These days, the issue of writing “no gifts” on birthday party invitations is wrought with conundrums. Some people listen and don’t bring a gift; others can’t bear the thought of not bringing a gift. Throw in the idea of donating to a philanthropic cause in the place of a gift, and the situation becomes that much more complicated.
The hardest part about this situation is that people want to do good and respect the host parent’s wishes, but they also want to stick with tradition, which says bring gifts to kids’ parties.
If you have struggled with this, or are struggling, ECHOage may be the perfect solution. The brain child of Debbie Zinman and Alison Smith, this site not only manages your whole invitation/RSVP process via e-invitations and a RSVP tracker, but it also has a brilliant solution to the “no gifts” conundrum.
When the guests’ parents RSVP, they are taken to a page where they can make a secure online contribution, which is split between the purchase of a gift for the birthday child and a charity of the child’s choosing. These charities include GirlsInc., EarthCorps, and the International Child Art Program. Currently, guests’ parent can donate any amount they would like, and it is split equally between the gift and the charity.
When the host parent has collected all of the RSVPs and wants to close the party account, ECHOage mails out a check for the amount of money that has been collected for the child’s gift so it can be purchased in time for the birthday celebration.
This is a brilliant solution to the “no gifts” conundrum — guests’ parents don’t feel awkward about not bringing a gift, and the birthday child gets one great present and the chance to donate to charity. ECHOage thought it through and literally split the difference so guests can know they are contributing to both a worthy cause and a fabulous present.
Debbie Zinman summed it up when she said, “Children have a voice and we are giving them this voice on their birthday. Whatever they say, it should ECHO so that other children will hear them. This motivates other kids to do the same. ”
This site is definitely worth checking out!