4 Tips and Tricks for Encouraging Donations as Wedding Gifts

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How many times have you agonized for hours over what to get someone as a gift, let alone as a wedding gift? Sure, registries exist for a reason, but sometimes things just don’t really click, and the last thing you want is to be remembered as is that person who flopped on their gift or, even worse, didn’t end up getting them anything. Or let’s turn this around. You’re getting married and don’t know the first thing about setting up your registry. Well, first things first, Loverly can help you out with that. But let’s be honest, it’s 2020, and it’s time to consider what we really want to do with our money. Now, this is by no means to shame anyone who receives material or financial gifts for their wedding — everyone has different needs! However, if you are getting married and find yourself in a position where you don’t really need anything and would prefer to do something different with your money, Loverly is here to help you out!
One of the big tenets of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests has been to think about doing more with your dollar and finding ways to monetarily support Black communities. Spending money at Black businesses or donating to Black organizations is one of the easiest ways to make a difference; it doesn’t require you to leave your house, to make any public statements, or to make any phone calls. However, this idea of meaningful and impactful donations extends far past the Black Lives Matter movement. Regularly donating and practicing philanthropy in any way that you can is a great habit to remain engaged in causes that you care about and feeling connected to communities you hope to support. So here are a few tips to get you started with donating and setting up your own pathway to encouraging donations as wedding gifts. 

1. Do Your Research

Like with any financial action, donations require a certain amount of research and thought. Besides simply considering how a specific organization processes donations and what they really do with the money, also be sure to reflect on what youreally want to impact. There are tons of worthy causes out there, so make sure to take the time and energy to find one that you really connect with. No charity organization is better than another, so it really is about exploring your options and finding a group that you’re truly passionate about supporting. Once you’ve selected a group (or two!) that you want to encourage donations to, make sure you do even more research so that you can be an advocate for their work and answer any questions that your friends and family might have about their mission and why you chose to support them.

2. Understand That Every Dollar Counts

When it comes to donations, there really is no amount too large or too small. These organizations often run solely on the generosity of donors, so every dollar truly does count in allowing them to continue to function. However, donating can feel really intimidating to some. You may be surprised at the aunt who wanted to buy you a $200 vacuum cleaner balking at the idea of pledging $50 to a charity of your choice. Be willing to have the difficult conversations and sell why this is more important to you than a material possession. That being said, everyone has a different financial situation, and some friends or family members may be grateful for the opportunity to pick their own amount rather than having to scramble for the cheapest item on your registry. One of the great reasons to set your desired wedding gifts as donations is that weddings traditionally have a gift aspect, so you don’t have to feel like you’re obligating people to spend extra money. In the end, every dollar collected will be contributed to a cause you care about, and that’s what matters.

3. Talk It Up

Once you and your partner have decided to coordinate donations to a cause or two in lieu of accepting wedding gifts, spread the word! No one can know unless you tell them. Make a concerted effort to inform others why you feel passionate about these causes and how you believe financial contributions will further their work. And then keep talking! Non-profit and charity organizations need us to advocate for them and promote them in our personal circles, so be a good spokesperson and representative. This is where your research and willingness to engage comes in. You may not be able to convince everyone what you’re doing is smart/right/traditional, but these are people who love and care about you; if you can convince them that this is what makes you happy and fulfilled, many of them will get on board. 

4. Continue to Engage (And Encourage Others to Do The Same)

Donations are a wonderful way to redirect funds to really make a difference somewhere. However, you don’t have to stop there. As stated above, lots of these missions only exist because people continue to support both financially and in other ways. If it’s a local foundation, see if you can donate your time or connect with the director to see what else they might need. For national groups, connect with them on social media to stay up-to-date with current projects and goals. Set a realistic budget that includes philanthropic efforts in it with the rest of your monthly expenses. Maybe you can make your wedding anniversary a fundraising effort every year to update family and friends on the mission and encourage them to stay involved as well. It doesn’t matter how you give, what matters most is that we are all banding together to take care of each other and making the world a better place. 
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Freelance writer.
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