In our family, I have involved my kids in fundraising activities from the time they were old enough to walk. Whether I'm raising money for Cambodia or Creative Commons, I try to include them in some way. We have dinner table discussions on why it is important to support causes, particularly programs in Cambodia like the Sharing Foundation. My kids have posed for photos in t-shirts, emptied their piggy banks, helped me make fundraising videos, contributed clothing or other items to drives at school, and have attended lots of fund raising events.
As someone who works in the nonprofit sector, I understand the importance of giving - and trying to pass that down to my kids. I was curious about my colleagues, who work for nonprofits and are parents, what do they do to encourage their children's spirit of giving at a young age?
My colleagues who support the The Sharing Foundation also make fundraising for their favorite cause a family activity. Take, for example, third-grader Sophie, the Cambodian daughter of a Sharing Foundation supporter in Maine. Sophie created a flier to sell Cambodian/American flag pins and raised $350 for Sharing Foundation. Notes Sophie in the recent Sharing Foundation newsletter, "Not many people in Cambodia are as lucky as we are, so I decided I just wanted to help give them money to buy food and water, because I was from the country."
Be A Role Model of Generosity
Hans shared a story about how his wife donated her hair to Locks of Love which sparked a conversation with their 4 year old about children who are in need. He notes, "So we model the values that we hope our children will emulate, and support charities that our kids can see connections to." Roxana Gheorghe suggests the PSA Partnership and agrees, "It is an interesting subject because generosity is a characteristic typical to all cultures, ages, races and people. Parents and relatives are the best role model for their kids in sharing generosity, that is,generosity is passed on from generation to generation."
Katrin Verlcas adds, "Talk about, read about, and surround yourself and speak with inspired people and their work who are making the world a better place. Name your children after them."
Next week we will continue Beth's wonderful suggestions on how we can encourage philanthropic behaviors in our children!
About The Author
Beth Kanter is a trainer, blogger, and consultant to nonprofits and individuals in effective use of social media. Her expertise is how to use new web tools (blogging, tagging, wikis, photo sharing, video blogging, screencasting, social networking sites, and virtual worlds, etc) to support nonprofit. She has worked on projects that include: training, curriculum development, research, and evaluation. She is an experienced coach to "digital immigrants" in the personal mastery of these tools. She is a professional blogger and writes about the use of social media tools in the nonprofit sector for social change. More About Beth