How to Encourage Charitable Giving in Your Children

Raising Charitable ChildrenA 2013 report conducted by the United Nations Foundation and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University explores ways to influence children to become future philanthropists. The report found that the best way to encourage philanthropy in your children is to talk to them about giving. According to the report, children whose parents talk to them about giving are 20 percent more likely to give to charity than children whose parents do not discuss giving with them. That finding holds true regardless of the child’s sex, age, race and family income.

The report also found that even for parents who model positive philanthropic behavior by donating on a regular basis, explicitly speaking to children about giving makes a greater impact that just modeling the behavior.

Here are a few suggestions from the report about how can you raise your children to be charitable:

1. Parents, first ask yourselves: “Do my children know that I give to charity? Do they know which charities I give to? Do they know why I give, and why I give to those specific charities?”

2. Share these values with children through conversations focused on the emotional benefits to those being helped and how a child’s giving will directly impact others.

The report used an example of donating food. “If we help people who do not have food, they will be happier in life than if they were hungry all the time,” is a more effective way to convey the importance of helping others than saying, “we need to feed the hungry because this is the right thing to do,” or “we need to share our food with those less fortunate.”

Helping children find volunteer opportunities and volunteering with them is another way to get the conversation started with your children. You might want to consider bringing your children along when you volunteer for PCHAS. Read more about our volunteer program.

Contact Rev. Nancy C. Mossman, PCHAS volunteer coordinator, at for more information. You can also search for local volunteer opportunities for children and teens at

Hundreds of donors and volunteers help PCHAS improve the lives of more than 4,500 children and their families each year. Thank you for your support!

For more about the United Nations Foundation and the Women’s Philanthropy.

By Amy Prince