Teaching Your Children The Importance of Philanthropy


“Whether we give our time, talents or financial resources, giving back is a response to feeling grateful for the blessings we have been given.” – Laurie Humphries, Director of Development

Philanthropy is one big word!  Not only is it pretty hard to pronounce, but  it can be even harder to understand its true meaning.  The Webster dictionary gives the following definition:


noun fə-ˈlan(t)-thrə-pē

: the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people

As adults, we’re often inclined toward philanthropy. Whether we give our time, talents or financial resources, giving back is a response to feeling grateful for the blessings we have been given. More than once I have had donors tell me what a blessing it is to be a blessing to others.

I recently read an article online from What’s My Part ministries, that quoted

2 Corinthians 9:7:

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, 

not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

This verse can sometimes feel a little cliché, but when I read farther down the article, it said:

“God is a cheerful giver and He loves when His Children follow in his footsteps.  Think about the many blessings God has so richly bestowed on you.  He doesn’t bless us because he has to or because he feels obligated to. He gives to us, because He loves us!” – Read more from this article HERE

WOW, that really made me realize what a big God we serve and how much He really does love us. He has given to us no other reason than His unconditional LOVE for us.

Over the years it has been obvious that the families and supporters of The Brook Hill School are very philanthropic. For the past several years, the school has been blessed to reach or surpass its annual fund goal. This year, because of the generosity of so many, we raised more money than ever in the school’s history in an annual campaign.

So, the question is, how to do we teach our children from a young age, the importance of giving back to others because they have been given much?

Another article by Fidelity Charitable has some great advice for parents of young children as well as teenagers.  Check out the idea of A Giving Allowance or the Family Volunteer Day for young children, as well as the Beyond Allowance and Independent Volunteering for teenagers. Here is a helpful excerpt from the article:

Younger children can participate in the giving process through a number of activities that teach simple lessons about philanthropy, such as:

A Giving Allowance. Rather than encouraging children to save allowance money in a “piggy bank,” provide them with three clear jars, which they can decorate and label “spending,” “saving,” and “giving,” respectively. Then, suggest that they distribute their allowance among the jars. Children love watching their money accumulate and feel important when they help select recipients for the contents of their giving jar. This exercise teaches children basic money management skills while also introducing the concept of giving in a way they can easily understand.

Family Volunteer Day. Children of this age love hands-on activities and many organizations encourage family participation. Schedule a “family volunteer day” and participate in a project that kids can enjoy, such as helping in a soup kitchen, or delivering food and supplies to the elderly. Of course, family members of any age can participate in, and benefit from, these activities.

Teenagers are often eager to take on family responsibility and are frequently ready to grasp complex issues. Here are some ideas for teens:

Beyond Allowance. While still maintaining the spirit of the allowance exercise described above, you can begin to involve your teenagers in decisions about where, when, and how much to give. Consider asking them to narrow the field of possible recipients by doing research and presenting their findings to the rest of the family. You can review the final section of this guide with teenage family members to help give them the information they need to research a charitable organization.

Volunteering. Encourage your teenagers to choose causes they care about and to donate a comfortable amount of their free time to helping local organizations involved in these causes. This can help teens learn valuable lessons about responsibility and teamwork while meeting new people and engaging in activities they enjoy.

– Want more? Read the rest HERE

Regardless of how you teach your children about the big word and the important meaning of philanthropy, I think that creating practices and awareness around gratitude is a great place to start!

I am feeling especially grateful for all of you this summer and I pray you are spending it with those you cherish doing things you love.  See you in August!

Laurie Humphries

Director of Development

The Brook Hill School

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