We all want to receive it, and in practice we’re game for giving it; but there’s still quite a bit of stigma around giving loved ones the gift of cash. Perhaps it’s because it feels transactional, or perhaps it’s because the value is so transparent but the reality is that a gift is meant to be enjoyed. So how can we make receiving and sending cash as a gift a more meaningful gesture? Tendr is an online platform that brings a more personalized touch to giving the gift of cash. With artist collaborations, they’ve created digital cards that give this kind of present the right amount of personalization and heart that we hope for. We asked Tendr’s Co-Founder and CEO, Jeff Beil, a few important questions we had on the subject that we’re sure you’ve asked yourself as well.
Why do you think that there’s so much taboo surrounding the gifting of money?
It’s not that there’s so much taboo surrounding gifts of money. Rather, it’s that the people who believe cash gifts are taboo are the ones who tend to write etiquette manuals.
In fact, for many people there isn’t any taboo at all. Most cultures have a rich tradition of giving money for important occasions. In Chinese culture there’s the red envelope, Japanese weddings have goshugi, which is a card created specifically for a money gift. Jewish, Italian, Greek… there are more cultures that celebrate with cash gifts than those who don’t.
Today, it’s more mainstream to want cash and to give it. 91% of the brides we’ve surveyed want cash most. Whether it’s because people are getting married later, or they want things that don’t fit in boxes, cash is the most desired gift, which is why we created Tendr, so people could send cash digitally in a simple and meaningful way.
How can a soon to be married couple or someone celebrating a new chapter in their life politely suggest money as the preferred gift option?
On Tendr, we give couples an intimate, delightful space to talk about their dreams for their future together. Couples are sharing their plans to travel or buy a home. We saw one same-sex couple discuss the costs of adopting a child and using their wedding gift money to help with that.
Wedding guests – your closest friends and family – are happy to feel invested in these plans, so we encourage people to talk about them rather than simply, “asking for cash.” That said, in cultures where cash gifts are the norm, you will often see a simple note on the invitation or wedding website that says, “No boxed gifts.”
The thing is, for most people, you don’t have to suggest cash. A lot of wedding guests already want to give cash, you just need to provide a beautiful, convenient way for them to do it where they feel appreciated and that they’ve made a connection beyond the money.
How can we make a gift of cash as personalized as possible? Even with Tendr, are there any tricks or ideas you suggest?
We think about that all the time. What we do with Tendr is, when we deliver the gift experience to the recipient, we show them the note that the gift-giver has written first, and then reveal the amount of the gift. This puts sentiment first, which is generally the opposite of how cash gifts are given IRL, where the first thing you look at is the number on the check.
Our advice is to write as personal a note as possible, express joy for the couple’s union, and maybe give a little marital advice while you’re at it. Sharing a memory of time you spent with them is a great way to make a personal connection in that moment.
Are there any don’ts when giving cash or even a gift?
We suggest figuring out what you’d be comfortable spending on a physical item for the couple and giving that amount in cash.
Do give generously and enthusiastically (but don’t give more than you’re comfortable with). Don’t over think it. Don’t say anything negative in your card. And don’t forget to have fun!
Our main image shows some of our favorite cards by Tendr. Each one is designed by artists such as Spencer Bagley, Danielle Kroll, CDR and more!