These days it seems the thing to do on your birthday is not to ask for nor expect gifts or a party; rather, people are choosing favourite charities and asking their friends to make donations.
This is a great idea, because you can be sure you’re giving something you know will be liked and appreciated. They wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.
There may be times when you don’t agree with the person’s choice of charity; if that’s the case, I’m really not sure of what to do. If they’re not a really close friend, you can probably get away with waiting till their birthday and wishing them the best on social media or something. Luckily for me, the requests have been for causes I can get behind, so it’s nice to be able to do something for someone who needs it, in the name of a friend.