Showing posts with label teaching children about. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teaching children about. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2013

Promoting Philanthropy in Children

Philanthropy. The word usually conjures up images of wealthy individuals donating large sums of money to organizations. Yet, in reality, philanthropy actually encompasses not only charitable giving but service and support as well.  Studies show promoting philanthropy in children can be beneficial to their well-being.

Children and teen volunteers

Why should I encourage philanthropy in children?

According, children who engage in philanthropic activities reap the following benefits:

  • A boost in self-esteem linked to performing selfless acts
  • Learn the value of money
  • Engage in teamwork and experience the importance of working with others
  • Gain knowledge of empathy and a commitment to helping others
  • Develop and utilize skills such as organization, communication and problem solving

Developmental psychologist Marilyn Price Mitchell believes children who engage in philanthropic acts experience a greater sense of well-being, are successful academically and have better relationships with peers than those who do not.

How do I teach children about philanthropy?

  • Lead by example.  Children learn more by what they see you do than by what you say. Have children join you when you volunteer and you will be sending a valuable message about how to be a philanthropist.
  • Promote their passion.  Encourage children to get involved in a cause they care about and they’re more likely to continue with those philanthropic activities.
  • Have discussions. Explain the different ways of being philanthropic—charitable giving, volunteering time or energy to a cause or being of service to those in need.
  • Get involved as a family. Engaging in philanthropic activities together is a great way to spend quality time as a family while helping a worthwhile cause. Participating in a “Giving Circle,” term used for pooling money as a family, is a great way to teach children about charitable giving.

Visit Share Save Spend,, an organization that teaches children how to allot a portion of their earnings or gifts to spending, sharing and saving, for additional ideas.

Sign for lemonade for hurricane relief

When do I start teaching children about philanthropy?

  • Early education is key. Children can become involved in charitable giving at any age. Choose activities and involvement that is age appropriate and related to their interests.
  • Studies show the earlier philanthropic activities are discussed and introduced in a child’s life, the more likely it becomes a lifelong habit.

Philanthropic activities for children:

  • Volunteer at an animal rescue by walking dogs or cleaning cat cages.
  • Assist at a food bank by stocking shelves with donated food or bagging food to go to needy families.
  • Visit an elderly resident in a nursing home or a war veteran.
  • Help children undergoing cancer treatment by supporting an event. Visit for more details.
  • Encourage children to develop their own ideas for a philanthropic activity.

For more ideas on philanthropy and charity for children, visit

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer