November has been a testament to my will to survive. It's been a trying month balancing school and work and I've unfortunately found myself to be filled with more grief than gratitude. Not my style. Giving Tuesday came right on time. I was overly focused on how I was going to build out some content for my job during most of Giving Tuesday that I literally lost site of what the opportunity could mean for my children. What does something like Giving Tuesday mean for kids? How can we use the opportunity to optimize our attitude of gratitude?
I sat down with my kids and asked them about who they wanted to donate to. "I want to donate to sick kids", my oldest said. I knew that personally I wanted to donate to my college athletic association. I also thought it was important for them to give in the moment, so we donated to their elementary school's foundation. I asked my kids why we donate... My oldest said, "We donate because we are well and other people are not. We donate because we can and some people cannot". My middle child chimed in, "We donate because people need stuff".
DONATION 101: Tips For Kids
- Be Passionate. Pick a cause that you and your family cares about or is affected by (positively or negatively) and focus on the people who are like you and donate time or money toward those interests.
- Create Good Financial Karma. Teach your kids that what goes around comes around... even when it comes to money. If you don't tithe, try to donate as regularly as possible.
- Think Consciously. It makes sense to donate because we waste a lot of money on trivial stuff all the time. We support corporations with our dollars all the time, why not support people in need or organizations helping them?
- Think Critically. Make sure that your organization or cause is accredited with something like Guide Star or at least in good standing with the IRS.
You don't need a lot of money to donate. You don't need to donate much. I know personally from non-profit life, $50 can stretch pretty far. Teaching kids philanthropic tendencies, values and practices earlier ensures they take that with them as they mature into adult hood. The more people that care, the better off our world may become.