Open Thread

by EPI Staff on May 19, 2011

Welcome to Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Luci May 19, 2011 at 1:22 am

Quick question for you… Keeping in mind this is a group gift, when I make the total sum donation to the charity and we receive an acknowledgement notice, which of the following do you feel to be the best?

A $ 300.00 donation to The Children of Hope
Charity has been made in your honour.
(and then a tax receipt will be made out to the person of honour)


A donation to the Children of Hope Charity has been
made in your honour.
(and a tax receipt issued to each contributor for their amount..if possible)

Just looking for some input here. I wish to be correct in my etiquette.

Thank you.


Elizabeth May 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

I applaud your wanting to do the right thing here, but this is actually not an etiquette issue. The recipient of the gift does not get the tax deduction, but the giver does. I just did a quick google search, and I found this to be the case on websites as diverse as “Turbo Tax” and some other charities’ websites. Because you are in the more complicated situation of the donation being a group gift, you should contact the charity to see how they will issue the receipt. After all, the receipt is the proof of the donation and the documentation you should have to claim that deduction on your taxes. However, depending on your and your coworkers’ practices of tax filing (and charitable giving), they may not actually need the receipt because you are allowed to claim a certain amount of charitable giving without proof.

The safest way to do it would be to ask the charity to issue separate receipts, which may require the donations to be submitted separately and not as a ‘group’. You should contact the charity to clarify.


Elizabeth May 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

Ooops, and to respond to your question – you should leave off any mention of the tax receipt on the acknowledgment. The gift is the money donated to charity – the gift is not the tax deduction.


luci May 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Thank you for the information about the tax receipt. Should I mention the amount being donated in her honor on the acknowledgement card or just leave the actual number off?


Elizabeth May 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Yes, I think the amount is appropriate to include. It might also be helpful to include a list of the people who contributed, so the recipient knows to whom to direct her thank yous.


Marianna May 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I need help with a thank you note. My husband’s uncle adds a wallet to every gift that he gives. He used to make them so I guess he has a lot lying around. For our wedding, he gave us a wallet with a check for $300 inside. I’m having trouble with the thank you note because he’s already given us several of these wallets so it’s not really believable to keep saying that we’re using them as I’ve done in past thank you notes. I mean, how many wallets can a person really use. Would it be okay for me to just mention the check since these wallets seem to be something he throws in for decoration?


Lady Antipode May 20, 2011 at 1:57 am

I think you should say thank you for the wallet as well. You simply say thank you for the wallet and express something positive about it – is it lovely? is it thoughtful? Is it well-crafted or beautifully made? Don’t say you’ll use it if you won’t, but do say something positive/thankful about it. Then go on to say thank you for the check.


Jody May 20, 2011 at 6:40 am

Marianna — I do think you need to thank your husband’s uncle for the wallet, since it was a gift. Maybe mention how much you appreciate the thought and the work that went into making it, but don’t mention how much you’ll use it, and that should be fine.


Alicia May 20, 2011 at 8:11 am

Dear Uncle,
Thank you very much for the wallet and the generous check. We always appreciate your wallets as they are made with so much care. The check we plan on using towards our honeymoon/ new table/savings for a house/ collection of back to the future figurines/ whatever you really intend to use it for. It was great to see you at the wedding/ We really missed seeing you at the wedding. We can not wait to see you next weekend/next 4th of July/next thanksgiving/ some time in past after we get the figurines working for real.
Love and Gratitude,
Marianna and Marianna’s Man

Basic format for thank you notes
1. Always say thank you for every part of the gift and say something positive about it
2. If you get money say what you intend to use the money towards
3. Mention something about the next time you will see or chat with them
It gets to be an easy formula once you get used to it. Feel free to add info but always include those aspects.


Jodie May 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I have a question about my daughter’s first birthday party. We are going to have it at a nearby park, and a lot of people would like to attend. We do not have much money, and I was wondering if it would be OK to ask everyone to “join us for a picnic in the park” and bring their own picnic lunch. We would provide drinks and a cake. I wouldn’t mind being invited to a party like this – what do you think?


Alicia May 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Why not simply have it not at lunch time and only serve drinks and cake. For a kids first birthday party punch and cake is a great hospitality as long as not at a meal time.


Country Girl May 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I agree with Alicia, keeping this an afternoon cake and drinks sounds like the best plan. “Join us for some fun in the park for Grace’s 6th birthday at 2pm on Saturday! Cake and lemonade will be served.”

(I personally would find it quite strange to be asked to bring my own lunch to a party.)


Lin May 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm

From my experience, having a lot of people at a first birthday party can be overwhelming for the child (my youngest burst into tears when the invite list was just his grandparents, aunt, parents, and brother, and so have my cousin’s kids for much larger 1st parties). If you are concerned that so many people and so much attention would put a damper on the birthday girl’s day, I would scale back. Most people will understand if they don’t get an invite based upon that reasoning.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: