Charities & Gift Registries- a match made in heaven??

Call me a traditionalist, but I’ve always enjoyed the idea of wedding gifts helping the recently married to build a new home and life together. There is something romantic about telling your children “this is the vase that so and so got us for our wedding day” and “this is the first set of dishes that your father and I had after our wedding, given to us by aunt such and such!”

In addition, having been a guest at many weddings, I can appreciate a well thought out registry that provides guidance as to what types of gifts the couple would enjoy.

So although we wanted to impart the message to our guests that gifts were NOT required (the gift of their presence or happy thoughts are enough for us!) we also wanted to provide a few gift registries should our guests wish to contribute to our new life together.

In addition to gift registries, we also wanted to give our guests a way to contribute donations to charity as a gift for our wedding. Because although I would *love* a new set of dishes, I honestly would love even more to help those less fortunate then ourselves.

Enter the “I Do Foundation”. This ingenous nonprofit created a way for gift registries to “give back”. By creating wedding registries at stores which partner with the I Do Foundation up to 10% of gift purchases are donated to the charity of your choice! Brilliant.

The I Do Foundation works is similar to the site ebates and the process is pretty easy to use once you get a hang of it….but it can be a bit complicated at first. Here are the basics:

1. Set up an account with the I Do Foundation.
2. Choose 1 or more charities which you would like to direct donations to.
3. Search through the I Do Foundation’s list of  partner stores; if you have registered at any of the stores OR plan to create registries at certain places, select them and add them to your I Do Foundation account. (For example, we are registered at Target & Macys, which are partner stores.)
4. The I Do Foundation will then create a custom wedding registry website for you.
5. Direct your guests to this site for purchasing gifts (we did this by providing a link on our wedding website).

Our wedding registry site through the I Do Foundation. Note: background is not customizable. That said, I do like the easy layout of this site!

5. When guests click on a store link from your wedding registry site, the I Do Foundation tracks their shopping trip and records the final purchase cost of the items they buy from your registry. A percentage of the money spent on that shopping trip then is donated to charity.

This is the page you will see if you click on "registries" from the top menu. Fairly straightforward, right?

Has anyone else used a site similar to this to incorporate charities into your gift registry? And- an even bigger question!- what are your thoughts on gift registrys: good, bad or ugly?

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About annlili

ecofreak. wino. explorer. small feet.
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