Charitable Giving: Teach Your Children Well

Children can understand charitable giving and helping others.  No age is too young to start.

With your kids of all ages, get them involved.  Create a change jar for giving to charity.  Each month or so decide as a family where to donate the money.  Then, if you want, roll the change or take it to the bank for counting with your child.  Writing a check is great but taking the money to the charity together is a tangible lesson.  Children learn in all ways including seeing and experiencing the location and people you are helping.

Some families donate time together.  They go and work at homeless shelters providing holiday meals or make it a monthly time to support their favorite charity. Making it age appropriate to your children is a perfect hands-on lesson.

My grandmother you to hand me a dollar to put in the basket at Sunday Mass. Yes, this was a start of a lesson.  However, the more intentional and planned and discussed donating is, the better the long-term outcome. 

Yes, as a parent you have plenty on your plate.  Teaching your child about charitable giving is a two for one accomplishment.  You are teaching your child about your values and helping others.  Plus, the giving circle will continue as they practice in future years the giving that you taught them. 

Remember, the dollar amount does not count as much as the action.  The attitude of gratitude is enhanced with giving.

Giving In November With Thanks: Finding A Review on Your Charity

How do you know your charity is doing a good job?

Though we are great shoppers, we often do not research the causes we give to.  We are spending time on-line finding the best price, but many donors give without true knowledge of the charity.  Some charities names may sound good and they asked for money, so we give.  Before you give, investigate. 

There are two websites that analyze the charities for their fiscal responsibility and their true nature of helping the causes they represent.  If an organization is spending 50% of their money on administration costs, for example, they may not be the best place to give your donation.  Check out: Charitynavigator.org and Guidestar.org