Whether you’ve gone all Marie Kondo and are living a more minimalist life or just know that your kids don’t need any more toys, asking for donations instead of gifts for your kids’ birthday can have multiple benefits.

Charity donations instead of gifts

We live in an age where we all have too much stuff. Cupboards full of toys that your kids don’t even know they own and drawers full of clothes upon clothes. If you love hosting parties and sharing celebrations with friends and family, but don’t need the extra stuff perhaps ask for donations in lieu of gifts or even just that guests don’t bring gifts at all.

Not only are you reducing the amount of stuff and clutter coming into your home but you are also making a contribution to others who need it most. And if your children are involved, you are teaching them about helping others and giving them a broader view of the world they live in.

No gifts please etiquette

For some reason, we have an aversion to asking for no gifts because it is rude. Of course you don’t expect gifts when you hold a party but when was the last time you yourself went to a party and didn’t take a gift? It’s just what we do.

So in terms of no gifts please etiquette, it really just comes down to acknowledging and respecting the wishes of the host. And as a host it is about making your wishes clear to guests in a polite manner.

If you feel that asking for donations or no gifts is the right thing for you, then be confident in doing so. If anyone contacts you to ask for gift ideas, be firm in explaining why you don’t want to receive gifts on this particular occasion, reiterate your choice to donate to charity and thank them for their kindness.

When you are requesting no gifts for a child’s birthday party, make sure that the child is on board or you could have a very awkward situation on your hands come party day! Kids under the age of 2 won’t even realise if there are no presents arriving. For children 3+ who have likely been to other parties and may expect gifts, talk to them about why you are asking for no gifts and get them involved in choosing the charity.

Birthday gift donation ideas

You have a few options when it comes to birthday gift charity donations. Think outside the box and come up with something really meaningful that your guests will want to be involved in. A few ideas are:

  • nominate a charity for people to make a donation to. It could be a charity that has helped you or another friend/family member in the past or a cause that for whatever reason you hold close to your heart.
  • ask guests to make a donation on your behalf to their favourite charity
  • request guests donate a gift to the Kmart Wishing Tree, a local children’s hospital or other charity toy drive. Always check with your chosen charity in advance to confirm what they actually need
  • you could use your party as an opportunity to run a clothing or toy drive and invite guests to bring old clothes or toys to donate to charity

No gifts please wording

The trick to asking for donations instead of gifts is to get the wording right on the party invitation. You need to balance being respectful and polite, without demanding anything of your guests, but being clear that you don’t need any gifts.

You can be straight to the point or a bit more creative. Go with your own personal style and whatever you feel most comfortable with. Here are a few no gifts please wording options to consider. You can customise them to you own situation and add in your chosen charity details.

Option 1:

Your presence is present enough,
and we already have so much stuff.
But if you insist,
please pick a charity from the list.
Some people are really in need,
so together we can do a good deed!

Option 2:

At the end of the day all that matters,
is your company, fun and lots of chatter.
Please don’t bring me presents,
your money would better be spent,
On my simple birthday plead
to help other kids in real need.

Option 3:

Dear friend for my birthday I have a little task,
instead of gifts I have decided to ask
that you pick a cause you hold very dear,
and send them some money, or some of your gear.

Option 4:

Enough is enough,
we’ve got too much stuff,
so for my birthday this year,
I’d like to bring some cheer,
by giving some of my toys
to other girls and boys.
The ones who have nothing
and need a little something.
Presents I do not need
I’d rather you join me in doing a good deed.

Do you have any tips on how to ask for donations instead of birthday gifts?

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asking for charity donations instead of gifts