I was recently interviewed on a podcast for Tri Delta’s new series, “3 For You,” where they’re covering the best tips from experts as we navigate our new normal during COVID-19. In this episode: “Tri Delta alumna, fundraising consultant and children’s book author Linda Wise McNay, Transylvania, shares her advice to parents on how to teach kids about philanthropy. Read her three tips below, or listen to the podcast.”
We’ve all seen something that has broken our heart during this crisis, whether it’s illness, financial stress or just bad news. We are all looking for ways to show kindness and help others. Parents, especially, can use this opportunity to engage their kids in how to give back and become community-minded at a young age. Dr. Linda Wise McNay is an independent fundraising consultant with Our Fundraising Search and co-author of the children’s book, “The Adventures of PhilAnThropy,” which shows children of all ages how contributions both big and small can truly make a lasting impact. Linda shares her best tips for parents wanting to teach their children about philanthropy.
Tip #1 Explain philanthropy as “Love of Mankind”
It’s never too early to start teaching kids about giving back! While “philanthropy” itself is a big word, you can break down the concept for children by talking about its definition. The definition of the word philanthropy is “love of mankind.” Talk to your kids about this meaning of the word and how they can use it. The great thing about the book “The Adventures of PhilAnThropy,” is it uses each part of the word “philanthropy” as the characters’ names to help make the idea more understandable. Kids of all ages can grasp the concept.
Tip #2 Tell your children about an organization your family supports
There are a lot of different ways to involve kids in the causes your family supports. First, tell them what organization your family supports, and share why you picked that organization. Find opportunities for volunteering with your children. It could be having them help ring bells for the Salvation Army or taking them with you to deliver meals on wheels. Even now, with social distancing, there are still ways to be involved that you can share with your children.
Tip #3 Allow kids to be creative
Let your kids choose their own favorite charity—it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same one you support—and find creative ways to get involved. They can volunteer, or you might be able to donate items right out of your pantry. Sit down with your kids and teach them how to make a gift online using part of their week’s allowance. Kids are very creative, and with just a little supervision, they can come up with a lot of great ideas! You’ll find that kids are not only industrious, but they are willing to jump in and help however they can.
You can find “The Adventures of PhilAnThropy” on Amazon.