As more couples become established in life before getting married, the gift registry is less relevant than it once was. Hence the charity registry, an idea that has grown in popularity in recent years.
JustGive.org and the I Do Foundation have set up a national charity registry to assist those with philanthropic impulses, and GiveRichmond.org was launched last fall to assist people who wish to donate to a local charity. The development office at the Richmond SPCA (521-1308) can set up a fundraising page for engaged couples. When guests donate money to the Massey Cancer Center, the development office (828-1450) sends a card to the couple letting them know a donation has been made in their honor.
If couples would like to make a donation to a nonprofit in lieu of favors, organizations often provide something special to make guests aware of the gift. James Wasilewski, Massey's assistant director of resources, says this idea is very popular at the cancer center, which can provide scrolls, table tents or cards to put at each place setting. If you're an animal lover, the Richmond SPCA can provide photos of pets to place on tables.