1. Start Early!
Teaching children philanthropy can start at a very early age. Lessons related to cooperation, compassion, kindness, sharing, and contributing to a family, school, or neighborhood all teach the foundation of philanthropy.
2. Time, Treasure, Talent
It’s important to teach children of all ages that we all have time, treasure, or talent to share with the world. If you start with the framework of time, treasure, talent, you can easily incorporate that into helping children understand their unique attributes and capacity to give something to others who would otherwise go without. Kids are naturally altruistic -- it is up to adults to teach them how to act on their altruism by showing them ways they can volunteer time, give away toys or food, and share their talents for the benefit of others.
3. Needs vs. Wants
If you start by teaching your kids about needs versus wants, they will understand that not everyone has extras and many do not even have enough to cover needs. A big part of teaching philanthropy to children is also teaching them to be grateful for what they have. You can talk to them about what it might be like to have less or to have more and ask them to think about how other people live.
4. Be a Role Model
Children learn best by experiencing and modeling what they see their loved ones do. A great way to teach children philanthropy is by devoting yourself to giving back. You can invite your children along to charity events, to donation drives, and sometimes even volunteer service opportunities.
5. Reinforce Kindness
When you see your child expressing concern or kindness for others, encourage them and show them that you are proud of how they reacted. This will reinforce their behavior so they have a positive association with kindness and empathy.
Blackbird Philanthropy Advisors is a social enterprise devoted to Driving impactful and innovative change through philanthropy. Based in South Bend, Indiana, USA.