Why does a large portion of the US wait until the end of the year to make donations to charities? According to recent reports on philanthropy, 34% of all donations are made in the last three months of the year, including roughly 25% of those between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
At BusyKid we believe that a healthy financial balance includes regular donations all year long, however, getting families to donate will take some education. No one really knows how much kids give each year, but with about 73.6 million kids under the age of 18 living in the US, just imagine how charities would be impacted if just 10% of our kids gave $1 a week for an entire year? That’s a $382.7 million game-changer.
Children should be learning the importance of giving and how to give on a regular basis. The earlier they learn and practice, the stronger this routine becomes. So, as parents, how do we do it … make our kids understand and develop into good givers? Here are a few suggestions to consider:
1. Make It Real – You’ve seen the TV commercials from the animal shelter or about the kids in other countries. Those are effective because it makes a cause real to us. If we want our kids to be passionate or supportive of a charity, make it real to them and show them how their money can help.
2. It’s Their Idea – We all know what happens when we try to make kids do anything. So when it comes to giving, make it seem like it was their idea by exposing them to a particular charity and asking them for ideas how to help.
3. Be Family Strong – Donate to someplace as a family, especially if you have young children. Once you’ve passed along your words of wisdom and created a plan for your children to give, you need to drive home the message by doing it together. Let them see you and older siblings dropping coins into the bucket of a person ringing a bell or donating online. Either way, being family strong will pay off!
4. Work for It – Instead of parents always reaching into their wallets to make a donation, let the kids pitch in with hard-earned allowance. BusyKid (www.BusyKid.com) is a perfect example of how a child can use modern technology to build a routine of earning and sharing. By starting a routine of giving as a kid, he/she will likely discover that giving a small portion of a paycheck as an adult comes with other benefits too.
5. Money’s good, but don’t forget about time – While kids may not have a problem giving a part of their allowance each week at church, maybe really shake it up a bit. The next time you travel by car on vacation, use a “pit stop” to volunteer for a local organization. Help make breakfast burritos at a Ronald McDonald House or sort some clothes at a local charity. It’s better than a playground at a fast-food restaurant!
With Americans giving about 4% of their yearly income to charities, it’s clear kids can make a huge impact on the success of many organizations. As parents, we should get our kids vested in the game much earlier and more often. BusyKid can help teach your kids to be better life-long givers because it really is better to give than receive.