Start a Lifetime of Doing Good Together with The Good Beginning
No gifts, please! Conscious couples are choosing to forego wedding gifts for charitable donations.
What do you get for the couple that has access to all they need, want and then some? For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the answer was obvious. Shortly before their highly anticipated nuptials this year, Kensington Palace released a statement requesting wedding guests give donations to one of two selected charities in lieu of gifts.
It’s a practice that is growing in popularity for conscious couples. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the latest in a long line of famous duos to set up a registry for charitable causes. Lauren Kay, deputy editor at The Knot, says it’s a trend that just keeps on growing,
“There’s definitely a trend we’ve noticed in recent years,” she told Moneyish. “It really speaks to the millennial audience getting married now. They’re very concerned and focused on social causes and things that have to do with their community. They’re less into spending on material things.”
Even more, millennial couples have typically been living together some time prior to getting married, so they have acquired many of the domestic goods and household items that they need. This creates an opportunity for these couples to break from tradition and puts them in a prime position to give back. According to The Knot, in 2017, 10 percent of couples set up a wedding registry devoted to charity, compared with just 7 percent in 2016.
For royals and commoners alike, The Good Beginning offers a seamless way for you to use your wedding to give back. Beth Helmstetter, professional wedding planner and owner of Beth Helmstetter Events, started The Good Beginning because of a personal passion for philanthropy and a desire to connect her couples with charitable causes that are impacting the world in a positive way.
To her surprise, plenty of the couples she met shared the desire to give back. The Good Beginning makes it easy to give by streamlining the whole process. Couples register for their wedding in the same way as a traditional registry and then choose from over 130 charitable organizations, causes here in the United States or those in the developing world, and are given a personal domain to their registry that they can link their guests to.
From well-established charities to those catering to smaller specialized causes, couples can easily find something that has significance and meaning for them. And, if the pair has an organization that they are passionate about that is not represented in the registry, they can add it and The Good Beginning handles the rest. From education and health to children and disaster relief, causes that need our attention can become the beneficiary of your guests’ generosity.
The well-designed interface allows visitors to browse the couple’s profile, learn more about the charities and causes, and donate effortlessly. A record of who donated what and to where is also made available to the couple so that they can send thank you letters afterward.
So, is this change in wedding gifting really having an impact? The Knot determined that year-to-year, charitable gifting through marriage registries was up 233 percent and that 10 percent of couples included an option for charitable donations in their wedding registries in 2017. Further, 15 percent of guests reported that they made a donation to the couple’s selected charities, and couples received $338, on average, in donations through their wedding registry.
As a wedding registry designed with only charitable donations in mind, The Good Beginning expects to see figures much higher than those pulled in through combination gift and donation registries. In its first year, The Good Beginning’s couples are projected to contribute over $250,000 to worthy causes across the globe, with each registry bringing in an average of $5,000 to $8,000.
More and more charitable organizations continue to be added to The Good Beginning registries from the couples themselves, and it’s expected that the move toward online registries combined with the growing popularity of crowdfunding, will see charity registries grow in popularity. The Good Beginning is proud to be a matchmaker between happy couples and meaningful causes, and hopes to see an increase in donations year after year.
If you’re in the midst of planning your nuptials and want to start off on the right foot, set up your own charitable registry through The Good Beginning. Run a charitable organization or have a cause that is near and dear to your heart, but don’t see it represented in the causes? Get it in front of some happy couples and generous guests when you submit it to The Good Beginning.