Birthday Parties With A Purpose

Entrepreneur Daily:

It’s a new trend that’s causing some debate among parents: Many moms and dads are experimenting with gift-free birthday parties for their children.

Instead of watching extravagant gifts pile up at their child’s party, they say they’d prefer to raise money for a charitable cause chosen by the child.

This trend follows the latest move by brides and grooms to shun traditional wedding registries and instead ask wedding guests to donate to a chosen philanthropy.

Miss Manners, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily agree with the idea when it comes to children’s birthday parties. “Do you really want the birthday child to grow up hating philanthropy because it’s done him out of his birthday presents?” questions Judith Martin, also known as Miss Manners.

Bill Doherty, a creator of Birthdays Without Pressure, says the trend’s a great way to get children involved in the charity process at a young age. But he warns it could become a source of competition, too, when parents compare how much their children raise.

Photo by Sylwia Kapuscinski/The New York Times.

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