Resources to Support You
Set Your Course Well: Your InFaith Giving Plan
Your Giving Story: A Letter to the Future
Women Give 2018: Transmitting Generosity to Daughters & Sons
"The Giving Book" for Children & Grandchildren
The Giving Book, by Watering Can Press, is a great gift opportunity for your children or grandchildren and is customized with their names and picture. The book is written for children ages 6 to eleven and discusses charitable giving at an understandable level.
When InFaith donor Gaye’s extended family gathers this holiday season, they will share memories of Christmas slumber parties with cousins and Advent devotions written by Grandma. They’ll also spend time giving gifts to charities important to them; a tradition that now spans generations through their InFaith donor advised fund.
ENGAGING CHILDREN OF ALL AGES
All donors have different life experiences that influence the charities and causes supported through giving. How do we help our children and grandchildren discover the life-changing joy of giving? Here are some ways to consider.
- Sunday morning offering. Make offering part of the getting-ready-for-church routine. Put a quarter in each child’s hand and connect the quarter to the mission of the church. For example, “When you give this quarter to church, it travels around the world to make sure someone just like you has clean water to drink. Your gift makes a big difference.”
- A refrigerator list of giving. When kids start to read, the world is their book. Post a list of charities and causes you are supporting with a last line, “Any others we should add to our list?” Having the list somewhere central (like the fridge) means conversations about it will be natural. And while some funny alternatives may make the list, the point is, your family is talking about it.
- Notecard allowances. When you give allowances, add a step: write the total amount on a notecard with the words “Share. Save. Spend.” Help your child decide how much of the total they want to allocate to each. Use this “receipt” to give them spending money, transfer money into savings and put cash in an envelope for sharing. Use the sharing envelope to write down where the money went. For further details on this three-prong giving approach, see ShareSaveSpend.org. In cultures like Japan, money is given to children as a year-end gift. If you are a grandparent, you can create money-giving opportunities with the same three-prong overlay by adding a note: “Here’s money for you to Share, Save and Spend. Decide with your mom or dad how you want to use the money.”
- Current event giving. Moments of crisis around the world also stimulate the best impulses within us—to help. It’s a great time for a conversation about giving. As a parent or grandparent, consider the following conversation starter: “I have $100 extra that I’m able to give this month. How much of it should I give to the hurricane victims?” And, as follow up, “Where should the rest of it go?”
- Volunteering with the family. “When you visit, would you like to volunteer?” is something you can offer as a grandparent, or parent, when your family visits. An hour at a food shelf is an enduring memory and a wonderful way for families to get involved together. Make volunteering part of family gatherings at all times of the year, whether sorting donated clothes or serving holiday meals. Setting a monthly or quarterly volunteering day makes it an ongoing habit.
- Tapping our most optimistic minds. Our children can be passionate idealist of the best kind, and this energy is a wonderful source for giving conversations. Mention that you want to rethink your giving to be relevant to today, and ask them to be thinking about ideas. The fridge, again, is a great place to keep a running list.
- The values that drive us. Read the mission statements of the charities you give to. What values are named? Make a list and discuss during dinner. Have your family think about what other causes align with each organization’s values. This is a great way for kids to connect underlying beliefs and passion with change in the world.
- The home foundation. Schedule a meeting for the “home foundation” and invite the whole family. Show “board members” how much is given each year and to where. Talk about why these are on the list. Ask what kinds of other causes or charities should be added to the list.
- Just what nonprofits are looking for. Most college-age and twenty-somethings aren’t thinking about joining nonprofit boards, but they should. Nonprofits love (and need) new energy, and it’s a great way for young adults to see what happens to the money they give. Sometimes, all it takes is asking whether they’ve thought about applying to be on a nonprofit board.
10 Ways Families Can Inspire a Spirit of Generosity*
- Model abundance or sufficiency, not fear, secrecy or inadequacy.
- Talk about and demonstrate giving, volunteering and service.
- Mentor your children about money and giving.
- Set standards for giving, volunteering and work ethic early on.
- Teach responsible money management (budget, planning, credit card use).
- Deposit money in a giving account and provide age-appropriate advice.
- Spread joy together with anonymous gifts and generosity.
- Balance needs and wants with global understanding. Help your kids understand where your family is on the economic spectrum.
- Create a family giving plan and include your kids’ values and priority issues for your community.
- Increase community service hours to open the hearts and minds of your entire family.
*Used with permission of Tracy Gary from Inspired Philanthropy.