Do you have a Family Charitable Giving Plan?
As parents, we have an essential role to play when it comes to modeling generosity. It’s up to us to make sure volunteering and giving is a priority in our homes.
5 Ways to Build a Family Charitable Giving Plan
1. Make a household giving budget
How much money can you minimally set aside to give to charity each year? We opened a Giving Account a few years ago with Fidelity Charitable. It enables us to set a minimum amount that we conscientiously give away to charity. We want to be proactive with our financial giving instead of just donating money to causes that ask us on the fly. Figure out how much money you can afford to give away annually.
2. Figure out what causes are important to your family
Too many times we parents do all the giving without involving our kids or without even talking about how much we give, who we give to and why we do it. Kids often don’t have the opportunity to learn about what causes are important to them because it’s not brought to their attention to even think about.
We constantly get requests from charities asking for money by mail. It’s important to gather these and go through them with your family talking about the causes and if we have an interest in donating to them individually or as a family. Talk about why the organization is of interest or why it’s not.
3. Designate an amount of money for your children to be in charge of donating each year
Think about your household giving budget as one big pie. Designate a portion of the family’s overall giving pie to your children to donate. Together, the kids, need to come to a consensus on splitting the money up by giving to different causes or perhaps making a bigger impact with donating to only one cause. Ask them to explain their decisions and report back on the organizations they chose and why. What swayed them about a local organization as opposed to a global one?
Remember it doesn’t have to be a large amount of money. The purpose of involving the kids is so they are aware of the importance of giving, no matter the amount. We want them to grow up with the value of giving back just being a part of who they are.
4. Have one family giving rule
We can get overwhelmed by all of the needs of the world. How do we decide who to give to?
Our one family giving rule is that we must donate to organizations that change lives. Ask your kids to consider the hardships of others. Start having discussions about different non-profits locally and globally. Who do they feel could use their help?
5. Communicate about your family’s charitable giving in your home
Talk, discuss and communicate about your family giving and why you do what you do with your money and time.
In the book The Opposite of Spoiled there is a chapter on How to Talk about Giving. The author Ron Lieber says to try to give money in the kids’ names once in a while, even if it means losing out on a tax deduction. Once this happens, they will start to get their own solicitation mail and they can begin to decipher what is important to them or not.