Eva Trachtenberg’s children learned about charity young, as soon as they could understand the concept.
“The first time it came up was after a holiday and [my son] received some money,” the Saskatoon mother of four recalls. “I said, ‘We should donate it,’ and he didn’t know what that meant.”
From then on, she took every opportunity to talk about different charities and what they do: from the organization that helps their friends with juvenile diabetes to why the hospital was displaying an incubator at the local Walmart. She also enrolled her son in the group 100 Kids Who Care YXE, a youth branch of a charitable giving organization that Trachtenberg had joined herself.
Research shows that Trachtenberg’s approach is an effective one. According to a study by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Vanguard Charitable, philanthropic priorities are strongly shaped by family behaviours. So parents and grandparents who give and volunteer are more likely to influence the next generations to do the same.
According to the study, when we give, we create positive change in our communities. Being a donor is good for our mental and physical health and it reminds people how much they have. Trachtenberg says she wants her children to “know that there are other people out there who are less fortunate and need our help.”
Here’s how to get your kids on the charitable giving path early.