Encouraging your children to be charitable can help them develop into compassionate, well-rounded adults. Teaching them the importance of giving can also demonstrate the true value of a dollar and broaden their understanding of budgeting.
Here’s what you can do to get your kids excited about helping others.
Be a Role Model
Kids will often imitate what they see. If you want your children to understand the value of giving to others, it’s important to give to others yourself.
You can model charity in several ways. For instance, you can sign up to volunteer at a local food bank or a school on a weekly or monthly basis. If you pay bills or work on the family budget with your children, you can talk about the charities you donate to and why.
Donate Money or Time
Your children can give back in two ways. They can donate money or time. If you give your kids an allowance, encourage them to include a “sharing” category when they’re deciding how to divide their cash.
Have them split up their weekly or monthly allowance into three jars. The first jar is their “save” jar. Any money in this jar is set aside for a future goal, such as a new bike or expensive electronic.
The second jar is their “spend” jar. They can use the money in this jar however they’d like, for things such as candy, toys, or books. The third jar is their “share” jar. Money in this jar will go toward charitable causes or someone in need. Your child can donate directly to an organization or use the money to purchase things a nonprofit needs, like canned foods, school supplies, or clothing.
While this activity will help your kids visualize where their money is going, you may prefer to manage their money digitally. In this case, you can also open a youth savings account for their earnings and set up different shares to categorize their funds.
Choose a Cause That Matters
Children are more likely to want to give if they’re supporting a cause that’s important to them. Here are some examples of what might appeal to kids.
- Animal welfare: Does your child love animals? Many charities help rescue and provide care for injured or lost animals, such as local shelters, farm sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation centers.
- Education: Are your children passionate about learning? If your kids love to read, they might be excited to support an organization that provides books to other kids, such as a literacy program or even a local library. They might also want to volunteer at a museum, an aquarium, or another educational location.
- Food security: Your children might want to help kids or families who don’t have enough to eat. They can donate money or canned goods to local food pantries or volunteer at a soup kitchen.
- Arts: Kids who are excited about the visual or performing arts might be thrilled to support organizations like drama or art programs for children.
- The environment: If your children love nature or are concerned about the planet’s health, they can donate to recycling or reuse programs, volunteer to clean up their local park, or pick up litter in their neighborhood.
Help Your Child Learn About Finances with PSECU
Teaching your child about charitable giving can help them gain a greater appreciation for money. For more tips on teaching your kids about money, visit our WalletWorks page today.