons but I couldn't afford them, I let people know that a gift certificate at the music store giving them would be great. I would ask the camps and swim place if they sell gift certificates and then maybe have on the invitation, "Don't know what to get Suzie? She could always use certificates towards her swim lessons and ________ camp." It also doesn't hurt to start a college fund and let folks know that they can contribute towards that too.

Personally, I am not about the "stuff" you get in life. I'm about experiences that you can take with you through life. So I think it's great that you're providing your kids with wonderful experiences.

Hope the party is a blast.

2 moms found this helpful

You cannot ask for any gift, monetary or otherwise, without being rude. To assume that one will bring gifts, and to assume that they will be unneeded/unwanted items at that, is rude, and is underestimating your loved ones.

We too are drowning in toys and games, but I wouldn't take from my children those moments of receiving those terribly thoughtful gifts, or the handmade ones, or the unbelievably useful ones or even the cash/gift card ones that showed them how much their friends and family love them and think about them. Also, I don't want to take that joy away from family members that feel as though they stay closer to nieces, nephews and grandchildren by giving them a picture to remember them by, or a book that they can share together, or seashells from a memorable trip, or anything else that they think is 'just right'. It truly is the thought that counts.

Also, we have had friends come to birthday parties without gifts, and I wasTHRILLED (and relieved!!) that my kids hardly noticed and really didn't care. They really were happy to have their friends celebrate with them! It truly is a gift in and of itself.

I hope she has the happiest birthday ever, no matter what she recieves!

2 moms found this helpful

All I have to say is WOW! I am not at all wowed my your questioned I am wowed at the respones you have recieved. I read your post and I read about half of the respones and the entire time I was asking myself did these people even read her post before responding.

Anyway, I felt the same way about my son's birthday last year. I would never assume or expect someone to buy him a present. What I did was put on the bottom of his invitations "no presents needed" Please join us for a day of fun and games.

Then when actual family members still wanted to know what he wanted I let them know of all the future activities that my son would like to attend and he either recieved checks, or gift cards for those activies. For example my sister bought him a membership for the zoo. This year I will let everone know that he would like a membership to legoland if he gets it then awesome if not then I will try to find a way to budget for it myself.

I hope that you have not let some of these posts upset you. I hope your daughter has/had a wonderful birthday.

2 moms found this helpful

You can't tell people what to give ... that's rude. However, if they ask for ideas, you could say something like, "Daughter just loves to go shopping, so a small gift card would be fun for her." Another thought is to ask people to make a donation to a charity in her name, since it sounds like you've been very fortunate and she's well stocked with toys and clothes. You can't really expect people to want to pay for special activities like swim lessons, unless perhaps it's a grandparent.

2 moms found this helpful

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