When Giving a Donation to Charity as Gift

Updated on June 02, 2019
M.G. asks from Portland, ME
8 answers

Hi everyone

My child was invited to birthday and they requested no gifts, instead a donation could be made to an organization.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to donate to the organization that I can find.

There's no link provided on the invitation, and no spot on the org's website. The director of the organization has not gotten back to me. It's not a charity.

At this point, I'm just leaving it for now and hoping I'll hear back from the director.

When I send my child to the party, do I send a card? Or do they skip all that altogether typically in these cases? I'm just not very familiar. I think we've only been to one before where we donated to an animal shelter, and that was a long time ago.


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So What Happened?

Thanks so far for the answers :)

I think what I'm going to do is just put the money in the card, and let the mom look after the donation (making reference to it somehow). *and choc bar (good idea)

Checked and this is fine.

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on


There isn't an organization out there that doesn't have an easy way for someone to give them money!!! sooooo.,...I'm thinking - nope.

I would give a card to the child wishing them a happy birthday and donating to a charity in their name - and tell them the charity you donated to.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Boston on

Sounds like poor planning on the part of the birthday child's parents. It's not a charity, so what is it? It doesn't accept donations, so exactly how much investigation did the parent do?

Is the party this weekend? I'd either send my child with a card and maybe $10 inside, and leave it to the family to donate that cash or not. You could include a note saying there's no way to donate. I'm assuming you have already considered sending a check and that you're not insisting on an on-line donation only.

My big concern though, is that this is somehow not a legit organization and therefore you wouldn't want to support it, or it's a municipal agency funded somehow by public dollars which is not used to getting (and perhaps not able to accept/process) donations. Without more answers, it's hard to guess how to advise you.

If the party is not this weekend, you can wait for the organization to contact you, or you can contact the family and ask for more directions on how to contribute. But if they tell you, then you kind of have to do it, and I think it's important to find out what the group does before you part with your money.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It kind of raises a rd flag to me if it is not a "real charity". Anytime donations are requested, there should be a link and you should get a receipt for your tax purposes.

I guess you could ask the parent about the link as it would likely be confusing to other guests as well.

When my husband died, we did say in lieu of flowers, donations to the TX Scottish Rite Children's Hospital and a link was provided in the obit. For several months afterwards, I received notifications of names and addresses (not $$ amounts) of people who donated in his name so I could properly send a thank you note.

I think if you simply send a birthday card to the party you are just fine.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Wow - something seems "off" about this donation request.

You say it's "not a charity". So I am not sure how much of their finances are made public. I would be wary of giving money to any organization for which I could not determine percentage of money raised to spend on organizational overhead, and similar financial details.

I would say, just hand-deliver a card containing cash.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Can't you just call or email the parent who sent the invite and ask? I'm sure you're not the only one who's confused by the lack of a link. Just respond to whatever phone or email they gave you to rsvp if you don't have the number.
We attended a few of these kinds of parties over the years, and yes we still gave a card, with a note inside re our gift and we usually stuck a candy bar or lollipop or something festive like that in or on the envelope as well.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Donating should be easy and straight forward.
If it's not then the cause du jour gets nothing from me.
Just sending a birthday card (with no mention of the charity) is fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

red flags when a donation is requested but no easy way to donate. donating has never in history been easier than it is today.

but since the main thrust here is the child's birthday, i'd just send a card with a $20 inside and let them figure it out. add a candy bar.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from New London on

Hi M.--
I would definitely give a Birthday card...along with a couple chocolate bars! When purchasing choc bars, please seek out Endangered Species Chocolate bars! See chocolatebar.com to find out where you can find the bars near you. I say this because every time u buy one of these bars----The company keeps track and donates 10 percent of their net profits to organizations who work for animals, habitats, etc....Also, read about Fair Trade on the website!

Also, you can have your child go on therainforestsite.greatergood.com and click the green rectangle . It's free and takes few seconds! Your child can write in the B-Day card that s/he clicked in honor of the B-Day ! ( I click every SINGLE DAY)! The sponsors help to save a few feet of the rainforest when u click.

1 mom found this helpful
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