Does this describe you and your fiance? The two of you met either in your last year studying at uni or while you were both working your first jobs. You dated for a few years and lived separately, but over a year ago or maybe even two years, you two moved in together. Now you're both established in your careers and making more money, so you might have even bought a house together or had a child already.
Sound a bit like you and your partner? You're not alone. This scenario has become quite common as more couples wait to get married. It used to be common to hear about couples getting engaged after just one year because they wanted to move in together, but nowadays, couples date for three or even five years and live together for at least one year of that time.
So what does that make for you two when it comes time to build a wedding registry? After all, you've already replaced your second-hand appliances and home goods you bought when you got your first apartment or started uni. While there are a few big-ticket items you could use, you can't think of enough items to fill a traditional wedding registry.
Instead of asking for gifts for yourselves, why not use your wedding as an opportunity to raise money for those who have far less than you?
For couples that have it all and feel financially secure, charity drives have become the popular way to put all that gift money to good use. But if you still want to create a small wedding registry (you know, just for those odds and ends you could really use), there's an easy way to create a charity drive to support your favorite cause and add it to your registry. Here's how to get it done.
How to add a charity to your wedding registry
If you're using a platform like Hitchd, then it's easy to add a charity fund to your existing wedding registry. Follow these steps:
- Select 'add a new gift'
- Choose 'any amount' (which is a cash fund) when asked which type of gift you'd like to add
- List which organisation you want to support and describe its impact and meaningfulness to you
- Once you finish adding the rest of your gifts and finalising the introduction, set up your payment methods and launch your registry.
Now your charity fund will live alongside any other gifts you have on your registry. On Hitchd, anyone can contribute to a cash fund, so there's no minimum or maximum amount that guests can contribute. This makes everyone feel welcome no matter their budget. It also doesn't cap how much you can raise for your cause. If everyone donates, that's wonderful. If only a few people chip in, that's okay too.
Don't feel like you can't add other gifts to your registry. Some couples list a few big-ticket gifts, such as a robot vacuum and mop, alongside the charity fund. With Hitchd, the cost of these expensive items can be broken down into smaller amounts so guests can pitch in and buy those gifts for you.
You can also offer a few honeymoon-related gifts. Guests love treating the happy couple to romantic candlelight dinners and even spa packages, so if you would love a little extra cash to cover your honeymoon expenses, then these gifts get guests excited to give.
What to know about adding a charity to your wedding registry
For some guests, seeing a charity donation section of a wedding registry can be a little odd. After all, they're here to celebrate your new union, and giving money to a charitable organization does not exactly help you two start your life together.
If you're serious about donating to a nonprofit in lieu of wedding gifts, then you need to assure your guests and show them why their contribution is so meaningful. Here's what you need to know about adding a charity to your wedding registry.
Choosing an organisation with a meaningful impact to you is important
The first way to grab your guests' attention with a charity fund is to choose an organisation that is meaningful in some way to you and your spouse. This could mean:
- A nonprofit active in your community that does good work that you see regularly.
- An organisation through which the two of you volunteer for on a regular basis.
- A research or nonprofit group that seeks a cure to a disease that has affected you, your partner or your family members or friends. You might even dedicate the fund to a lost loved one if they died from diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer's.
Adding meaning to your charity fund will show guests that this fund is important to you. Although guests won't be contributing to your new life together, they'll see how the money they give will make a difference to people in your community or to loved ones dealing with certain illnesses.
You need to research your charity
Before you choose a charity — even one you know — you need to do some research and confirm the organisation's impact. Some nonprofits use a high percentage of their funding on marketing and leadership salaries, and as a result, not as much money ends up going to fight cancer or homelessness or any other worthy cause. You want guests to feel confident that their money will actually go to help someone, not just pay an exorbitant salary.
To do your research, check out CharityNavigator.org. This site tracks thousands of charities each year and looks at their operating budgets, how much of it goes into their stated cause and what leadership positions earn. You should also do a clip search of the organisation in question. Look for news articles written about the group and the people running it. If you find positive stories that show the organisation's work in action, feel free to add that link to the charity fund description. If you find negative stories about mismanagement, skip that charity and choose another.
Give your guests a delivery date
To hold yourself accountable and reassure guests that their money will definitely go to the charity and not into your pocketbook, you need to select a donation date and include it in the charity fund description. This is the day in which you will take all the money that was given and send it to the organisation in one lump sum.
Choose a day within the first two weeks after your wedding day. This gives you time to go on your honeymoon and enjoy yourself and to return to your regular schedule when you get back. Declaring their date in the charity fund description will also help you hold yourself accountable. It happens; we forget things from time to time. Set the date in your calendar and set up an alert so you avoid any distractions.
Notify everyone when the money has been donated — and provide proof
When you donate the money, keep a copy of a receipt or, if you're donating online, take a screenshot of the thank-you page. You should also take a screengrab of your online fund before you give the money. This proves how much money was raised and that exact amount was then given to the charity.
Now you need to notify every person who contributed to the fund and provide them with the proof of the donation. It's not that your guests will all be waiting suspiciously until they hear from you, but they want to celebrate. They want to see what the final donation amount came to and celebrate the contribution that your guests all created together. This is a happy occasion, so share the news through email and social media. Confirm to your guests that the money has been transferred and attach the receipt and screenshots.
Hitchd requires all donors to include their email addresses before they give money and keeps track of who gave what, so when it's time to hand over the money to the charity, you already have a list of who you need to notify and thank. Of course, you will need to write physical thank-you cards, but this immediate thank-you puts guests' minds at ease and lets them enjoy their good deed.
Choosing to host a charity fund on your wedding registry can help spread the joy of your nuptials a little further. If you feel like you have everything you've ever wanted, then this is a wonderful way to give back to your community or indirectly help a family member or loved one facing a deadly disease. The key is to get your guests excited to give, and once they see your fund on Hitchd, they'll be ready to give.
Looking for the #1 way to fund your honeymoon?
Hitchd is a new type of honeymoon registry that helps fund your adventure of a lifetime. Think of us as your very own wishing well, Kickstarter, and travel planner, all rolled into one beautiful experience.