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Donation as Favor

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KCI Posts : 150 Registered: 3/30/09
Donation as Favor
Posted: Jul 13, 2010 9:34 AM

I realize favors are a relatively new thing in the wedding world and that they're not technically required. I was wondering what people thought of giving a donation to a charity in their guest's honor in lieu of a tangible favor. My aunt recently passed away from breast cancer and my cousin is doing a donation to Susan G Komen instead of a tangible favor. I like the idea because it's meaningful for our family. I was just curious what other people thought about the overall idea of donations as favors.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Jul 13, 2010 9:55 AM Go to message in response to: KCI

Dear KCH,

Using donations as favors is one of those really good ideas that actually can backfire.

"Here, I have a present for you. Um, no I don't. I'm taking the present I have for you back and donating the money to a good cause."

"Oh, gee, thanks, um, I think."

If you don't want to give out favors, then don't. Fine, great, nothing wrong with that.

But don't give out a favor, then take it back. In my opinion, that's just weird.

What to do, instead?

Pink bracelets. There are lots of breast cancer groups that sell the little pink rubber bracelets as a fund raiser. Buy a bunch of the pink bracelets, thus donating to the cause, then give the pink bracelets out as favors.

You raise awareness, you give the guest a tangible favor and your favor budget goes to the good cause.

Almost all charities have some kind of fund raiser. Our homeless shelter, for example, sells little enamel pins in the shapes of houses. If you want to promote a good cause, then see if you can find some kind of inexpensive item the charity sells, get that, and use it as a favor.



MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Jul 13, 2010 10:25 AM Go to message in response to: KCI

I totally agree with Aunt. Even when the favor is a donation, I still want something tangible.

One wedding I went to did a donation to the American Heart Association. Each guest got a little chocolate heart, and a note stating that a donation was made. Worked fine for me.

But just the notification of a donation leaves me cold.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Jul 13, 2010 1:20 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

dear MsD,

" Each guest got a little chocolate heart, and a note stating that a donation was made. Worked fine for me. "

Yep, that would work for me, too.

I think of favors as something to bring back to the children. A couple of chocolate hearts would have been perfect for our kids, greedy little eaters that they were.



KCI Posts : 150 Registered: 3/30/09
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Jul 13, 2010 1:30 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thanks AOTB. I understand exactly what you're saying. I like the idea of finding something that you can buy that is a donation but is a tangible gift for the guests at the same time. Hadn't really thought of that.

Thanks for the input!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Jul 13, 2010 2:11 PM Go to message in response to: KCI

Dear KCH,

It works the same for people who want to receive charity donations in lieu of gifts, or for people who want to give charity donations.

"Here's a wedding gift for you. Um, no, I'm not actually giving you a gift but donated in your name."

"Well, um, thanks."

It's the non-gift.

If the couple really feels strongly about giving to a good cause, they can collect any checks given as gifts, deposit the checks in their own account, then write one large check to the good cause. Once the cash in in their hands, they can do whatever they want with it.

The thank-you note should be a bit vague:

"Thanks you for your generous gift. We have decided to bank the money, thinking of our future."

"Future" can mean the future of the planet, future of breast cancer research, etc. And they did "bank" the money, even if only briefly.


hilltopfitz1235 Posts : 2 Registered: 12/21/09
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 2:17 PM Go to message in response to: KCI

I suppose I understand where all of these responses are coming from.

I guess I feel that if I go to a wedding and don't get a favor I'm not highly insulted or upset at the couple.

I'm happy to be there to celebrate their day.

I'm getting married next June and my fiance and I are donating money to the Susan G. Komen for the cure.

Both of our mothers are breast cancer survivors. Sure, I could get little pink bracelets to hand out but what is the liklihood that people would actually a. keep them and b. wear them.

I believe in doing what makes you happy.

Best of luck to all.


Feisty4942 Posts : 6 Registered: 7/12/10
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 2:17 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Personally, I think it's a great idea if you have a cause close to you. My dad has a traumatic brain injury. As a result, he's severely impaired. He'll still be at the wedding but since he can't walk or talk, he won't be able to walk me down the aisle, dance with me, or give a toast. We're donating money in everyone's name to the Traumatic Brain Injury Association. They don't really give out ribbons or anything for brain injury, so we can't really do something like that. Besides, I sort of feel like the people we're sharing this day with will see how much impact brain injuries can have on people's lives, and they won't miss having a piece of chocolate.

If you have something you strongly believe in that is meaningful to you as a couple, I think this is a great alternative to an aspect of your wedding people usually quickly forget about.



beckyjal Posts : 1 Registered: 2/18/10
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 4:07 PM Go to message in response to: KCI

I think it is a great idea ! We are doing it for our wedding i mean coime on how many wedding favors do people really keep. What we are doing is making a donation to our cause in all of our guests name then i am having all the info printed out and i am goign to present it like a scroll with a ribbon around it and place one at each seat.



NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 4:38 PM Go to message in response to: hilltopfitz1235

"Sure, I could get little pink bracelets to hand out but what is the liklihood that people would actually a. keep them and b. wear them."

Unfortunately that is true for 99.9% of ALL wedding favors.

I like the idea of a donation and maybe some candy if you really want to give something out. It's not a requirement but its usually a nice gesture. We went to a wedding once where they gave a donation to some charity and that was nice and all. But I know they spent A LOT on their wedding..you can't give me a piece of chocolate!

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basodie Posts : 6 Registered: 8/18/10
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 9:27 PM Go to message in response to: KCI

I think the donation is a super idea, but I don't think it really fits with the concept of a favor.

Mass gifts are always tough, but the idea of favors is to (try to) please your guests. But I have not met one couple doing donations for favors who chose the charity based on their guests rather than themselves/a family member. Frankly, that's not a gift to a guest, know what I mean? I would rather get no gift than a gift that is really for someone else.

I would skip the favors (they're not required) but make the donation and find another way to make it part of your wedding. Perhaps you could put it in the program ("In honor of XYZ, the couple have made a donation to ABC to mark the occasion of their wedding") or with a photo of the mom/aunt on a table off to one side.

Edited to add: Plus if you actually do the donation in someone's name, the charity may never leave them alone with mail/calls. What if it were a charity the guest had a low opinion of for some reason! It would be an anti-gift.



auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 11:35 PM Go to message in response to: beckyjal

Dear Becky,

"We are doing it for our wedding i mean coime on how many wedding favors do people really keep. "

People EAT edible favors, or give them to the kids when they get home.



auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 11:37 PM Go to message in response to: hilltopfitz1235

Dear Hill,

"Sure, I could get little pink bracelets to hand out but what is the liklihood that people would actually a. keep them and b. wear them."

I got a pink bracelet at a funeral for someone who died of breast cancer, and yes, I did keep it and did wear it.

It's in my bathroom right now. I'll put it on tomorrow, as I usually do.


Feisty4942 Posts : 6 Registered: 7/12/10
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 11:50 PM Go to message in response to: basodie

I'm pretty sure you don't necessarily have to give your guests' names to the charity. What we're doing is taking whatever we would spend on favors and donating that in a lump sum to the charity. Then we're making cards to put at each place setting explaining that in lieu of a gift, we have donated money to charity in their honor. It's not like we're passing contact information out without people's consent.


Feisty4942 Posts : 6 Registered: 7/12/10
Re: Donation as Favor
Posted: Aug 18, 2010 11:58 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

That's great that you make use of it, but you can't say most male wedding guests will be wearing these bracelets months after a wedding. If you want people to respect the fact that you wear a bracelet in memory of a friend, then you should respect that people give donations instead of favor in honor of their loved ones. It's a personal thing. If it's a "faux pas" to give money to honor my dad instead of purchasing personalized M&Ms, then I guess I'm just a tacky bride. Hopefully, I won't be inviting selfish guests who will be in a huff because I did something I consider worthwhile instead of spending money on something most people won't really remember.

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