It’s never too soon to introduce children to giving. While children raised in philanthropically-oriented families are more likely to continue giving as adults; it’s critical to outline the purpose and tradition of giving. This proves to be the most effective way to encourage younger generations to continue giving to causes they support.
Take a look at the following success story of a family passing along the ways of giving through generations. Nextgendonors.org reported on a family’s unique tradition of giving children a sum of money when they turn 11. Each child is allowed to use their sum to support the cause of their choice–thus teaching an important lesson of research, choice, and giving.
This technique proved successful, as the children ended up with a vast knowledge of various charities and a passion to continue supporting them into adulthood.
Contrary to the above family’s technique, teaching future generation about philanthropy should not necessarily fall into the category of solely giving in monetary donations. Service projects or direct acts of giving can be just as imperative as financial contributions.
Hands-on giving can be a great way to include even the youngest of family members. The Guardian reported that over half of donations made around the world come from those over 60, and “the gap between donations and service acts made by the elderly and the under 30’s has widened sharply in the last 30 years.”
Parents choosing to take their children to the local soup kitchen to serve those in need can directly show just how impactful their help and donations truly are.
Talk About It
Another approach to closing the generational gap on giving includes making philanthropy a normal part of family conversations. If children are not frequently exposed to the concept of giving, and truly understand the amount their family contributes at any given time, it will be harder for them to grasp the desire to continue to give as they age to make their own choices.
An example of this scenario could be discussing how to give back every New Year’s Day as a family and continue to follow up with the discussion monthly.
Make Giving Back a New Tradition
As early as possible, older generations should be seeking ways to encourage the upcoming generations to use their own possessions as a means of giving back. An additional article from The Guardian shared that by making donating easy for younger generations, it will increase the likeliness of charitable actions on their behalf.
As a parent, try the simple tactic of encouraging your child to clear out their clothing and old toys twice a year. Cement the exercise in their heads by following the act with a trip to a local church, temple, or any other charitable institution that provides for those in need, where you can donate the items in-person.
There are bound to be scenarios where disagreements or push-back will occur between the generations. It is imperative for older generations to not give-up on instilling the philanthropic messages to those who come after them. A means of communicating about the importance of doing good for the community and those in it must remain consistent between the generations in order to continue to motivate the youth in continuing to make their own philanthropic choices.