Watch: How can parents make charitable giving part of their family routine?

April 15, 2024
3 min read

Charitable Impact

Make giving back a family affair by leading by example, openly discussing why and where you give, and empowering kids to make their own philanthropic decisions.

That’s a great question to ask how families can give together because it’s really important. It’s a really important place to develop donors and to build confidence around giving literacy. The number one thing is to try and just do it. Just do your best. Doing something in this context is way more important than doing it really well (whatever that even means to you). 

I’ll tell you what I try to do with my own family. I do two things that can enable learning, one of which is modelling—ie, seeing someone else do it and trying to emulate them, and the other part is actually experiencing it yourself. So on the modelling part, I try to have conversations [with my kids] about gifts my partner and I are making. Like, “Hey, we’re going to we’re going to do this for this charity, and here’s why…”

We share that and talk about it out loud with the kids to make it normalized, so they can learn a little bit about what their parents’ priorities are. We also openly discuss our budget and make a collective family decision about the portion of income that will go to charitable giving.

The other part, though, that’s critically important in my opinion, is to give the kids their own money for them to give away, as imperfectly as they’re gonna do it. I do this by paying a charity allowance to my kids. We give them 10 bucks a month, and they have to give that money away. But they do it according to what their interests are. It’s their decision that they have to take responsibility for. 

So my recommendation, first and foremost—give as a family and make it something that happens together. Talk about it and model what you do as parents and share that with the kids, but also empower the kids to do it on their own.