Charitable giving for your wedding is one of my favorite things. By adding an option to donate to a cause on your registry you are sharing with your guests something you care deeply about. And from your thoughtfulness you can raise a lot of money for someone in need. And I know you may not have needed that third crockpot anyways but remember to keep the spirit of giving back throughout the process. Encourage your guests to give by showing them how important the work is that your cause is doing. If your budget allows, maybe you can even match donations up to a certain amount. Or look into company matching at your job to make an even greater impact. First step though is choosing your charity.
01// Choose your cause
Let’s just say this now. There are thousands upon thousands of amazing charities, nonprofits, NGOs and other organizations out there doing wonderful, important things for the world. And it will feel impossible to choose just one (or two or three). I’ve been there, when narrowing in on the cause partnerships I wanted to form for Citizen Photography. Your heart will want to give in abundance but your head will help guide you to what is practical and impactful. Just don’t lose sight that you are a freaking ray of sunshine and every bit of exposure to your cause and dollars sent to your charity will make a difference.
So to begin let’s choose a cause. I recommend asking yourself what is it you want to accomplish and who do you want to serve. What issues are you most passionate about. If you or someone you know have been affected by serious illnesses, consider supporting research for a cure. If you are an animal lover, choose a local shelter. Love the environment? Choose a group cleaning up the oceans for example. Is it foster children, education, help for new mothers? Obviously I could continue to list question after question here with examples, but truthfully the point is to choose a cause that you care deeply about.
02// Choose your charity
Now that you know your cause, do some searching online to find a group in your community making strides in this area either locally or globally. Read their website to learn about their mission, team, and impact. It’s important you believe the world is better because of them and their work. You also want to be able to answer questions and share insights to your guests so that they feel as excited to give as you are. Most of a charity's funds should be spent on their programs and services, but obviously there are always operating costs to consider, so you can use a site like CharityNavigator to due your due diligence and see where your donations will really go.
03// Choose your registry
Some great wedding registry sites that include fundraising options to add to housewares and other cash are Blueprint Registry, The Good Beginning and Thankful Registry.
But my personal favorite is by CrowdRise Wedding Registry with the Knot which is purely for donations. I just like the inspiration of all the other wedding couples out there using their wedding for charitable giving.
There are definitely other sites out there so just do a quick search and find the one that works best for you.
04// Share with your guests
It’s time to share with your guests. Open up and tell them why you chose this charity and how it personally relates to you and your husband or wife-to-be. Give them all the feels through sharing your story and invite them to help make your wedding day even more special by giving to this cause. If you have a specific goal in mind, share that. If you plan to match donations or contribute yourself through your wedding planning, share that. The dollar figure you raise is a really important goal but don’t forget about the exposure you are giving to this important cause and charity. By sharing with your guests that’s 100+ more people in the world that know about them. And maybe they won’t be able to give now, but come GivingTuesday they’ll remember your organization again. So share, share, share!
Oh and one last thing! Don’t forget to say thank you to everyone that donates, keep them updated on the impact your wedding made and then give yourself a big ol’ high five because you and your partner have done a truly amazing, generous, selfless thing and we need so much more of that in the world.