How to Request Donations Instead of Birthday Gifts

by Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 28, 2017

Mark a birthday with a festive party. Celebrating with special friends at an entertaining gathering can make any birthday even more enjoyable. When celebrating is your main goal, the gifts may not be your prime focus. Use this opportunity to raise money for your favorite charity instead. A simple note on the invitations can request donations instead of birthday gifts so your guests know your wishes.

Contact the charity of your choice before writing the invitations. Ask whether the charity prefers monetary gifts or if there are any specific needs. For example, a homeless shelter may have a list of items it needs like clothes for children, toiletries or bedding.

Write out the invitations with the standard information -- location, date and time.

Add a note at the bottom of the invitation about the donation request. Provide the charity name and include a few suggestions if applicable. For example, you might write, “Instead of bringing a birthday gift, please bring a donation to help the Women and Children’s Shelter. The shelter needs children’s clothing, toys, toiletries and books. Thank you!”

Collect the donations at the party and bring them to the shelter as soon as possible after the party.


  • Choose a local charity if you want guests to buy items. If you choose a national or international charity, encourage monetary donations to save yourself mailing expenses.

Photo Credits

  • Mekenzie Hemstreet/Demand Media

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.