Etiquette Question (donation in lieu of a gift)

I have been invited to a birthday celebration for someone that I don’t know too well. If they were a close friend, this question would be unnecessary.

Anyway, they have said that gifts are not required, but that donations to this particular charity (one I have no problem supporting) would be appreciated.

How do I go about this? The charity accepts online donations. Now, how do I go about letting the birthday person know about the contribution? At first, I thought that doing so would make me look petty, like I was trying to draw attention to my “good deed” but then I realized that you wouldn’t give somebody a conventional gift without a name tag on it, now would you? So, what’s the difference?

So, do I contribute online and then mention in his birthday card that I made a donation (Do I include the amount?), or do I enclose a check made out to the charity in his birthday card, with something along the lines of “On behalf of so-and-so” on the memo line and let him get the check to the charity?

Someone please help! I’m hoping that there is a definitive, Emily Post-type answer, but if there isn’t, I’d still appreciate opinions on what I should do.

Thanks in advance!

No Emily Post answers from me but I’ll gladly give you my opinion.

If I were the receipient, I would prefer that you go ahead and make your contribution on line.

I would include a line in the card that “A donation was made in your name to [insert charity here]” It’s not necessary to include the amount of the donation.

I’m with Ruby 100% on this one. Go ahead and make the donation, and include a note on the card saying that you did. No amount needed.

My SO and I have talked about doing this if we ever decide to get married. We don’t need any gifts or stuff. But we know that there are friends/family that feel that a gift would be necessary. Suggesting a donation to a preferred charity seems like a way to let Aunt Betty give a gift if she really wants to.

I agree with Ruby and Tastes of Chocolate.

I wouldn’t state the amount of the contribution, because that would be akin to leaving the price tag on a gift which is, of course, tacky.

Sorry for the hijack, but who gets the tax break?

Just to keep with the theme. I agree with Ruby, Tastes of Chocolate and Jerevan Somerville. I’ve never had an wedding invitation like that, mostly they say BOYB and a side dish. :o

I was going to post the same question today! Only in my case, it’s a funeral. The family has requested that donations be given to a charity instead of flowers being sent or other such things. So I guess I get to go buy a card.

Some charities with online donations allow you to print out one of their cards that says “a donation in your name was made to…”, once you make a donation. Of course, most charities that you give to in person just hand them to you, in my experience.

I did this for a funeral once quite a while ago. IIRC, the funeral home assisted in collecting the donations by having little envelopes near the guest registry. On review, it sounds tacky but it really wasn’t. I’m thinking that I also received a thank you note from the charity as well. It’s been long enough that I don’t remember the details. The 'ole gray matter ain’t what she used to be.