How to raise our children to become philanthropists

How to raise our children to become philanthropistsPart two of a two part series

This column is offered in honor of Black Philanthropy Month.


How to raise our children to become philanthropistsGiving is one aspect of philanthropy. Deciding how, where, and when to give is another aspect. You can support the young people in your life – and in your community – as they become philanthropists. You can help them grow from giving of their time, talent, and treasure and into thinking of themselves as strategic philanthropists.

There is much a child can learn and accomplish by starting their own philanthropy with a dollar, 100 dollars, or more. Their giving can go even further when they add their passion, time, creativity, smarts, and relationships to the mix. Developing a revenue-generating business or a fundraising campaign can turbo charge their philanthropy by providing a stream of funds that can be distributed.

Much as with growing young entrepreneurs, growing young philanthropists requires encouragement, exposure, and role models.

How to raise our children to become philanthropistsHere are nine actions you can take.

  1. Provide financial support
  2. Offer to serve as an advisor
  3. Arrange meetings with people who work at a foundation or an organization who makes grants so they can learn what people who work in organized philanthropy do, how they do it, and what the impact of their work is.
  4. Expose children to recipients of philanthropic efforts so they can see how people benefit from a small local or large national philanthropic effort
  5. Work with youth to create a list of philanthropic organizations in your community
  6. Encourage young philanthropists to subscribe to mailing lists for local, national, and international philanthropies to gain insights into what these organizations are doing. Read these updates together and discuss.
  7. Help seek out volunteer or internship opportunities with philanthropic organizations so young people can gain exposure and grow their network.
  8. Attend workshops offered by local philanthropic organizations that share information on giving, community need, programs, data, evaluation and more.
  9. Pay attention to news stories related to the work of local or national philanthropy and share these with young philanthropists.

How to raise our children to become philanthropistsThe benefits to our children are great. They can learn:

  1. Giving is a business and an art
  2. Confidence
  3. Patience and understanding
  4. Accountability and transparency
  5. How to be a good manager of people, money and resources
  6. Humility
  7. An understanding of the needs in your community
  8. Goal setting
  9. Relationship skills
  10. How to love and care for others
  11. Leadership skills
  12. Creativity and innovation
  13. How to manage time and money
  14. Record keeping
  15. Partnership development

We hope that youth and adults will develop that encourage strategic giving by young Black people that benefits the Black community and the world. Whether it is a nonprofit, college or community organization we need to support philanthropy as part of youth development programming. Talk with people at your community foundation to learn if they offer a youth philanthropy forum.

We all have something to give, and Black youth need to be seen as more than recipients of philanthropy: they are also philanthropists. It is not the size of the philanthropy, but the size of your heart that makes a difference.

Black Philanthropy Month was founded by the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network August 2011. Learn more at http://www.blackphilanthropymonth.com/ 


Part One – How to raise our children to become philanthropists

Part Two – How to raise our children to become philanthropists


Don’t forget:


Copyright 2019 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

When you are ready to build a fund development program, grow your fundraising, or increase board engagement we are here to help. (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.

Image courtesy of 123RF.com.

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