There are several ways parents can encourage philanthropy with their children, from teaching them about helping others to hosting fundraising events or providing financial assistance to the less fortunate. 

Here are five tips for instilling charitable habits in your children:

  1. Discuss generosity with children from an early age. Young children have a natural propensity for empathy. By talking why it’s important to give back at an early age, it alerts children to the needs of others and motivates them to help. By gently encouraging children to explore others’ experiences, we help them see past the abstract concepts of an issue such as homelessness. Parents can then discuss different ways to give back, such as donating toys kids no longer play with, visiting an elderly family member or participating in a community service project.

  2. Parents should set an example for their children, since they are visual learners. When kids see their parents giving back to their community, it will encourage them to do the same. Therefore, parents should make it a habit of donating time or money to worthy causes and explain its importance to their children. To teach generosity, parents need to use both actions and words. It’s never too soon to have these conversations around the dinner table on why it’s important to help others and its impact.

  3. Encouraging philanthropy at home. It’s as easy as having a lemonade stand that raises funds for a local hospital or a family in need. In this way, children can see firsthand how much good they can do by contributing their time, money, and resources.

  4. Reminding children that giving is more than just making financial contributions. Many charitable organizations such as churches, synagogues, hospitals, food banks and even assisted senior living facilities need volunteers, so parents and even guardians should encourage children to get involved. By helping in various ways, these children will be more likely to give back when they have the opportunity as they mature.

  5. To instill charitable habits, parents should give their children the tools they need to make smart decisions. This could include providing them with information about specific organizations or helping them create a wish list of items they would like to donate. In some religious communities to mark a rite of passage, the young person will be asked to do a charitable project. By helping them explore their values, parents can guide their children in how to support the causes most important to them such as helping the local animal shelter. This process actually helps philanthropy to be more integrated in their children’s lives if they are involved with something they love.

By taking these simple steps, parents can help their children develop a lifelong habit of giving back to their community. Children, who learn the importance of social responsibility and community involvement, will develop a strong sense of commitment to others and in general, better understand the world.