Virtually every parent, at some point, has said to their child something along the lines of, “It’s better to give than to receive,” “Sharing is caring,” or, “Oh, for goodness’ sake, just let your sister play with the darn toy for a few minutes!!!” With the holidays right around the corner, this is the time of year when those sentiments are most likely to be top of mind. It’s also the time of year that is best suited to teaching your kids how to fall in love with being kind, generous, and charitable.
With Give Miami Day happening on November 16th, and Giving Tuesday coming on November 28th, you have some great teachable moments coming up! Here are some pointers on how to use these events to help develop your children into tomorrow’s philanthropists:
- Make a “Giving Budget.”
It’s important to decide in advance how much your family is going to donate to charity this year. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. For example, you can take part in Give Miami Day for as little as $25. Remember, the money you and your family donate will be combined with the donations of thousands of families, all working together to make our community better, stronger, and more beautiful. The important part isn’t the amount that you give, it’s the intentionality of being charitable. When you set a budget aside for donations, you’re teaching your children that charity is important.
- Find Out What Causes Your Kids Are Passionate About
This is a great time to have conversations with your children about the issues that are important to them and issues that are important to your community. Hop on the internet together and learn as much as you can about their cause and how it’s impacting your neighborhood or area of our community. Let your kids know that they can play an important role in improving the thing they are passionate about by learning about it, educating others about it, volunteering with organizations that are working in and around it, and by donating to the nonprofit organizations that are involved with it.
- Research The Nonprofits in Your Community Who Are Making an Impact
Once you understand the cause, you’re ready to explore all the different nonprofits in your area that are working in your child’s area of passion. Visit their websites and see what they are doing. Find out which ones are closest to your home and whether there are volunteer opportunities. If time allows, you may even think about seeing if you can go visit with them and have them tell you and your kids all about their organization. Ultimately, the goal is to find one or two nonprofits you can donate to.
- Give Together
On Give Miami Day and/or Giving Tuesday, be sure to sit with your kids and involve them in the process of making the actual donations. Let them do as much of the process as you feel comfortable. The important part is that it’s a family event and your kids are the star. They did the research. They helped select the charity. Now it’s their time to make a difference in their community.
Don’t underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Once the donation(s) are made, go ahead and make a big deal out of what your children and your family have done for your community. You guys are helping to make other people’s lives better! You’re making your community more healthy, more beautiful, more resilient, more educated, more awesome. You are officially superheroes!
Getting your whole family involved in philanthropy through opportunities like Give Miami Day or Giving Tuesday will not only strengthen your community, but it will also strengthen your family as well. Now’s the time to start.