For a certain type of couple, the idea of asking other people to buy them presents is a little off-putting. Wedding registries are useful for your wedding guests–they may not know you well enough to get something you truly want or need, but want to help you celebrate your special day. If you really don’t want to receive gifts, you can still help your guests channel their goodwill by registering for charitable donations. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Changing the Present
You can create a charitable wedding registry on Changing the Present, then send out a notification to everyone on your email guest list to let them know how to give. The donations you receive are all logged so you can send out thank-you notes, and the organizations get the same amount of funds that they would get if your guests donated straight to their individual websites. Changing the Present also issues receipts for their donations, which are tax-deductible.
Wedding juggernaut The Knot created Crowdrise, which is a site that combines crowdfunding with charitable donations to make it easier for nonprofits to raise money. Their wedding registry allows you to create a charitable giving goal your guests can give to meet. Then it displays the progress made so far, much like Kickstarter or Indiegogo does. It adds an aspirational hook to keep guests giving to push the numbers over-the-top.
The I Do Foundation
One of the founding members of the charity registry movement, the I Do Foundation still has some of the best functionality and ease-of-use. You can create a custom registry with multiple organizations your guests can donate to, along with a note explaining your choices. The I Do Foundation also can display a traditional registry on your wedding website alongside the charitable one, so your guests can decide how they’d like to honor you. You can even find out where to buy the best sparklers for a wedding so that the guests that choose a charity option can have some special recognition during your wedding reception.
If you’re not sure which charities you would like your guests to donate to, consider pointing them at Tisbest. They issue “charity gift cards” which the recipient can redeem to support one of over 300 charities who have registered with the site. You can split the gift cards between charities in over a dozen categories.
Zankyou is an all-in-one solution for wedding registries: you can create a traditional registry, set up a fund for your honeymoon or home down payment, and have charitable donation options as well. They allow transfers from your wedding fund into a number of charitable organizations, so you can use cash gifts from your guests for charitable giving as well.
No one will judge you for having a traditional wedding registry. It’s your day, after all, and one of the few times in your adult life where you can rightfully expect to be showered in gifts. But if you’re inclined against wedding registries, these websites can make it easy for your guests to give on your behalf. Instead of returning toasters and blenders after your wedding, you’ll enjoy the feeling that you’ve put your guests’ goodwill to good use in the world.