What are Birthday Clubs?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 August 2019
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Birthday clubs are clubs established for the purpose of tracking and scheduling birthday celebrations. There are actually three main incarnations of the birthday club that are found in various settings. The most common example of birthday clubs is programs sponsored by retail vendors and offered to their clientele. However, there are also private birthday clubs established between select group of people and workplace birthday clubs that ensure each employee’s birthday is recognized without fail. Here are examples of how each one of these types of birthday clubs function.

Within a retail setting, joining birthday clubs essentially means registering with a business in order to receive certain benefits on one’s birthday. For example, joining a birthday club program operated by a particular restaurant may entitle the individual to enjoy a free or discounted meal on his or her birthday. Ice cream shops may operate a birthday club program that allows the celebrant to enjoy a free treat, such as an ice cream cone or a banana split. Parents sometimes register their children in birthday clubs operated by pizza parlors in order to obtain a discount package for a birthday party.


Birthday clubs connected with retail establishments provide benefits for both the business and the consumer. The customer is assured of receiving some type of free or discounted product or service in exchange for membership in the club. At the same time, the business can look forward to the chance to bring in customers with the club plan and increase the chances of upselling the customer while extending the discounted or free item.

A second example of a birthday club has to do with the workplace. In this incarnation, employees are invited to participate by contributing a small amount each month to a birthday club fund. In exchange, each participant receives recognition on his or her birthday. The club benefits may include a card and cake or a free lunch. Birthday clubs of this type have become more popular as more and more people take jobs far from home and thus may not be able to enjoy a birthday with loved ones.

Private birthday clubs may be established between a group of people outside the workplace, such as a neighborhood or a house of worship. In applications of this nature, the congregant or neighbor is recognized by his or her peers on or near the birthday. Unlike work related birthday clubs, private birthday clubs normally do not require a regular financial contribution to a fund. Instead, other people in the club pool resources to throw a small party or provide a celebration such as a potluck meal after worship services. The core idea of private birthday clubs is to remind people they are valued members of a given community and that their participation is appreciated.

The exact organization for birthday clubs may be very formal or extremely casual. Usually when there is a need to collect membership fees and keep track of how they are spent, the club will develop very specific regulations as well as implement various checks and balances to ensure the funds are used appropriately. In more casual situations, the birthday club may function with a core group of volunteers who facilitate the celebrations on a rotating basis. Some birthday clubs may function by holding a group birthday celebration for all members born in the current month, while others will focus on doing something specific for each celebrant. In all incarnations, the efforts of birthday clubs usually bring a smile to people who may or may not have a birthday celebration otherwise.


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Post 3

Birthdays are an important part of anyone's life. Whether it's as simple as a "Thank You" card or as joyous as playing pin the tail on the donkey, moments like these hardly ever come around, and they should be savored at every opportunity.

Post 2

@Chmander - I don't hear "Happy Birthday" sung as much as before, but it's more associated with people who are of a very young age, which definitely makes a lot of sense. The first ten to twelve years of anyone's life (especially childhood) are by far the most important; a coming of age. Birthdays will always be celebrated, but as you grow older, the tradition changes. There's nothing wrong with change, and it's helps you to adjust to how old you are.

Post 1

Just a question, but do most people even sing "Happy Birthday" anymore? My parents no longer follow that "tradition", and they generally just take me out to lunch or dinner during the weekend.

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