For couples that already have it all, the latest trend in wedding registries is not to register at all. If you and your partner feel comfortable financially and have a house already, then why not use your wedding as an opportunity to help out those in need?
More and more couples are using cash funds to raise money for nonprofits that do good work in their communities. If this sounds like you, read on to learn the best way to ask for charity donations as a wedding gift.
Set up a cash fund
A cash fund serves as an online money pool that anyone can contribute to and keeps track of how much is raised. Most couples add them to their honeymoon registries through Hitchd so that if guests find the remaining gifts too expensive for their budgets, then they can always throw in whatever amount they feel comfortable with into the cash fund. Others who know the couple but won't be invited to the wedding (think coworkers and other acquaintances) often contribute to these funds.
For charity donations, cash funds act as the collection plate where anyone can throw in whatever amount feels right for them. To create one on Hitchd, all you have to do is:
- Create an account
- Write an introduction (more on that later)
- Add a 'cash fund' gift
- Set up your final payments and go live.
Once the cash fund is live, guests can begin adding their contributions.
Describe what the charity means to you
The introduction of the cash fund should be dedicated to describing the charity and what it means to you and your partner. This is a great opportunity to share your connection to the organization and why you would like guests to pitch in and raise money for it rather than buy a gift.
Some couples focus on a local nonprofit that they volunteer with regularly. If you and your partner volunteer with an organization, describe its impact and the change you see in your community. Showing this connection will encourage guests to give because they can see how their money will do some good in your community.
You could also choose a research center that is working to cure a certain disease. Raising money for breast cancer or Alzheimer's disease research can be an impactful way to honor a loved one whom you've lost to that disease or is living with it.
Remember: If the person you wish to honor is still alive, make sure you gain permission from them first. Your friend or relative might not want to be put on the spot or they may not want to draw attention to themselves. It's a personal decision for everyone, so if a family member or friend is uncomfortable being mentioned in the cash fund introduction, respect their wishes.
Include links and research to illustrate the charity's impact
There are thousands of charities and nonprofits out there — and not all of them devote as much money or other resources to championing the causes they portend to care about. Your guests likely read about or worked with an organization that raises money for a worthy cause, but then pays its CEO an exorbitant salary.
You can use the cash fund description to add helpful links to the charity's site as well as other sources that vouch for it. You might include:
- The nonprofit's website where guests can read the mission statement and impact report for themselves.
- Positive write-ups from your local news outlets about the group's impact on the community.
- Links to sites like CharityNavigator.org, which vets thousands of nonprofits every year and discloses how much money goes to paying operating expenses versus those in need.
Adding these links will help keep guests' minds at ease and encourage them to donate.
Choose a day to make the donation and include it in your introduction
Guests want assurance that the money they give will go to the charity you've chosen. In your description, name the day that you will be closing the cash fund and sending the full amount to the organization.
Choose a day within two weeks after your wedding. Guests will expect you to go on a honeymoon or otherwise take some time after the wedding to decompress. But don't wait too long. You owe it to your guests.
Once you've completed the donation, screenshot the thank-you email or take photos if you plan to donate in person. Send these photos in a thank-you email to everyone who donated after you've dropped off the money. This proves to guests that the money was actually donated and shows how much money they raised together. If you used Hitchd for your charity donations, then our platform will send out these emails for you.
A charity fund for your wedding can make a happy day even better, knowing you and your partner are doing a little bit of good in the world. If you do your research and think about your guests first, then everyone will feel excited to be part of something bigger that makes a solid impact.
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