Are birthday gift registries the new thing?

By Ali + Julie on 11 Feb 2022
Big Image Birthday

A Chanel bag from the girls? Sign me up. Prefer a garden makeover? Easy!

We’re seeing some really personal dream gifts on GroupTogether. Banjos, garden makeovers, a tractor and a Chanel bag. Some choose to carve off a percentage for charity along the way. You rock!

We’ve seen the trend towards group birthday gifts on the rise for years. In particular for milestone birthdays and among millennials, with four in five Gen Zs & Gen Ys participating in group giving (compared to only three in five Baby Boomers)*. It’s a great way to give your friend a much better gift rather than more ‘stuff’, and it’s often easier on the pocket for each individual person chipping in. At GroupTogether, Australia's #1 group gifting platform, we see on average $460.00 chipped in for a gift their friend really wants. Oh yeah!

Recently, there’s more people asking friends to contribute to their own “birthday registry” - one dream gift or bucket list experience. People don’t want the waste associated with giving or receiving nick nacks; another four makeup bags, two overly-scented candles and the bangle you’ll never wear.

Are people really doing this?

We’ve seen double the number of group birthday gifts in 2021 compared to the year before and we’re still seeing it now that there are no lockdown restrictions.

June Canning from Matraville said, “After spending lockdown purging the house, I swore I wouldn’t buy or give anything that I don’t love. One good thing or better, an experience, rather than more stuff. Better for the planet too.”

How do you ask your friends to chip in for your birthday?

You can do it as part of the invitation to a party, just include the GroupTogether link like a registry or send it separately. Here’s a couple of examples.

"A few people have asked what I’d really like for my birthday. So, no pressure, but if you’d like, here’s a link to chip in for something I’d love - xxx”

"Hi everyone, in lieu of a physical gift here's a link to my virtual gift fund (like a wishing well) to go towards my DREAM surfboard! I would very much appreciate riding a new baby out in the surf!!! 🏄‍♀️ Thank you so much in advance for helping make my dreams come true !!! 😍💖🥳💞"

"Looking forward to seeing you for drinks on the 17th. I’ve always dreamt of learning the banjo, so if you feel like it, you can chip in here - xxx. And by the way, 20% of the gift money will go to the xxx charity. Maybe next birthday, I’ll be in the band!"

How do you find out what your friend REALLY REALLY wants?

Here’s a few ways:

  1. Ask them: “Hey Tim, everyone’s going to go out and buy gifts anyway, you might as well get something you really want and save the planet from more ugly jumpers, man bags and aftershave”.
  2. Listen out: For the weeks before, listen out for what they admire or what their new plans are for a healthier life, going out more, trying new things, etc.
  3. Surreptitious questioning: Conjure your inner detective and ask questions that provoke a desire for something new; a change in lifestyle or interests.

Tips for not getting left short

Don’t you just hate it when someone says “Can I just pay you on the night”!

Try this instead: “You want to pay me on the night? Oh! But what a shame, you won’t be on the card. Better to just click the link and do it online and then Tim will know you’re part of the gift”

How will they know that I gave to the gift?

Include a card with your GroupTogether collection. Everyone can upload a photo and write a few lines (or a story), add a photo or GIF and it can be sent digitally or downloaded. It’s up to the gift organiser if they want to share the actual amounts people gave with the recipient.

How do you collect money online for a group gift?

It takes 2min to set up a group gift collection on GroupTogether. Share the link via message, social or email. Everyone chips in and signs the card online (you can add a GIF or pic to make it fun). Voila! Amazing birthday gift and card sorted. You can withdraw the cash or buy a gift or eGift Card from our extensive range including an eGift Card that lets the recipient choose from over 70 gift cards. It’s called the GroupTogether AnyCard.

Is it still personal?

It’s actually more thoughtful to give something that the person will love and remember well after the scented candle burns out. And the card with everyone’s messages and pictures is a beautiful and personal keepsake. People are starting to collect them as a series.

How do you give the gift?

It depends. If you want the recipient to be involved in the choice once you’ve collected the money, then either give a gift card (digitally or printed). Alternatively, buy the gift to present on the day but maybe check on the returns or exchange policy.


Is it really new?

Group gifts aren’t new but there are a few things that are. Some simple tech to make it easy for everyone to write on the card and pay remotely, tracking so you don’t have to be a debt collector, reminders to avoid awkward conversations and the choice to withdraw the cash to buy the gift or choose a gift from GroupTogether if you’d prefer not to have the group’s money in your personal account.

Hallelujah to the birthday registry!

*FPA ‘Gifts that Give’ 2019 National Research Report

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Ali + Julie

Co-Founders, GroupTogether

Life’s busy. That’s why we’re here to make it easy for you to collect money from a group and spend how you want. Less wasted time, less packaging waste, and spending a little less but giving a lot better!

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