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Teaching Your Children about Philanthropy

Charitable giving indisputably helps nonprofit organizations do good in the community. Your donations might help provide food for the hungry, housing for the homeless or medical care for people in need. But the gift has benefits for the giver, too. Studies show that charitable giving increases your happiness and even improves your health. Much like eating a good diet and getting plenty of exercise, giving can and should become a habit. You can get your children started on the road to lifelong giving by teaching them how.

The Benefits of Charitable Giving

According to child development experts, teaching children to be philanthropic may build confidence, sharpen critical thinking, foster gratitude, increase social acceptance and empathy, and improve academic achievement. In addition, children who engage in helping others are healthier and may be less likely to use drugs. Even better, you can get these benefits for your kids by doing things you enjoy together.

Ways to Involve Kids in Giving Back to Their Community

  • Explore local causes together. There’s an abundance of great work being done in the community. Talk about categories of organizations and see what resonates. Young children might gravitate toward animal-related charities, while older kids might look for ways to help other kids.
  • For tweens and teens, encourage independent research. Kids will feel more invested if they have ownership of the whole project.
  • For younger kids, check for understanding. Little ones might need specific examples of the needs other people may have, especially if they haven’t encountered them in their own lives.
  • Model giving and volunteering for them. Children emulate what they see, so make sure you show them your own joyful giving.
  • Use the three-bucket allowance method. Designate one-third of the child’s allowance for giving, one-third for saving and one-third for spending.
  • Create a family giving fund. Everyone adds to the pot and then the family decides together where to donate it. Over years of giving, you will raise caring, helpful kids and make an impact for your community. And that feels great.

Considering giving to Overlake? Contact the Overlake Foundation at (425) 688-5525 or foundation@overlakehospital.org. We will help you find a giving opportunity that matches your family’s priorities.

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