Report Says Children Are Clueless about Charitable Giving

posted by Talk About Giving blog team

April 29, 2011 @ 9:26 am

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There are probably many words we hope will describe our children when they become adults: confident, ethical, happy, responsible. And, according to research, 90 percent of us also want our children to be charitable. Giving exemplifies kindness, compassion, sharing, and empathy—traits we work hard to instill in our children as they grow toward adulthood. However, while we teach our kids to work hard, respect others, earn good grades (among a multitude of other life lessons), research reveals that we don’t teach them how to give.

A recent report found that a shocking 77 percent of children under the age of 17 are either totally unaware that their parents give charitably, or they are clueless about how and to whom their parents give. When asked about how their parents support causes or organizations, only 10 percent knew that their parents give money, and the overwhelming majority (64 percent) had no idea. Raising charitable children—children who will grow up to be caring, generous adults who make a difference in their world—is important to us. So where is the message getting lost?

In our hyper-speed world, it’s becoming more difficult to find time for meaningful family conversations. When we do connect with our children, our motivations for philanthropic giving are probably not the first conversation topic that comes to mind. But rather than stress about adding formal discussions about philanthropy to your long to-do list, think about your own giving. Most likely, it is a natural and organic process in your life—a financial response to a timely community need, a commitment to a cause that means something to you.  Giving is already part of your life, so simply include your children in it.

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