The More The Merrier - Grow Your Savings with Gift Contributions



Posted on July 23rd, 2021

Studies show that kids with any college savings are more likely to attend and graduate from college than those without. Every little bit you're able to save is making a difference, but we're here to help you take your college savings to the next level by empowering your loved ones to show their support by contributing to your 529 plan.

Gift contributions are so effortless through Scholar Raise that our plans see more gifted contributions than regular 529 plans. 80% of the transactions on our platform are gifts from family and friends! If you're ready to turbo charge your child's college savings, read on for some of our top occasions to request a gift contribution to your plan.

I'm ready to invite loved ones to contribute to my plan


There's nothing more exciting than sharing pregnancy news with your family and friends. Bounds of support for you new arrival flow in and it seems everyone is willing to help. That's why now is the perfect time to get a head start your child's college savings plan. Simply set up a 529 plan listing a parent as both the account owner and the beneficiary. When your bundle of joy arrives and receives their own social security number, you can simply change the beneficiary to them.

Here are a few suggestions on how to introduce and share the plan during this exciting period.


There are so many ways to tell the world you're pregnant and with good news comes celebration. Your friends and family are calling congratulate you and get the scoop. Mostly, they'll want to know how to help. Mention you set up a 529 college savings plan and would love contributions.

  • Set up a savings plan and make the first contribution
  • Tell friends how proud you are to be saving for college
  • Ask family and friends to share the good news

Baby Shower

If there was an all-star time to introduce a college savings plan, it'd be now. Everyone is loaded up on champagne (or sparkling cider) and bestowing love and gifts upon the parents to be. On baby shower invitations, kindly request gifts be made as donations to the baby's college savings plan and include your unique profile link.

  • Family and friends are already asking how to help
  • Fits into common baby shower gifting behavior
  • The early bird gets the worm: start early, earn more

Gender Reveal

If you decide to have a party to reveal the gender of your newborn to family and friends, it's another good time to remind folks about your college savings plan. Let your family and friends know that a contribution to your college savings plan would mean more than a physical gift. (You're likely all stocked up on adorable onesies after the baby shower anyway.)

  • Combine or separate gender reveal and baby shower parties
  • Remind friends you'd prefer the gift of education
  • Include your unique scholar profile link on your invitations

The Early Years

Year one is done with your new babe. Congrats! For new parents, every little change is worthy of a parade. It's a fascinating experience to watch your newborn turn into a person with a unique personality. Here are a few ways to share Scholar Raise with your friends and family as you travel through the toddler years.


When the first holiday season with your child comes around, your friends may be stocking up on baby blocks and play toys for your little one, so try to catch them before they head out to pick up gifts. Remind them you have a college savings plan and you'd love a contribution to your child's future education. Bonus! This spares them a trip to the toy aisle on a Saturday morning, and also allows those on a tight budget to contribute to something really meaningful - the gift of education.

  • It's a perfectly natural time to ask for gifts for your child
  • Prioritize small, early contributions to maximize earnings over time
  • Remind family you'd prefer contributions over physical gifts

Pre-School Acceptance

You spent 20+ hours filling out pre-school applications, so we think you're the one that deserves a gift! If you have parent friends, commiserate and laugh over the arduous pre-school application experience. Donate to each other's kid's college savings plans as an honorary celebration for all that hard work.

  • Child's first major educational achievement
  • Celebrate the first big milestone with friends
  • Set up family with recurring contributions for college

Developmental Milestones

From their first word to their first crawl, there are many developmental milestones in your child's first few years. And because you have the potential to generate more earnings the earlier you save, we encourage contributing as much and as often as you can in the early years. In addition to monthly contributions, we suggest making contributions to commemorate development milestones.

  • 50+ development milestones in your baby's first two years
  • Commemorate special occasions with extra contributions
  • Use our savings calculator to estimate how much you'll earn over time

Just to be clear, we're not suggesting a party for every milestone - your friends will disown you - but rather, a small, extra contribution made by you, the parents, to commemorate the special moments. You can still throw birthday parties though. Everyone loves a birthday party.

Countdown to College

For parents and kids, the road to 18 is a long and winding one, but it's also over in the blink of an eye. There are three levels of education; the hard task of socializing; and of course, the raging hormones. You've started saving with a bang, but there's still time to earn as the college countdown begins.


This is it -- the home stretch. If your child is five, you're likely heading into the biggest school year yet: kindergarten. From this moment on, there are 14 years left before your child packs up and heads off to college. (Yay?!)

  • You have 18 birthdays to celebrate (and earn!) before college
  • Set up recurring gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles
  • Ask your child to contribute to their college savings for your birthday


If you're here, you're obviously smart and good looking, so we'll assume your child is as well. Between all the trophies, spelling bee championships and scholarships, have you forgotten to celebrate? We hope not!

  • Reward major sports and academic achievements
  • Celebrate exciting news and grades with contributions
  • Guide your child through savings goals and accomplishments


It's the big kahuna: high school graduation. If you haven't depleted your savings by now (kidding, not kidding), here's the time to go big. Ask family to join you in celebrating the last step before college.

  • Throw a surprise party for college acceptance
  • Honor your graduate for all their hard work
  • Match the contributions your child has made to their plan over the years

Now for the fun part: dorm room shopping. We kid. Seriously though, congratulations! You started early, consistently saved and now your child can attend college with a whole lot less debt. Heck, maybe even no debt?

Now, that's a gift we think matters most.

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