Charitable donations are not only beneficial because you can write off the amount you donate, they also encourage generosity. As an adult, you may already recognize the importance of donating to a charity or organization, but your children may not. Donating may not come natural to your young children or teens, but there are easy ways to teach your kids about charitable donations.
1. Set the Example
If you want your children to be generous and give back to the community or donate to organizations, you have to set the example. If you're not donating items or money, your children may follow in your footsteps. It isn't enough to tell children they should make regular contributions or donations, they need to see you drop off items at a donation center or write a check to an organization.
2. Explain What It Means to Be Charitable
For younger children, you might have to explain what it means to be charitable. You can explain how the items you donate go toward assisting those in need. You can explain how some families don't have enough money to buy furniture, clothes or toys for their children. When they donate items, they help these families get the items they need.
3. You Can Explain How Organizations Help People
Different organizations help people in different ways. Once your children understand what it means to be charitable, you can pick an organization, and then explain to your children how this particular donation helps people. For example, if you donate items to Goodwill, the organization uses proceeds from sales to help others find jobs.
4. Explain the Connection between Happiness and Giving
Children may not realize this at an early age, but research prove there's a connection between happiness and generosity. One study reveals "Americans who describe themselves as very happy" also volunteered. This correlates with a British study that found "people in general felt happier when they were asked to remember a time when they bought something for someone else."
5. Teach Kids to Appreciate What They Have
If your children are reluctant to donate some of their old toys or clothes to charity, help children appreciate how fortunate they are to have an abundance. Explain how other children aren't as fortunate, and by donating old items these children have the opportunity to get clothes, electronics, books, and toys.
6. Encourage Donating
If your children don't want to donate, don't give up. This doesn't suggest making your child go through his or her room and donate a bunch of stuff. Start with one item to get your child used to the idea. The more he donates, the sooner he'll understand the importance of giving to others.
7. Teach Kids to Be Generous in Other Ways
Giving to charity isn't the only way children can be generous. You can also teach children to help a friend if he needs assistance. For example, if a classmate forgets his lunch at home, your child might share his food if he has enough. Or he might share school supplies with a needy friend.
There's definitely more happiness in giving than receiving, and if your children get into a habit of donating to a charitable cause, they can learn generosity at an early age. What are other ways to teach children about charitable donations?