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Charitable Giving for Children – Teaching your kids generosity

Getting Children to donate and give
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Getting your Children Involved

Studies show that around the age of 2, that children start to show genuine empathy.  The world starts to expand beyond themselves and they can start to see things from another’s perspective. They will begin to understand the pain of someone else and try to help the individual.  As a parent I remember pretending to cry and my daughter would come over and tell me “don’t cry mommy, it will be ok” as she pat me gently on the back.  As parents we help our children grow, we can expand their actions by helping expand their level of thinking.  Charitable giving is a great way to get children involved, expand their perspectives beyond the family and immediate circle of friends to thinking about the world in different ways.  Thinking about a city, their province, their country and even global giving as parents it gives us new ways to show our children that there is more to the world than their own circumstances.  As parents we can build on the empathy they start to experience at very young ages as part of normal development and start to educate a broader context and give them real tangible actions that they can do to help.

Donation and Giving together with Parents and Kids
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Align a cause to their interests is a good way to start.  As a parent we don’t want to force our views onto our children so a good place to start is selecting a few charities that will be interesting to them.  Let’s take for example – animals.  Do they love animals, have they demonstrated an interest and understanding in different types of animals?  Why not start with a charity or nonprofit which has focused their work on supporting animals.  Some organizations might offer giving to different types of animals, or different types of causes like more simple needs like food and shelter or maybe they have more complex needs like saving a species.   Maybe you want more tangible giving opportunities, where you can see the work, maybe collecting blankets and towels and giving to a local shelter.  Alternatively, as a family maybe you have you travelled a lot, maybe seen firsthand different parts of the worlds that have needs beyond our own then perhaps international giving is a good place to start. Align your giving by country, or by cause like water – at a young age it doesn’t matter the cause as much as it does the education of the needs of the world and that as a child, they can do something about it. That even the smallest action is better than doing nothing at all. Imagine the empowerment a child will feel when they can take tangible actions/steps to make the world a better place.

A Giving Journal

Charity Giving Journal for High Impact Donations
Image from from Pixabay

Consider a giving journal, keeping track of your actions help reinforce the experience and help them remember their giving experiences. A giving journal can be powerful addition to any giving efforts, supporting their memories and actions just like a photo album will help them remember in days to come. A giving journal helps keep their thoughts organized, helps them build out future plans, helps them set goals and later achieve them, helps them creatively by recording ideas and documenting plans and actions.  It can also help them at a deeper level explore their feelings about the need to give, why they want to give, and how to inspire others to think beyond themselves.

There are many good organizations with amazing resources to help you and your child but here are a few.

Charitable Giving for Animal Lovers / Kids

Local Animal Shelter – this is a great choice for younger kids because you can raise and give money, or many will take household items like old blankets and towels, or you can raise money to buy food and donate it.  You can also volunteer time and energy.  Many have the need for volunteers for walking the animals or cleaning out cages.  Another way to help local animal shelters is by using a child’s own social network to expand the awareness of the local shelter’s needs.  We choose local animal shelters because of the wide variety of ways to help, giving children many different types of options to support the local animal shelter.

World Wildlife Fund – this is a good choice for animal lovers because there have ways to donate a single gift, or monthly recurring donation.  They also have parent matched donations.

Wildlife Trusts are great ways to give to local Canadian charities that help to support wildlife in Canada.  They also host local events which are great ways to get the entire family involved.

Charities focused on Arts for Kids

There are many options for charities focused on the Arts but according to a magazine article posted by Macleans they are also many poorly run arts charities.  Do your homework before selecting a charity to support.

Supporting Local Food Banks for kids

This is an easy way to start to give back locally, by donation of food or donation of money to help the local food program with expenses.  Many food banks are set up as non profits, because they support a local community instead of being available to all which means your donation may not be tax deductible. When your children are older you can also donate your time and energy in serving the community by stacking shelves, being part of food distribution or creating your own campaigns to give back.

There is no wrong way to give back, no wrong way to teach children about giving and realizing there are needs well beyond themselves.  Start the journey, and you will be amazed at how much you will learn through the adventure about yourself and your child/ren. 

Love to hear about the stories of impact.

What charities are good for kids or children?

  • Animal charities
  • local food banks
  • wildlife charities
  • Art Centres

About the author

Circle Acts Team

United by a shared passion to make a difference, we're on a joyful mission: to spotlight the wonderful world of nonprofits, charities, and the incredible causes they champion.

Every article we craft is a labor of love, bursting with positivity and hope. We're firm believers in the magic of service and are constantly inspired by the countless unsung heroes working tirelessly for change. By donating our time and energy, we aspire to create ripples of awareness and inspire action. So, every time you read one of our articles, know it's penned with heaps of passion, a dash of joy, and a sprinkle of hope.

Cheers to making the world a brighter place, one story at a time!