Charitable Donation Advice
Charitable Donation Advice is a recurring column here at Chang Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles as we strive to make better, more enjoyable donations. This time, we talk about involving the whole family so that EVERYONE can enjoy donating to charity.
Donating to charity feels good!
Why do you donate to charity? It’s not about the tax breaks. Sure that’s a nice bonus at the end of the year, but fundamentally, donating is about feeling good. Maybe for you that means
- doing something meaningful that you didn’t have to do.
- watching someone smile.
- giving back.
- fulfilling a moral or spiritual obligation.
- reminding yourself about how much you have to be grateful for.
- feeling connected to others and their well-being.
The same is true for your children. Donating to charity as a family is a great way for EVERYONE feel good!
What should your children know about donating to charity?
Donating money, especially donating well, doesn’t just happen. You go through a thought process that your children may not be aware of, and they may grow up without having learned these important life lessons from you. So, make the lessons explicit and involve them.
Create A Family Charitable Donation Plan
I’ve created a rough outline of five parts that you may want to cover in your family’s Charitable Donation Plan. Feel free to add, subtract, and change to make it appropriate for your family.
What’s important about donating to us?
Why do you and why should your children care about donating? Help your children understand the importance of helping others as you understand it. Help them be grateful for how much they have. Help them know that they have the power to change the world.
How do we choose where to donate?
Maybe your family gives through your church. Maybe your family was impacted by a health issue and you feel strongly about supporting that cause. Maybe each family member takes a turn choosing their own cause and the whole family comes together to support it. How will your family choose where to donate?
How do we budget for donating?
Do you donate every month? Once a year? Where do you find the money to do it? Do you keep a separate savings account or piggy bank for it? Where is donating money in your list of financial priorities and what role can your children play in making that happen?
How does giving impact our savings?
Do you have long term donation plans like trusts or foundations that your children should be involved in?
What are our donating goals?
Are we striving for a dollar amount? A particular accomplishment?
In the same way that you teach your children other life lessons, your children learn about donating money through watching you, through hearing you talk about donating, and being involved in those discussions and activities with you. Make sure they learn what you think is important for them to learn.