How Do You Teach Your Children To Be Philanthropic?

A young girl at a stand selling fresh lemonade.

Teaching children to be philanthropic can be difficult, particularly with their limited personal financial resources. However, being philanthropic can be extremely gratifying for young people. Children are heavily influenced by their parents and adults around them.

Sometimes, it is possible that children never see their parents giving to charities because it is done quietly or perhaps their parents cannot afford to give. As many parents would like their children to understand the importance of philanthropy, being aware of your child’s potential to be charitable is key.

Being philanthropic can be extremely gratifying for young people.

Children can raise funds for their favourite charity in many different ways – a lemonade stand, a school fundraiser or a birthday party are just some of the possibilities. The sky is the limit! Get creative and nurture your children’s inclination to make their community better.

Volunteering is another way to foster philanthropy in children. They can be bunny cuddlers at the local animal shelter, help out at a charity event or provide seasonal help at the food bank.

Nurture your children’s inclination to make their community better.

As your family becomes more established, you may choose to make annual donations together to causes near and dear. Another alternative is to create a family-named endowment fund at an organization like a community foundation. Named endowment funds have a minimum pledge amount. For instance, at Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, you can set up your own for $50,000.

However, your family could also choose to contribute to an existing fund for any amount. An endowment fund provides a unified approach to philanthropy for the whole family. Perhaps every Thanksgiving dinner, everyone brings a donation and then one cheque is written for the endowment fund.

If everyone brings what they can donate, then they all feel engaged as they help to grow the principal. Over the years, the fund would grow in perpetuity and the generated annual funds would be a wonderful way to give thanks as part of your family’s Thanksgiving tradition.