Wedding Ideas

DreamBank: a Cash Bridal Registry..

Posted At : October 1, 2008 1:34 PM   |  Posted By : Bridal Network   |  Views: 7,604
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.. with a charity component

Bridal registries are an established concept, of course. Whether you register for your wedding gifts at some department store, a specialty retailer, one of the increasingly popular honeymoon registries or even a combination thereof, the idea is the same: eliminate the guesswork from your wedding guests and ensure that you actually receive gifts that you need - and indeed gifts that you actually like :-)

Advancing this "guesswork elimination" theory a bit further, we have the ultimate solution: Cash gifts. This is not a new idea either; money in an envelope has long been gift of preferrence for many of the ethnic groups that comprise Canada - and it is slowly becoming mainstream. It makes sense too. What most young couples require these days is not houseware; chances are they already own all the hardware and what they could really use is help with their downpayment :-)

Finally, another emerging trend in the wedding gift universe has been charitable donations. Driven by the same demographics, of the couple that has already been living together for a while and really does not require all that much "stuff", the concept of donating to a charity on behalf of the bride & groom has also gained a lot of momentum.

Enter DreamBank. It was inevitable that the Internet would somehow enter the picture, sooner or later. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, you can now have it all, in one flexible, accessible, efficient, environmentally and socially responsible package.

DreamBank is the brainchild of Vancouver social entrepeneur Dawn Bowles. She recently completed an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice, and DreamBank was actually her thesis project. The website's stated goal is to enable people to achieve or obtain what they really want, avoiding unwanted gifts and the environmental costs associated with them. Plus, there's the charity angle. In practice, this means combining the registry, cash gifts as well as a charitable component. Here is how it works:

  1. Somebody (an individual or a couple) posts a 'dream' to the site.
    The dream has particular focus and a cash value - a new bike, a honeymoon or even a donation to a charity. Here are a few examples: These are usually associated with an event--a birthday, wedding, graduating from university, etc.
  2. In lieu of getting gifts, you invite family and friends to donate to your dream.
  3. DreamBank, using HSBC as a provider, holds the money until you cash it out. In the meantime, the interest generated from that money helps a charity of your choosing.
  4. Whenever you like, you can cash out the money and spend it on your dream.

You can think of it as an 'everything registry'. Even though the concept is not limited to wedding, predictably, one early way people are using the site is as a wedding registry with a charity angle. Here, for example, a couple is asking for money toward their first home in lieu of gifts: http://dreambank.org/37374/dreams/our_first-37351.html

And, of course, there's no waste generated by manufacturing, shipping, packaging and so forth. So the process is 'green'. Plus, when you contribute to a dream, the interest from your contributions automatically generates funds that are donated to charities.

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