Writing a check is a great way to support a cause, but it may not be the most effective way to involve your children in the giving process. Even young children can get excited about charitable giving if done right. Along they way, they'll learn valuable lessons in money management, philanthropic values, empathy and community involvement. Engaging kids in giving doesn't have to be difficult or involve big dollars. Indeed, all of us can be philanthropists -- no matter how much money we have to share.
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
||Creating a Charitable Atmosphere|
Make a Difference
Charitable giving can empower young people to make thoughtful, meaningful choices that impact the lives of others. There are a variety of ways to engage children in charitable giving, depending on their ages and your own family traditions and values. Some possibilities:
Select a "family cause" that your brood will be inclined to support for a year or more. You can hold a fundraiser for the cause, collect items from the organization's wish list, donate your family's own charitable giving dollars, volunteer for the group, or explain the group's work to others.
Create and decorate your own "giving box" or jar where family members can put their loose change. When it's full, decide together where to donate the proceeds.
If your child decides to donate any part of his or her money, agree to match that amount with your own contribution.
Provide your child with a check from Charity Checks in any amount you choose. Your child can then donate that amount to a charity of his or her choice. This is a great way to emphasize giving as well as receiving at the holidays.
Have your child split his or her allowance into three parts: saving, spending and sharing. Visit Share Save Spend for more information about teaching children financial literacy.
Photo: Charity Checks
Talk About It
Talking to children about charitable giving provides the ideal opportunity to learn about what really matters to them.
Ask your child what issues they care about. Are they interested in environmental causes? The homeless? The arts? Ask about the reasons for the interest and how they think they might make a difference.
Help your child research the cause to find a reputable organization that works on its behalf. To review the ratings of nonprofits, check the following websites: Charity Watch, Charity Navigator, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, or Guidestar.
Using these facts, talk about how their dollars (or cents!) are making a difference.
Learn About It...
The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving by Ellen Sabin (ages 4-8), is an interactive book that will introduce your children to giving and charity, help them focus on their own dreams for the world and provide specific steps they can take to make a difference. Inspiring, engaging and fun.
Photo: The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving by Ellen Sabin
"If you think you're too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito."
||News From DGT|
Save the date!
You're invited to the 4th annual celebration for Doing Good Together. November 20, 2009 6-9 p.m.
This downtown-Minneapolis event will feature wine, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, a live auction and a "big wall of wine" raffle. Although this is a fundraiser for Doing Good Together, no minimum donation will be requested.
Please join us. More details to follow!