(BPT) - How many times has your child come home with news of a new penny drive or fundraiser happening at school or a place of worship? How often does this come with an explanation of who the cause or charity serves and how else your child can get involved? Often, children are eager to get involved with these fundraising efforts because there are reward incentives at the end, but parents can take this opportunity to discuss with children the real value of supporting nonprofit organizations.
So what’s the best way to start this conversation with your kids? Find out what’s important to them. Everyone has a cause or charity that is close to their hearts. For your kids, was it helping that lost kitten found in the backyard that sparked their philanthropic passions? Was it when they spent the weekend helping grandma plant a garden? Was it helping mom clean out their toys and taking them to kids who had nothing to play with?
Nonprofit organizations span across many different categories, such as arts, education, environment, animals, health and more. When children focus on things they find interesting, they'll be more apt to stay with them. Whatever it is they are passionate and motivated about, you can help them make a positive impact in the community through giving. It’s important to let kids know that even little contributions can make a big difference. Below are tips to help you get your child engaged in giving:
* Learn what they love. Have a conversation with your children and ask them what they care about. Learning about their passions can help to motivate them, and also help you find more ways to get them involved, such as volunteering.
* Make it a family affair. Include your children in your decision-making process, too, so that they can start to see that there is a clear and thoughtful manner in which you make contributions to charity.
* Acknowledge their good deed. Since children don't get the tax deduction or other tangible benefits of giving that adults often receive, their reward is based on your words of encouragement and evidence of the impact they made. Let them know you're proud of them and tell them exactly why, using specific examples.
* Make this an ongoing effort. There are many ways to get involved with a charity, so introduce children to other forms of donating besides monetary contributions, such as their time and talents. This can foster a lifelong joy of proactive giving.
Have the conversation with your kids about their passion, and help their passion to grow.