Service: Raising Kids With A Serving Heart

Kids These Days

Do you see many spoiled kids these days and wonder what could have been done differently? Many of the rising generations are suffering from a severe case of “Affluenza” or a strong sense of entitlement without having to earn anything. What could have been done to prevent such a sense of entitlement? With the internet today allowing us to interact with others throughout the world from the comforts of our own phone, we lose a sense of personal interaction, especially the feeling of making an impact on others.

What the rising generations need most is not a sense of entitlement, but one of responsibility.

Raising Kids With A Serving Heart Through Charitable Planning

Getting kids involved can be difficult. As a father of three boys all younger than six, I have tried to get them involved in extracurricular activities that will build their social and physical skills. However, the best thing I could do for their interpersonal skills is to get them into the spirit of serving others, but how can that be done?

Here are a few simple steps to get children into serving others.

1. Set Up A Family Foundation

Setting up a family foundation can seem daunting and can be expensive. You can, however, set one up for FREE and have it managed with Legacy Global Foundation as a Donor-Advised Fund. We recently wrote an article on Donor-Advised Funds and how they can help you with charitable planning. A Donor-Advised Fund, DAF for short, is easy to set up and Legacy’s staff can walk you through the application process to simplify the process. In the application process, you can select an advisory council that advises for the fund, such as members of your family. These will be the people your child will present their cause to, but more on that below.

2. Fund The Family Foundation

The next step is to fund the DAF. Any donations to the DAF are 100% tax-deductible. You can put in extra money you have or you can fundraise and put the funds into the account. Since the donor(s) now receive a tax deduction, all funds into the DAF are considered“complete”, which means no refunds. Unlike other parent non-profit organizations, Legacy Global does not require a minimum amount in the account. You can fundraise for a whole year, and advise that 100% of the amount be granted out to a charitable cause. Now, the child can research and select a cause they want to focus on.

3. Select A Cause They Care About

It is important to help your child select a cause that they care about themselves. While you can help lead and guide their focus, they need to pick a cause that will drive them and build a passion for them since they will be working with that cause or organization in the future.

4. The Child Presents Their Cause To The Family

Now that they have selected their cause/organization, it is time to present it to the advisory council of the family foundation. Depending on their age, help and guide them on how to give a presentation to the advisory council that can be compelling. Some clients have had their kids create whiteboard or PowerPoint presentations to present their cause. The important thing here is that the child has put in time and effort to persuade the council that this will be money well spent and how the child will get involved with the cause or organization they have selected.

5. The Child Volunteers With The Cause

Having your child be a part of the charitable cause is a huge part of this plan. They will be able to be directly involved with the impact the donation will have on others. This helps them see the good that money can bring to causes that they care about and will instill a sense of service to those who may be less fortunate than them. Help them be as involved as they can in their cause. They way they are involved can vary. Depending on the cause and charity they select, they can physically be there and volunteer many hours, or they can help virtually where ever they may be. Direct involvement, however, is the key here.

6. The Child Returns And Reports On Involvement And Impact

Typically a year later, they will return to the advisory council and report on the impact their time and donation has made. This helps with their sense of responsibility to the cause of their choice & the donation the family foundation has made. I suggest discussing these questions, but feel free to make your own:

  • What impact did they see?

  • Who did they meet?

  • What did they learn from their experience?

  • What did the donation do for their cause?

Then they can either choose to continue with another year or choose a different cause to support and repeat the cycle.

Learn more about how you can involve your children in charitable giving today!

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