Giving to Charity on your Special Days: How to Make a Difference

Key Takeaways:

  • When you donate to charity while you celebrate with guests, you help minimise wastage. Plus, you feel immense joy from the good deed on your big day.
  • A gift registry is a space that will contain a list of foundations that you’d like your guests to donate to. Thereby, both you and your guests can feel joy and take pride in giving to charity.
  • You can add different causes to your gift registry like animal rights groups, mental health charities, old-age groups, etc.

The new year is upon us! It’s 2022, and as we welcome the new year, let’s start things on a good note by giving back to society. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc throughout the world, and there are so many people who have lost their lives, their livelihood, and almost everything.

While the pandemic has affected the wedding industry, let’s take a second to think about charities and other NGOs. These organisations depend on the donations and the goodwill from donors to function to their full capacity, and the ensuing cash crunch because of the pandemic has made donations even harder to come by. Hence, let’s take a step towards a greater purpose by giving to charity and making celebrations more sustainable.

Donating to charity on your special day can be a great idea. Not only are you minimising wastage, but it’ll also give you immense joy to do a good deed on your big day. There are many ways in which you can make a contribution to charity on your special day, and we’ll look at some of the more popular ones in this article.

What is a Charity Gift Registry? And How to Create One?

Charity Invite
Charity Invite

A charity gift registry is a registry that will contain a list of charities that you’d like your guests to donate to. You can add different types of charities to this list, and when your guests are going through your registry to pick a gift for you, they can choose to make a contribution to the charity as well. Your guests contribute any amount of their choice to your cause and we notify you each time there is a contribution. Wedding Wishlist also transfers the funds directly to the charity organization, saving you the hassle of coordination.

Benefits of a Charity Gift Registry

Besides the obvious feel-good factor of having helped spread happiness on your big day, donating to a charity comes with a few benefits. One of them is the deduction from taxes. You and your guests can be privy to a tax break upon the receipt of an 80g certificate that attests that you have donated to a recognised charity.

This is a win-win-win situation for all parties involved. Both you and your guests can take pride and feel content by giving to charity and contributing to a higher cause!

However, here are the other benefits of a charity gift registry that you should know about:

Feel Content

The satisfying feeling within yourself after you contribute to a cause you are passionate about is unparalleled. You feel happy as you understand the impact your acts will create. And it gets better when you do such a deed on your special day. You feel fortunate enough to have done something towards a purpose higher than us.

Exempt your Guests from Paying Tax

When you encourage your guests to donate to charitable causes, you provide them with the benefit of tax relief. Now that’s because, in India, contributions to most of the registered charities exempt you from paying taxes. The charitable trust issues a certificate that officially exempts the contributor from paying partly or fully from paying taxes. This certificate is called the 80g certificate.

Logical Allotment of Funds

The smallest of contributions in a charity registry goes where they are the most needed. That means it goes towards the betterment of the ones in need. And this efficient system helps you avoid piling on similar gifts that will remain unused. Thereby, it allows you to have a sustainable celebration.

Smart Way out of Traditional Gifts

For any occasion, be it a wedding, birthday, etc., we may see some lovely guests insisting to hand you a gift that you probably won’t need anymore. In fact, it might just be hurting the environment further. To them, you can show the way to your charity gift registry where they can gift you with a donation to a cause you believe in.

Serve a Higher Purpose

When you donate on your special day, you not only feel content, proud of yourself, and happy, but also inspire others around you. You inspire your guests thereby making them feel the same. With a charity registry, you serve the cause you believe in undoubtedly along with serving good to others around you as well.

How to Create a Charity Gift Registry?

Having discussed what it is and its benefits, let’s look at how to create one. One of the first steps to make contributions to charity on your special day is to create a charity gift registry. Wedding Wishlist offers the ability to create a charity registry. All you have to do is the following:

  • Pick a charity or a cause that you support: Choose any cause that you passionately support and desire to bring a positive change in.
  • Create a registry through the website: Head to Wedding Wishlist’s charity registry and log in. Or, register if you’re a new member.
  • Share your unique URL with your guests: And let the donations and love flow in. Then, feel good about it and inspire others too!

Through this, you can encourage your guests on your big day to spend on charitable giving and serve a higher cause. You can do this by allowing them to make donations to a charity as an item on your gift registry. This way, the fund will go to help underprivileged people who need it, and they can join your celebrations in spirit.

Causes to Add to your Charity Gift Registry for Giving to Charity

There are various different types of charities that you can add to your registry. Do you know of a charity that supports a cause that is close to your heart? Find and add it to your registry. In this way, you’ll be able to support your favourite cause on your big day!

Here are the different types of charities that you can consider adding to your charity gift registry:

Orphanages and Educational Institutions

Orphanages are places that house children who don’t have either one or both parents. These kids are usually provided with a home, food, and shelter so that they are well taken care of. A lot of orphanages also have educational institutions, such as schools and community colleges so that the children can have good education as well. Giving to a charity like this is bound to have a great impact on their future.

There are several such charities that you can add to your charity gift registry through Wedding Wishlist. All charities on Wedding Wishlist are verified by Give India, one of the country’s largest donation platforms.

Old Age Homes

Old-age homes, as the name suggests, is a place that takes care of destitute senior citizens who don’t have anywhere else to go. While there are private old age homes, these are usually expensive and cost a lot of money. So the section of the society that is not financially mature enough, remains dependent on the goodwill of NGOs and the people who donate to them with the intent to keep the old age homes functioning.

Hence, donating to an old age home is a lovely way to help spread the joy from your special day and will help bring smiles to those around you. 

Animal Rights Groups

If a furry friend has always held a special place in your heart, you can consider adding an animal rights group to your charity registry. These institutions fight for the preservation and protection of wildlife, an extremely pertinent cause in these times, as maintaining the biodiversity of the planet is something that can protect us all from further environmental harm. Thoughtful charity contributions for animal rights groups can act as a major helping hand towards these social missions.

Animal Rights is a broad topic, and different groups focus on different aspects of it. There are some groups that fight against the cruelty in the treatment of animals, and some that promote veganism as a lifestyle in order to protect the lives of animals. There are also some groups that focus on the preservation of endangered species.

Like every other charity, animal rights groups are also dependent on charitable giving from people with a desire to maintain shelter and care for the furry lives. Donating to charity as an item in your wishlist with this purpose will help animal rights groups get the help they need.

Environmental Charities

While celebrations are one of the most joyful days of our lives, the largest occasions tend to have a more significant impact on the environment around us. To offset your carbon footprint, you can consider adding an environmental charity to your charity registry!

So what do environmental charities do? A lot of things! Some charities fight for stricter environmental protection laws in their areas, some charities plant trees and look to clean up lakes and rivers in their localities, and other charities organise protests and movements against polluting companies and government action.

Protection of the environment is essential, as humanity depends on it. Striving for lesser carbon emissions, planting more trees, are all ways in which we can ensure a better future for ourselves and our next generations. One way we can all do this is by giving to charities that work in this space and adding environmental charities to your registry.

Health Charities

Health charities are foundations that focus on the health of the underprivileged section of society. These can be both physical and mental health charities.

One of the areas a health charity might focus on is arranging a home for the special and differently-abled ones. So, they can continue to experience the world around them and have a home to return to.

Whereas mental health charities help provide support and advice to the individuals who need it. Such charities usually have counsellors and mental health practitioners who volunteer to help aid the ones in need at these institutions. Such charities may also arrange care homes for our mentally challenged ones. Moreover, they can also focus on spreading awareness of mental health issues of today by hosting workshops in various institutions.

But the ones who aren’t economically sufficient may never consider these options even if they need them. Hence, giving to charities like these can help create a positive impact on their lives. These organisations actively work to make health care treatments available and affordable to those who cannot. The pandemic has acted as a much-needed wake-up call and reminded us of the importance of making healthcare more accessible to everyone.

Planning a Sustainable Celebration

Now that we’ve looked at the different types of charities that you can add to your wishlist, let’s look at all the other ways in which you can make your celebrations more charitable and eco-friendly.

Any event: be it a birthday or a wedding, is always a special day to us. And you might feel like throwing a massive party to celebrate it. And while we definitely do agree that you deserve the best, let’s stop for a moment and think about it. With the amount of tossed garbage, excess food, plastic, and leftover food, the special day can also become one of the most wasteful days of your life.

Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to cancel your party. Instead, there are some small changes that you can make that will make a massive impact on your carbon footprint. This way, you’ll still be able to have those celebrations that you’ve always dreamed of and do it responsibly too. Who doesn’t love that?

Here are some steps that you can take to make your celebrations more eco-friendly:

Make eco-friendly invitations

The first thing that you can do is to go digital with your invitations. You can consider printing invitation cards on recycled paper, or other biodegradable material. Better yet, consider going digital! E-cards are far more eco friendly and have a much lower carbon footprint than a physical invitation card. Wedding Wishlist has a plethora of templates to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect card for you.

There are also vendors that are in the practice of donating to charity with every order. This way you know that you’re giving to charity with every dime you spend.

Choose a venue that cares for the environment

One more thing you can do to ensure that you have a sustainable celebration is to ensure that you choose an eco-friendly venue. This can mean a venue that gives back to the environment or uses recycled materials or also ditching the indoor venue for daytime events altogether. When in doubt, consider an outdoor venue! This way, the sun will be able to provide the required light, and you can reduce your carbon footprint that way.

Donate leftover food to a charity

While you’re planning a birthday party or a wedding or a baby shower, it might be a good idea to get in touch with an NGO and tie up with them so that you’re able to donate the excess food from the party.

Most NGOs would be happy to receive this kind of donation and coordinate with you to collect the food from them. In most cases, good food that is left over from any event ends up going to waste. Likewise giving to charity on your special day: be it a baby shower or a birthday, makes you feel good that you’re feeding many who are unable to provide for themselves.

Turn to Eco-friendly Decorations: Make your celebrations more meaningful

While thinking to go green during celebrations, it makes sense to be mindful about decorations as well. From DIY to using organic products, you can make the gathering even more meaningful with such small steps. Let’s take a look at what you can do to create eco-friendly decorations for a baby shower, anniversary or birthday party. You can consider putting up banners with hanging good wishes that you can write down for the new one approaching, the birthday person. Colourful tissue paper pom poms also welcome a great vibe into the party room. You can also add garlands and make the space more lively!

Volunteer on your honeymoon

While we’ve mostly talked about contributing money or things to charity, another way to make a charity contribution is through your time. While planning your honeymoon, check in with your hotel about any local charities that you can volunteer with. Most areas have charities that have some kind of volunteer program that you can join and help out with. 

You might find that volunteering on your honeymoon, and practising charitable giving on your honeymoon can be the perfect start to your new life. Doing something for a cause greater than yourself can also bring you closer together.

Prioritise independent business owners on your gift registry

When you create your gift registry, you can choose to prioritize local independent business owners for items on your list, rather than choosing to go for items from MNCs. Local businesses tend to be more eco-friendly than giant corporations as well, so that’d be another advantage as well.

You could also look out for local businesses that make contributions to charity for every order they receive as well. Doing this will ensure that of all the money the guests spend on your gifts, a part of the same is going to charitable causes.

Donate the bridal dress after the wedding

The bridal wear- be it a lehenga or gown (or maybe even suit or saree?) is something that everyone at the venue is excited about, and you’re probably going to spend a considerable amount to get one for your wedding. However, after the ceremony, you’re most likely to keep it somewhere in your wardrobe only to never wear it again.

Now, how about donating your bridal wear? Instead of it being tucked away in your cupboard where it’s likely not to see the light of day, you can do a good deed: lend it to another woman for her big day! You can also choose to pass it on within your family if you’d like.

Choose entertainment from NGOs

Instead of going for a regular DJ night, a jazz or a Sufi band, how about connecting with an NGO to help put together a performance? Salaam Mumbai Foundation is an example of an NGO that does this.

Not only will you still get great entertainment, but you’ll also know that you’re donating to charity at the same time!

Have a green birthday: Skip plastics and non-recyclable paper

While birthdays are real fun with close friends and family together, we should be mindful of the usage of plastics. To start with, you can use tablecloth and cloth napkins. Even in decorations the use of plastic rules. You can consciously choose to discard them. For example, use real potted flowers instead of fake ones! And instead of plastic forks and plates, you can switch to reusable alternatives.

Donate a part of your budget!

While birthdays are real fun with close friends and family together, we should be mindful of the usage of plastics. To start with, you can use tablecloth and cloth napkins. Even in decorations the use of plastic rules. You can consciously choose to discard them. For example, use real potted flowers instead of fake ones! And instead of plastic forks and plates, you can switch to reusable alternatives.

One more thing that you can do is to skip the idea of having a big celebration altogether! Intimate celebrations can be extremely fun, and you can save a ton of money too. You can donate all this extra money to a local charity of your choice!

Choose a charity that works for a cause you support, and make the donation. You’ll still have an amazing celebration, and will also be giving to charity on your big day!

Create a Charity Gift Registry

On your special days, maybe a baby shower or your birthday, gifts from guests come with love and are inevitable! But some might just be hurting the environment and you’d probably not use it at all. To aid this chaos, you can lead them to your charity registry where they can make donations to the causes you believe in. This way, you feel good and make your guests feel the same as well, thereby inspiring them too. And have a sustainable celebration that’s memorable for everyone who was a part of it!


And there you go! This is how you can make your celebrations green and serve a higher cause. Having known all about a charity gift registry, now you can start implementing it and support the cause you’re passionate about. Through such contribution to charity, you spread the love you receive on your special occasions and make your celebrations memorable. Check out Wedding Wishlist to do more.

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