Bringing Your Family Together For Good

posted by Talk About Giving blog team

July 21, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

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What works for other families might not work for yours. In fact, what works for one of your kids might not work at all for another of your kids. Everyone is different. This is probably one of the first lessons you learned about being a parent—and the philosophy is no different when you’re seeking to include philanthropy in your family’s conversation. While some kids might be totally motivated to make a difference in the community after a serious family discussion on the moral obligation of giving, others would rather get behind a family volunteer day at a local nonprofit.

It’s important to encourage each of your children in their individual philanthropic interests, but you should also look for ways to make giving a shared value that brings your family together. Writing a charitable mission statement is a great way to unite your family around your commitment to giving.  You can tailor this activity to your family’s varying ages and interests. Does your eight-year-old daughter love to draw? Let her make a poster of your mission statement. Maybe your thirteen-year-old is a budding entrepreneur? Let him give your family “foundation” a name.

Working together to compose a mission statement for your family’s charitable giving will teach your kids valuable lessons in leadership, vision, and collaboration. You may want to begin with a family brainstorming session; you may want to start a conversation after your kids express an interest in a need that’s relevant in their world. Here are a few questions to help get the conversation started:

  •  What’s important to this family?
  • What impact has our charitable works/contributions had on our family and the world at large?
  • What does each of us feel passionate about supporting?
  • Are we responsible for making our community a better place?
  • What would we like to do with our time and money this year?
  • How can we make our charitable goals happen?

Source: http://www.groco.com/readingroom/estate_philanthropy.aspx

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