You’ve probably seen the web ads around Christmas time from orgs like World Vision asking you to “buy a goat” or some such for your loved ones. Of course it’s in name only, as you’re donating the appropriate amount in your loved one’s name to enable the organization to provide a goat for a poor family for whom it would mean a great deal more than a book or something for your family. It’s by no means a new idea — charities have been accepting “in honor of” donations for years. But I just came across an organization that applies the charity-minded giving concept and weds it (ahem) with a life occasion that frequently involves non-trivial amounts of money — your wedding:
The I Do Foundation provides engaged couples with the opportunity to add a charitable component to their weddings through innovative giving options. The Foundation is dedicated to providing engaged couples with all of the tools necessary to raise donations for their selected charity.
Basically you set up your registry/ies through them at a selection of retail partners, and a small percentage of any gifts purchased go toward the charity of your choice. Retailers include Amazon, Target, and Home Depot, and the charities include the usual list of suspects — American Red Cross, Save The Children, Oxfam, and others, as well as a number of faith-based groups like World Vision, Compassion, and Church World Service (though you won’t find these on the main information list, you can search the charity database and turn up quite a few more). You can also create a direct charity registry, for guests to give a more straightforward “in honor of”-type gift.