Engaging Children in Philanthropy

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Tips from a variety of Exponent Philanthropy members

Start early!

One member suggests to teach youngsters about giving the minute a toddler says "mine."

Take one day a month to do something in the community together

Mirror your giving with your actions.

Watch the news or read the newspaper together

Discuss current events. Get young people talking about what’s most important to them and why.

Keep an open door

Be prepared for the interest of younger generations to wax and wane depending on their circumstances – college, starting a career, starting a family. The key is to keep the door open for young people to learn about giving and participate in the foundation. Also, expect (and accept) that some children will choose not to participate.

Create a junior board

As a younger Exponent Philanthropy member writes, "It is so much less intimidating to do work with the foundation when you don't have to answer deep philosophical questions or hear about what you were like when you were four years old. The junior board helps us to feel more confident with the responsibilities that will be handed to us in the future."

Hire an outside consultant

When you’re ready to engage young people in the work of the foundation, hire an outside consultant so that the young people can open up, stay more focused, and know that they are being taken seriously.