Establishing a Culture of Giving in your Family

All parents have dreams and aspirations for their children. For some parents, it may be particularly important that their children grow up to become caring, generous adults with the deeply-ingrained philanthropic values of generosity, honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion, community, love, and gratitude.


Values are one's beliefs about what is important. They are the filter with which you view the world and measure success and happiness. Our values dictate our philanthropic impulses. Your philanthropic values determine how you would wish to make the world a better place.

We demonstrate our values by the way we act and prioritise, as much as by our words, particularly when we are faced with tough choices.

A tradition of family philanthropy can lead children and grandchildren towards the acquisition of skills and competencies necessary to lead fulfilling lives. Family philanthropy sends a powerful message to children about the importance of personal and financial generosity, and the importance of thinking about people and issues beyond ourselves, and taking action to improve their lot.

Communicate and celebrate your values

As a parent, you have educational, social and career expectations for your children. Why not communicate the same expectations for charitable giving? By discussing your financial values with your child you will be communicating your beliefs and how your values influence your charitable giving. For instance, why not start a conversation about what you would do if you suddenly won a million on the lottery? Everyday life offers many opportunities for these discussions: for example, an item about an environmental disaster on the news, or a homeless person on the street.

Communicate your values by suggesting that your children allocate a portion of their pocket money to charity.

Celebrate your values by sharing with your children a story about a gift of your time or money that you found to be highly satisfying. The process of communicating values takes place in many ways over a long period of time.

Provide opportunities for your children to act according to their own desire to be generous. Remind your children that regardless of personal wealth, they can use their talents to help others.

Talk about family or friends who have made contributions to the community such as chairing the PTA, volunteering as a school helper or participating in an environmental project.

When your children talk about what they'd like to be when they grow up, ask them how people with that job can help others.

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