Gifts for a Christening

How much money should a godparent give for a baptism?

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. December 18, 2018
How much money should a godparent give for a baptism?

Without doubt, it’s an honor to be chosen as a godparent at a baby’s baptism ceremony. But such a special occasion brings with it a certain degree of social anxiety. Being the godparent of a child, you need to behave properly, and this includes offering the right gift. A fairly traditional baptism gift is money, because the parents put this amount as an investment for the child’s future. So, you must be wondering how much money should a godparent give for a baptism? Actually, it largely depends on your individual financial condition and how you are related to the family. Let’s find out here at oneHOWTO.

You may also be interested in: Best Baptism Gifts from a Godparent
  1. Factors to Consider
  2. Baptism gifting etiquette for godparents
  3. Does a godparent receive a gift at the baptism?
  4. Donation to the Priest
  5. Conclusion

Factors to Consider

There are several factors that play an important role in deciding how much money should a godparent give for a baptism. Let’s talk about a few of them.

Your relation to the baby

How much money you should give as a baptism gift usually depends on your closeness of relationship to the child. Being a godparent, you would be expected to offer a significant amount of $100-$150, and even more if you may afford. For other close relatives, $50 would be acceptable. How closely you are related to the child would be a deciding factor.

A baby's grandparent, or uncle or aunt will be expected to provide for them throughout their lives anyway, A godparent is not expected to give a big amount unless they are able to. But if you have a distant relationship with the child, such as your cousin’s baby or friend’s child, then you may get away with a lesser amount.

Your financial situation

The parents who choose you to be the godparent of a child are likely to be aware of your financial condition. If you are on a tight budget and are not well-to-do in your daily living, then they won’t expect some lavish gift from you. It is perfectly fine to offer according to your means. Without being miser, give a generous amount as per your financial situation.

If the family understands your circumstances, they will gratefully receive your gift. However, giving the money in a different way would be memorable. Such as giving it in a piggy bank would be treated as a keepsake for the baby. However, you should also be aware that this might be a reason you wouldn't be asked in the first place.

Your target of giving

If you don’t want the child’s parents to utilize the amount gifted by you, or if you are concerned about the child’s future, education and savings, then you have several options to target your offering. You may put your money directly into the child’s college savings account. There are service providers that allow you to do that by charging a small fee. You may also offer a savings bond, which can be backed up by the US Treasury. This type of bond keeps paying interest and doubles in amount after about 20 years. Bonds with adjustable interest rate are also available. So, try to choose a bond that has lower rate at the time of purchase.

Alternatives to money

If you don’t want to give money, then you have a number of gift alternatives too. You may make something for the baby as per your skill level. A handmade gift would be treasured beyond its monetary value, and it would be cherished for years. You may also invest in a traditional keepsake, such as a silver rattle or gold locket that may be passed onto generations. With wise shopping, you may find a gift that would be appropriate for the occasion without being too expensive. Because the godparent is usually very close to the child’s parents, he or she is expected to give a higher value gift at this special occasion.

Other than cash, the most common gifts you can give to your godchild would be silver items. This may include anything from a silver cross pendant to a name plate with the baby’s name embossed on it. Often, the gift from a godparent is put on display in the house or in the baby’s room. This is why engraved silver item is an ideal gift. If you want to gift something more traditional, then you may buy a baptismal gown for the baby. If you are looking to gift money, then invest in a savings bond for the child. Read best baptism gifts from a godparent.

Baptism gifting etiquette for godparents

Remember, a child’s baptism takes place only once in the lifetime of the child. This means it might warrant a bigger gift. People also feel that a child deserves more generous gifts from godparents, probably because of the spiritual significance of the ceremony. People having bountiful resources may spend $100 or more as a baptism, while well-wishers on budget would suffice with $50 or so. Of course, very rich families can spend exponentially. It might also depend on the culture in which you live.

Being a godparent can be time-consuming, expensive and super-religious. If you have been asked to be a godparent to a precious child, then what you are presenting to the child would be a big deal for most. Not only the baptism, you would be expected to continue gifting for the child’s birthdays, Christmas and other occasions. At a baptism, cash would be king. It is a serious occasion and you need to stay sober. Apart from that, you need to buy tasteful, mostly expensive presents. Keep in mind that your baptism gift needs to be different from others at the event. Typically, your gift should be nicer than those gifted by others at the baptism.

Does a godparent receive a gift at the baptism?

While it’s not a tradition to give anything to other attendants at a child’s baptism ceremony, parents usually gift something to the godparents. Usually, there is a time when parents gift something to their child’s godparents. At this time, godparents exchange their gift with the family of the child. Silver jewelry and engraved frames are good gifts to be exchanged at this time. However, you may expect some cash as well.

Since parents are very close to the child’s godparents, they would prefer something that the godparents would enjoy, use or need. So, the gift you choose for the baptism ceremony of your godchild should be of appropriate value. Make sure that your gift does not fall short of the gift you receive in return from the child’s parents.

How much money should a godparent give for a baptism? - Does a godparent receive a gift at the baptism?

Donation to the Priest

The child’s parents are not usually expected to pay anything extra to the church or the priest at the baptism ceremony. However, several people choose to do that. Being the godparent of the child, you can show off your joy by donating some amount to the priest as well while performing the baptism. The amount may be anything as per your budget, ranging from $25 to $100.

The amount that you give to the priest largely depends on whether he took some extra time and effort to make preparations for the ceremony. The amount should be bigger if it is a private event at the church. Instead of tipping the priest, you may also choose to donate some money to the church in which the baptism ceremony is being held.

Of course, you might be in the position where you are not religious, but the parents are. This is a judgment call. You could consider it a cultural offering, but whatever you do, you will need to respect the beliefs of all involved.


Baptism is a special time for a child and his or her family. Whether your gift is a monetary or a physical one, it’s all about being careful and thoughtful. Be generous within your limits, and don’t be miser. The child’s parents have shown their respect for you by choosing you to be their precious child’s godparent. By gifting a generous gift to their child, show your token of appreciation to their gesture.

If you want to read similar articles to How much money should a godparent give for a baptism?, we recommend you visit our Weddings & Parties category.

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How much money should a godparent give for a baptism?