College Fund Contribution Request Letter comments (1)

By Wendy Mihm | April 13, 2011

What if you had a way to request that your close (and I do mean close) family and friends contributed to your child’s education fund as a birthday gift?

Now, I know it’s rife with the potential for being tacky, but hear me out on this, because I’ve come up with a new idea that just might work, and could even be fun.

It’s called the “Where Did You Go To School Game?” and in the sample letter below, I’ve written about it with the underlying assumption that you are saving for your child’s college education, and are writing the letter to someone who has attended college.

Note that the game could also be used if you were saving for any type of education – private high school tuition, vocational school, etc.— have a look.

Sample College Fund Contribution Request Letter

Dear { fill in Friend / Loved One's Name }

{Child’s Name’s} Birthday is coming up on {date} and we’re planning a party for her, which we hope will be great fun! Of course you’re invited and will receive an invitation soon.  We hope your family will be able to celebrate with {Child’s Name} again this year!

I’m writing to give you a heads up on a new tradition we’ve started with {Child’s Name} to emphasize the importance of college, and education in general. You have always been thoughtful and beyond generous with her gifts each year, and so I thought you might want to participate.  We have been contributing to a college savings fund for {Child’s Name} for quite some time.  But now that she is about to turn {fill in child’s age} we have started to teach her a little about how important and fun college can be.  This is all done in a very fun and playful way, of course!

In lieu of a traditional gift, one way to participate in our new tradition would be to make a (very modest) contribution to {Child’s Name’s} college fund as her birthday gift.  In addition, it would be really fantastic if you could share a story with her about one of your favorite (G-rated!) experiences in college, and perhaps add a small trinket like a keychain or stickers from your alma matter, {fill in name of college.}

Please feel no pressure to participate whatsoever—participation in our new tradition is completely optional!  If you’d rather skip it, that’s absolutely fine too – really.  It is a brand new thing we’re experimenting with, and we will not be offended in the least if you decide to pass.  I just wanted to give you the option to play along if you wanted to.

I hope your family is all healthy, happy and as much fun as ever – keep on the lookout for a party invitation on its way to your mailbox in the next few days!


{Insert Family Name}

So that’s the idea.  It still leaves room to back out. 

It also leaves room for the letter recipient to be creative with a fun story about his or her college experiences and for him or her to buy a relatively traditional toy if they do decide to participate – many colleges and universities sell just about everything, including children’s clothing and toys, with the school logo or mascot printed on it.

Having said that, going this route is still treading on untested ground and should be done with extreme caution. 

You should only send a letter like this to close friends and family – these should be people who have a history of giving your children gifts.  Let me be extra clear:  If the person has never given your child a gift, they should NOT receive this letter!  Remember, when you send this letter out, you’re making the assumption that the recipient is already planning to buy your child a gift.

But on the flip side, many people struggle with ideas for what to give the birthday boy or girl every time they receive an invitation to a child’s party, so receiving a letter like this may actually be a relief.

So let’s hear it – what do you think? Beautifully brilliant or terribly tacky?


Like what you've read? We pack some of our best insider know-how and savviest strategies into our free weekly emails.
Subscribe today and let us help you live a healthy, happy financial life.


Comments for College Fund Contribution Request Letter
By emily on May 09, 2011

I think this is a great idea.  Being on the giving end, I’ve struggled to come up with good gift ideas for nieces, nephews & children of friends.  It seems like kids have so many toys as it is, do they really need more?  I’ve actually thought about giving money for a college fund, but really haven’t figured out to go about it. 

I love this suggestion!

Add your comment

Other Great Stuff From Having a Baby
Latest in Having a Baby

Copyright © Financial RX All Rights Reserved