FUNdraisers: Inspiring the gift of giving in children
24th November, 2021
No matter what corner of the world you live in, you know it too: we are preparing our kids for a different world than the one we grew up in – the world needs our kids! You can inspire the spirit of giving in children by highlighting social causes and people that need our support and creating opportunities to give. Hosting “fundraisers” and using special occasions, such as birthday parties, is a good way to fully engage your child in the process of giving. Follow these steps to help ensure the occasion is as inspiring and impactful as it can be.
Help your child find a cause that matters to them. Whether it’s out of concern, interest or perhaps they’ve been affected in a personal way, make sure your child is in some way connected to the cause they are choosing to support. For instance, if your child loves animals, they might consider raising money for a local animal shelter or a charity dedicated to endangered species. And if there’s a cause that you’re close to – share about it and you could spark an interest for your child as well.
Talk with your child about what the organisation does and who it helps. Share this information with guests by including information about the cause on the invite. Explain what your child wants to achieve with the donations made and be specific about the “ask.” For instance, in lieu of birthday gifts, you can ask guests to donate to help your child meet their goal – €1 per year of age is a good guide. You might even set up a fundraising page to facilitate donations – check out JustGiving for ideas and how to get started.
Celebrate your child on the day in front of guests and the choice they made to selflessly use their birthday to benefit someone or something else. Your child is making a very grown-up decision that’s to be commended and they should be made to feel proud of themselves - make sure you take a moment to recognise this.
You may choose to announce that day how much was raised and remind everyone how their gift will benefit the cause. Either way, be sure to circle back to parents and kids to thank them for their contribution and share the difference it will make.
To the extent that your child can personally deliver the donation or experience the benefit of their gift first-hand, make it happen. If possible, schedule a drop-off with a member of the fundraising team and let them know, in advance, that your child used their birthday to raise this money. Seeing this experience through can go a long way in inspiring your child to do more.
Take advantage of those teachable moments
As adults, we know that giving has its own inherent gift – it feels really good – but giving also conveys lessons in responsibility and teamwork and direct involvement can even help kids connect to the fate of others. We, as parents, are the number one influence on our children’s behaviours and the sooner we start taking advantage of everyday teachable moments, the better off we’ll all be.
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