invitations, formal

Use the following rules for drafting formal invitations.

  • Spell out dates and times for formal invitations.
  • Describe attire: black-tie, business attire, business casual, casual. Do not use optional.
  • Annual may be used for an event’s third occurrence, but not for the first two. Inaugural is appropriate for the first. See annual.
  • Write R.S.V.P.
  • For response cards, refer inquiries to a person at an office, not just to an office. Supply contact information.
  • For response cards, it is appropriate to ask for a reply by a certain date.
  • For response cards, IRS regulations require a clear listing of what is and what is not a charitable contribution. Example: I/We plan to attend the gala and am/are enclosing $100 per person. ($50 of this amount is usually considered a charitable contribution to the extent allowed by law.)
  • Do not refer to a meal at a fundraising event as complimentary. You can say $1,000 sponsor includes four dinner tickets, but then you must also note that, if the dinners were $50 each, for example, $800 of this amount is generally considered a contribution.
  • According to the IRS, you cannot write Proceeds from the event will benefit … You must specify an exact amount if a person is to receive a tax credit.