A week ago, the UN Foundation recognized its second annual Giving Tuesday, a movement to create a national day of giving. With the holidays in full gear, many retailers are focusing on buying and selling and consumers are doing the same. Giving Tuesday was created to have a day focused on coming together in the spirit of community giving.
Giving of my time and money is something I try to remind myself to do throughout the year and in the social media space, I find many ways to do it. My husband and I also make sure we don’t forget some of our favorite organizations at the end of the year as we make contributions when we can.
One thing never really occurred to me. I should be talking to my son about all of this.
He knows we always adopt our pets from rescue organizations. He knows that I recently visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an institution for children with cancer and other deadly diseases. He’s actually attended fundraisers with me for the food bank.
But we’re not really supposed to talk to children about money and other grown-up things, are we? We’re not supposed to make them worry about things that are bigger than them, right?
As a matter of opinion, this may be true but research would indicate otherwise.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University recently released a study that answered the question, “How can I raise my children to be charitable?”
As I listened to some of the researchers present and discuss their findings, the answer was surprisingly simple.
The biggest indicator of whether or not our children will grow to be charitable is talking to children about charity.
Many parents set a good example for their children. They donate their time, money, and resources and generally serve as a role model for their children. This impact can’t be argued. But talking to children about charity has a greater impact on children’s giving than role modeling alone.
More importantly, talking to children about giving to charity was equally effective regardless of parent’s income level, and a particular child’s gender, race, and age. As conversations with our children evolve to include why, how, and when we give, children’s giving will increase showing promise for the future of philanthropy.
In addition to talking this year, I plan to volunteer with my son at the local fire department to stuff stockings for women’s shelter, nursing homes, and others that can benefit this time of year. How do you plan to talk to your children this month?
View the full-sized Women Give 2013 Infographic here.
If you are interested in reading more on Indiana University’s Women Give 2013 findings, you can find the full report on New Research on Charitable Giving by Boys and Girls online.
Fadra Nally is a Communications Specialist for Johnson & Johnson. When she’s not working, she’s mothering a precocious 6 year old in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. In her spare time, she writes all.things.fadra, one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs for 2012 according to Babble.com. She’s also the co-founder of Charitable Influence.