In lieu of gifts, families may ask on invitations to donate to a specific charity.   Helping those less fortunate fosters a kind spirit, teaches children to avoid materialism, avoids excess house clutter with more things that no one needs, and shows kids to care about social causes.  It can be fun (and a good tech lesson) to set up a customized birthday party fundraising site online for guests to visit and donate!

Here are a list of charities that focus on helping children in need or are interesting to kids:

American Red Cross helps during blood drives and disaster relief.   Get a free long sleeved t-shirt while supplies last until 01-06-2019 when you donate blood!

Birthday Wishes bringing birthday parties and gifts to children in homeless shelters in RI, MA

Foodshare helping low income families obtain food, including school lunches.  Foodshare raises education and awareness about hunger.   Ask guests to bring food to a food drive held at the birthday party in lieu of gifts or along with the gift.

Kaboom building playgrounds where they are needed the most

World Wildlife Fund  raising money to protect our endangered species and their habitats


One question that comes up is how do I politely ask for no gifts but donations instead? On my son’s invites I write: “While gifts are appreciated, we would appreciate it even more if you made a donation of any amount to (insert charity name).  Thanks so much!