Passing on the joy of generosity to our children can be a source of happy childhood memories and good lifelong giving habits. Here are five tips to help you start or advance your journey of raising a philanthropic child.
Start Early and Reiterate Often
Young children can easily grasp the simple ideas of "need" and "giving." Even though they may not be ready for all the complicated reasons behind the world's problems, they can start to understand that some things are not right, and they can do something to make them better. As your child gets older, keep talking to them about giving in ways that make sense for their age.
Involve Your Kids in Your Giving
Setting a good example is a wonderful way to teach your child about being kind and helping others. You can explain how you give your time, skills, or resources to support causes and organizations you care about. You don't have to reveal exact amounts of money you give; instead, talk about the reasons that motivate you to support specific causes. Encourage your child to ask questions. When they're ready, invite them to share their thoughts on family-giving decisions. This is also a chance to review and improve how you approach giving.
Volunteering can be a special and memorable experience for your child. It's a chance to create lasting family traditions and spend quality time together. One enjoyable way to volunteer is by participating in group activities like cleaning up a park or taking part in school-led events. When your child volunteers with friends or makes new friends while giving back, it can make the experience even more fun and meaningful.
Let Kids Lead
What are your kids passionate about? Your child might tell you they care about a particular cause, or you can suggest ideas based on their interests. Do you have an animal lover, a bookworm, or a sports fanatic? There are usually organizations related to each interest that your child can get excited about. Connecting giving to something your child is passionate about can make the experience more enjoyable and turn it into a lasting habit.
Evolve the Plan as They Grow
As your child gets older, their interests may change. That's okay! Being kind and giving can grow and change with them. It's good to support your child in trying out different ways to give. Just like how they might change their interests, they might also go through different phases before they figure out what kind of giving feels right for them.
Use Charity Navigator as a Resource
You can use Charity Navigator's search tool to find effective charities addressing the causes your child cares about. It's simple to use, with filters to narrow down your search. Your child can even take the lead in finding charities they like. Charity Navigator also has tools to find nonprofits and volunteer opportunities so you can embrace the joy of giving back together as a family.