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The stats around giving
If you had to guess, which demographic would you think volunteers the most? Is it the student? Parent? Single working professional? Retiree? If the title already didn’t give it away, parents with children volunteer the most.
The rate of volunteering among parents with children under age 18 is 33.4%, which is higher than the national average (26.5%) and for persons without children (23.8%). In total, parents volunteer close to 220 million hours annually, with 48 hours being the median amount of time spent volunteering.1
These stats are almost counterintuitive because parents would seemingly be too busy, but it makes complete sense since parents tend to get involved with educational organizations as their children become a priority in their lives, such as involvement with the PTA. However, this type of giving only contributes to 40% of volunteering done by parents.2 The other 60% of volunteering spans across different causes and organizations that revolve around humanitarian efforts, the environment, health and more.
There are many factors that contribute to why parents give back, but it’s also interesting and important to highlight the impact it has on children. Conversations around philanthropy can increase the likelihood of your children to also become philanthropic by 20%.3 Arguably, the future of philanthropy is highly dependent on how well parents can educate and motivate their children to give back.
How to educate your children on giving
We’ve all heard that actions speak louder than words, but the act of your giving is not enough. You need to involve your children and have conversations around the topic of philanthropy. Below are some tips on engaging your children in philanthropy:
Kids are natural givers, especially between the ages of 3-5. This is a great time to introduce the notion of how time and money can help others.4
As kids grow into allowance age, you can creatively teach them the concept of allocating money towards charity by dividing piggy banks into 3 different categories: Save, Give and Spend.
Periodically discuss with your children what organization or cause they feel their money should go towards and why.
Regularly volunteer with your children to help demonstrate the power they have in making a positive difference. When they’re younger, they can simply help with sorting through canned foods during a drive, but older teens prefer doing things in a group setting, such as volunteering with friends or family at a local soup kitchen.
With the proliferation of the internet your kids are also aware of global issues, so make sure you don’t forget about discussing global causes.
Encourage your teenage children to join you on GreatPositive to better connect with causes and keep track of their social impact. Being part of a social network dedicated to philanthropy can act as a constant positive influence for you and your family. Full disclosure, I am the founder of GreatPositive.
New York, NY
Carol has been a dedicated philanthropist since she was 12 years old and is living out her lifelong passion to help others by building GreatPositive to help amplify giving. GreatPositive is a social network that is dedicated to philanthropy and makes it easier for individuals and groups to discover ways to give back, stay engaged with causes and keep track of their social impact. Join our community of amazing people who share the same passions for making the world a better place to live in.