Categories Menu

Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Children, Nonprofits, volunteering | 11 comments

Getting Kids into Giving Back

Kids volunteer

What makes you want to give back? How can you actively work to raise generous children who find donating time to charity not just responsible but also fun? Check out these tips!

On the CBS Saturday Early Show, clinical psychologist Dr. Paul Donahue offered a few tips for raising a generous and compassionate child who loves to give:

  • Teach giving, not taking, at home by encouraging kids to help out in the kitchen. Even young kids can make a real contribution to the family meal.
  •  Make sure older kids help their siblings. This collaboration – teaching them sports, reading to them, or helping with homework – creates a sense of everyone being in it together.
  • Teach kids about respect and caring by being a model yourself. Your kids take cues from you.
  • To teach kids about contributing to the community, go beyond donations of food or clothing and perform giving acts, like helping an elderly neighbor with household tasks.

Colleen O’Donnell, the author of Generous Kids, tells parents these tips:

  • Start teaching children to give as early as possible. As she explained to Washington Magazine, you don’t wait until your kids are seven years old to teach them to brush their teeth, so why would the habit of giving be any different?
  • Praise your child’s giving habits! Recognition for helping around the house, sharing a toy, or listening to a friend can impress upon kids how important these seemingly little things are.

Dr. Madye Henson, the President and CEO of HandsOn Greater DC Cares advises:

  • Make giving a family affair. If you decide as a family where to get involved and what to do, involving kids in planning and research, they will feel much more invested in the activity.
  • Make sure that your kids know why you want to make a difference and how what they’re doing will accomplish that.

Tell us! What did your family do to encourage generosity in youngsters? What do you do with your children to engage them in the community?


Related GreatNonprofits posts:

  1. Back-To-School: The Perfect Time to Serve
  2. Top 10 Volunteer Opportunities in Boston
  3. Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan


  1. @GreatNonprofits Food drives are always nice! As are cleaning and painting shelters, and writing letters to troops to thank them!

  2. @GreatNonprofits are open to the ideas of youth volunteering. Kids help with events, fundraise & create programs @familyprogramshawaii

    • @vince_abramo kids help create programs, great idea

  3. @GreatNonprofits Parents should allow children shop for school supplies/food/etc for those in need. Education is half the battle!

    • @KimTaylorMSW Great idea, let kids choose for others — and then #donate supplies to a local #charity to distribute? #backtoschool

  4. @WiserEarth Thanks for the shout out, we’d love your ideas if you have anything to add, too!

  5. Thanks for sharing so much helpful information,  It is helpful to understand what the standards are as I ramp up my blogging.

  6. Its a nice informative post and its great resource for lots of peoples, so to promote your business by using some internet marketing strategy and it can easily to reach the correct market place.

  7. I am sure I increased my knowledge and theoretical skills by reading this post.
    thanks for sharing this post


  1. What Your Kids Get Out of Giving Back - GreatNonprofits' Blog - [...] you love to volunteer with your kids? How do you encourage your child to volunteer? How has volunteering impacted …
  2. Top 10 Habits of Happy People - GreatNonprofits' Blog - [...] Don’t let your hectic schedule get in the way of taking a little time for you. Take a break. …

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>