How to Teach Your Kids About Charitable Giving for Your Family’s Philanthropy

Hey fellow moms! Navigating motherhood comes with a heap of joys, challenges, and one-of-a-kind moments that shape us and our little ones in profound ways. Among the countless lessons we pass on to our kids, there’s one that stands out for its power to shape hearts and minds alike: the lesson of charitable giving.

But how do we start this conversation? How do we make the idea of giving as relatable to our kids as their favorite bedtime story? It’s all about making philanthropy a cozy, family affair.

So, grab a cup of tea, and let’s chat about turning our little ones into big-hearted givers, making philanthropy the heart of our family’s legacy.

mom teaching kid aout charitable givingSource:

Understanding Philanthropy with Kids

You know, introducing our children to the concept of giving and philanthropy can seem a bit daunting at first. We’re not just talking about dropping coins into a charity box; it’s about nurturing an entire mindset of generosity and awareness.

So, how do we do that without making it feel like another lecture? Let’s break it down:

Explaining Philanthropy to Different Ages

Starting the conversation about giving and helping others can be fun and engaging, but it definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal.

For the littlest ones, it can be as simple as sharing toys with friends or picking flowers for a neighbor. It’s about showing them the joy in small acts of kindness. As they grow older, we can start introducing more complex ideas, like discussing why some people might not have homes or why animals in shelters need our help.

It’s all about making these conversations age-appropriate and connecting them to their world in a way that sparks curiosity and empathy.

family making cards for charitySource:

Activities to Understand Philanthropy

Now, we all know kids learn best by doing, right? So, what better way to teach children about philanthropy than by engaging in hands-on activities?

You could start a family charity jar where everyone contributes spare change and decides together where to donate it. Or how about adopting a family during the holidays, shopping for gifts together, or preparing a meal for a local shelter? These activities not only make giving tangible but also create special family memories.

Practical Ways to Involve Children in Philanthropy

We’ve talked the talk about the importance of teaching our kids to give back, so how do we walk the walk? How do we make this whole philanthropy thing not just another chore on the list but something they get excited about?

Here are some hands-on, creative ideas to make charitable contributions a blast:

1. Volunteering Together

There’s nothing quite like rolling up your sleeves and getting involved in community service as a family. Whether it’s helping out at a local food bank, planting trees, or walking dogs at the animal shelter, volunteering together not only makes a tangible difference but also creates lasting family memories.

And the best part? You’re showing your kids the power of their efforts, firsthand. Seeing the smile on someone’s face because of their help? That’s priceless. Children watch and emulate what adults do, so it’s important to be a role model and live by example.

As iterated by The Life You Can Save, “We all know that children frequently learn behaviors by observing their parents. Charitable giving appears to be no exception.”

family planning on donating toys


2. Donating Toys and Clothes

Let’s be honest, our homes are often overflowing with toys and clothes that have been outgrown or forgotten. Why not turn a spring-cleaning session into a philanthropy project?

Involve your kids by asking them to select toys and clothes they no longer need and would like to donate. It’s a great way to teach them about letting go and sharing with those who might not have as much. Plus, it makes room for the new, both physically and metaphorically.

3. Fundraising as a Family

Now, this is where you can get really creative! Fundraising can be anything from a lemonade stand to a bake sale, or even a garage sale with proceeds going to your chosen charities. It’s an opportunity to get entrepreneurial, teaching your kids valuable lessons about money and business, all while working towards a noble goal. But remember that it’s never about your net worth.

Whether it’s saving up for a cause close to your heart or supporting a local project, fundraising as a family is not just productive, it’s fun — especially if you make a plan for charitable giving!

4. Crafting for a Cause

Kids love getting crafty, so why not channel that creativity into philanthropy? After all, it’s never just about donating money. You can organize crafting sessions where you make cards for seniors in nursing homes, knit scarves for a homeless shelter, or prepare gifts for kids suffering from childhood cancer or other diseases.

Charities Aid Foundation also suggests, “With limited financial means it can be hard for children to donate money. Use this as a chance to teach them that they have a much more valuable resource than cash – they have time, which can be just as powerful. Encourage them to help neighbours with small jobs. If they are older, help them to volunteer at local clubs, hospitals and take part in charitable events at school.”

mom teaching kids about philanthropy


5. Birthday Parties with a Purpose

Birthday parties are a big deal for kids, but they can also be a wonderful opportunity to teach philanthropy.

Instead of gifts, you could encourage guests to bring donations for a charity your child cares about. This could be books for a local library, pet supplies for an animal shelter, or canned goods for a food bank.

It’s a fun way to celebrate while also spreading awareness and support for a worthy cause.

6. Adopting a Spot

Another engaging activity is to adopt a spot in your area, like a park, beach, stretch of highway, or community garden, and take responsibility for keeping it clean and beautiful.

Regular clean-up days can be a fun, outdoor family activity that not only helps the environment but also instills a sense of responsibility and pride in your kids for looking after their community.

7. Penny Wars for Charity

This is a fun and competitive way to involve kids to raise money. Family members (or friends and neighbors) can be divided into teams, with each team trying to collect as many pennies as possible over a set period.

You can also involve silver coins and bills as “sabotage” that teams can put into others’ jars to deduct from their penny total. The winning team can then donate money to their chosen charitable organizations.

It’s a playful, engaging way to teach kids about teamwork and children’s giving.

kid's future bright because of philanthropy


8. Kindness Rocks

This is a simple yet powerful activity where you and your kids paint rocks with uplifting messages or cheerful designs and then leave them around your community for others to find. Not only is this a creative outlet, but it also spreads joy and positivity.

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy suggests, “Match the action with your child’s age. A young child’s drawing can brighten up someone’s day, as can a painted “kindness rock” left on someone’s doorstep. It can also be taking part in a community clean up.”

It’s one of the most beautiful philanthropic activities to brighten someone’s day and teach kids about the impact of small, thoughtful gestures.

The Importance of Charitable Giving

Now, I know what you’re thinking – between diaper changes, school runs, and the endless laundry, we’ve got enough on our plates. But here’s the thing, instilling a sense of charity in our kids and ourselves isn’t just another task on the to-do list.

Let’s break it down:

Benefits for the Family

First up, let’s chat about what’s in it for us and our little tribes. You know those warm fuzzies you get when you help someone out? That’s not just good vibes; that’s the joy of giving. And it’s contagious.

When we involve our family in charitable activities, we share those good vibes, creating a deeper connection with our kids and each other. It’s about more than just giving; it’s about learning gratitude, empathy, and the power of working together for a common good. These are life lessons that shape our kids into well-rounded, caring adults.

Plus, let’s be real, seeing the world through a lens of compassion and kindness makes for a happier, more fulfilling family life. It also promotes the emotional well-being of everyone involved. This is perhaps one of the best philanthropy benefits.

family on their way to give back to the community


Benefits for Society

Now, let’s zoom out a bit and look at the bigger picture. Every time we pack up those unused clothes for donation, spend an afternoon at the animal shelter, or help clean up the local park, we’re not just teaching our kids valuable lessons – we’re making a tangible difference in our community and the world.

It’s like dropping a pebble in a pond; the ripples of our actions spread far and wide.

Teaching our kids about charitable giving prepares them to be thoughtful leaders and changemakers, ready to take on the world’s challenges. And in today’s world, we need all the kindness and compassion we can get.

To Wrap Up

And there we have it, lovely moms, a blueprint for weaving the rich tapestry of giving into the fabric of our family life. Teaching our kids about charitable giving isn’t just about the donations; it’s about planting seeds of compassion, kindness, and responsibility that will grow with them. It’s about family bonding over shared values and the joy that comes from helping others.

As we embark on this journey together, remember, every little act of kindness counts, and it’s the love we put into giving that truly makes the world a better place.

So, let’s raise our cups (and maybe even a cookie or two) to nurturing the next generation of philanthropists, one family hug at a time. Because when we give with love, the world gives back in beautiful ways.

Want another method for charitable giving that gets the whole family in on it? Try building a philanthropic family trust!

Kathy Urbanski

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