Charity really does begin at home.
Our two cents
Introducing your kids to the concept of philanthropy is an important step in their becoming financially literate. It can be as simple as talking about your own volunteer work or encouraging them to donate some of their savings to an important cause. Like saving and investing, charitable giving will ideally become second nature.
Passing on important values.
When talking with your kids about philanthropy, keep in mind that giving back to the community:
- Helps your kids view the world through a broader lens
- Gives kids an opportunity to experience what it feels like to have a positive influence or help someone less fortunate
- Offers you, as a parent, a meaningful opportunity to reinforce important values
Want more ideas? Here are five tips for encouraging philanthropy:
Let your kids choose. Help your teens identify a cause or organization that supports something they are passionate about. For instance, if your kids love animals, encourage them to volunteer time or contribute money to the local animal shelter.
Check out different organizations. Kids treasure every penny they have, so they'll want to know their money is being put to good use. You can find a lot of useful information at CharityNavigator.org or Give.org.
Stay local. Choosing a charity that is close to home makes the support more tangible—your teens can visit the organization to see firsthand how their support helps.
Match the donation dollar for dollar. Nothing encourages your kids to give more than seeing you do so as well. Support the organization and your kids by matching the donation.
Make philanthropy a family affair. Volunteer together and make decisions as a family about how to allocate charitable contributions.
Giving back isn't just about money. Encourage your kids to volunteer for a worthy cause or charity. VolunteerMatch.org is a good place to start.