Planning your wedding can be stressful, especially when it comes to what you would like to receive from guests in terms of gifts…

You might already have all the kitchen gadgets and other home necessities you need, which can make it difficult to set guidelines for gift giving. But to remedy this, you could choose a charity for your guests to donate to in lieu of a gift.

If you would like your guests to donate to a non-profit, you can follow some simple steps to choose the right one.

After all, you want the charity to reflect the values of both you and your soon-to-be-spouse as well as be easy and user-friendly for cash or online donations.

Here are some tips for choosing a charity for your wedding gift donations

Look for a cause you are both passionate about

A simple but effective way to start your charity-choosing journey is to choose a cause that you are both passionate about. This way, the donations will mean more to everyone involved, and giving with intent makes it more meaningful for the charity itself.

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For example, you might both be animal lovers and want to use the money to help your local shelter to build a new wing for newly rescued animals.

Or you might both be passionate about helping pregnant women with accessing treatment for HIV. Look at what you both value, and the causes that you both feel need some help in order to find the perfect charity for your guests to donate to.

Be sure that you list the reasons why this charity is so meaningful to you both, so that your guests understand why they are being asked to donate to a charity rather than give you a gift

Ask for suggestions from family members

If you and your fiancé simply cannot decide on one charity that you both want people to donate to, you could ask for suggestions from your family members. For example, your grandmother might feel that donating to a children’s home is the best course of action because she has memories of a friend who lived in one. Your young cousin might suggest Doctors Without Borders because they follow disaster relief news.

Whatever non-profit organisation suggestions you receive, it is important to consider them all carefully. Look for a common thread in the answers and use this to help guide your decision. You might find that one suggestion stands out and is the best option for you, or you could choose a theme so that guests do not feel too restricted.

Look for a charity that offers a donation form or donation page online for guests who might not be attending but who still want to contribute.

Opt for anonymous donations

Now, this might seem a little bit out of the box, but some of your guests might not feel comfortable with giving their details to a charity or non-profit they are unfamiliar with. If this is the case, you should ask the charity if donations can be anonymous so that your guests can help you to raise money for this cause without having to worry about their details being captured if they are uncomfortable with this.

Not all your guests will feel this way, but it is important to cater to those who do. An anonymous donation will also make those who cannot give as much as others feel more comfortable with the idea.

You could also choose to donate the funds under your and your partner’s names, as this will protect the identity of everyone. If you decide to use this route, then ask for donations on your RSVP cards so you will receive the donations in time for your wedding.

Ask what charities are looking for

If you are not set on monetary donations but will accept donations of food, blankets and so forth, then it is best to ask your chosen charity exactly what they are looking for. If you have chosen an animal shelter, ask if they would prefer a certain brand of dog or cat food or if they need any blankets. For a home or shelter, ask what they need most, such as gently-used clothes or canned goods.

Once you have a list of what various charities are looking for, you can work towards choosing one for your guests to donate to. It might be easier to opt for a certain charity based on what your guests can donate, or based on the cause that the majority of your guests care the most about.

You will need to create a list of donations for your guests and send it out with the invitations so that everyone knows what to bring to your big day.