Yesterday we launched our Party with a Purpose contest. Grown ups aren't the only ones who get a kick out of philanthropy. A growing kids' party trend is kids using their party as a way to raise donations for a favorite organization. Truth be told, part of the impulse behind this charitable act is parents wanting to reduce the clutter in their home! If this idea appeals to you, we've got tips. The most common way to do a donation party is to ask guests to bring a toy or book for a local children's organization. Other times people are asked to bring a food or other boxed good donation for a local pantry, or pet toys for a local pet shelter. You want to keep things simple for your guests, and you don't want to ask them to bring money. You also want to keep the organization non controversial. Keep in mind that sometimes parents feel bad that the birthday girl is missing out on presents and will bring both a donation AND a present for your child. It's important not to get upset about this. Before deciding to donate your child's birthday gifts to charity, talk to him. You want your child to think of giving to charity as something that makes him feel good, not an unfair rip off. If your child dislikes the idea of having guests bring donations instead of presents consider other options such as:

• Asking your child to pick one or two presents that she doesn't want to donate to a local children's organization

• Before your child's birthday have him go through all of his toys and books and choose some used, but still in good shape, toys and books to donate.

•  Have your child pick a charity that's important to her, and make a donation to the charity as a family in honor of her birthday.

Have you donated your child's presents before? How did you get him or her on board with the idea? Share in the comments!