Philanthropy is often touted as a tool to encourage certain values and stewardship skills in the next generation — and there is an element of truth and sensibility to that point of view. That said, fostering character through philanthropy is best achieved through the initiative and interest of your child or grandchild. To go even further, fostering character is also best achieved when the child or grandchild has a tangible (from his or her point of view) role in philanthropy.
Below you will find a video produced for or by a faith-based group called iLikeGiving, whose mission is to inspire generous living. In this particular video, you’ll see not only an example of how young Ethan made an impact, but also how his parents allowed him to figure out how to make a difference on the other side of the globe.
So what can we take away from this video? Here are a few thoughts:
- Philanthropy will have its greatest impact on a giver’s character when tied closest to his or her passions, interests or concerns. If a giver’s character is your interest, then make sure your passions, interests or concerns aren’t promoted ahead of your child’s or grandchild’s.
- Exposing a child or grandchild to needs gives them a context for philanthropy. Be intentional about giving your children and grandchildren a clear view of the different experiences of those in other communities and circumstances.
- Writing a check is certainly helpful, but a personal investment in the charitable endeavor is almost certainly going to be much more impactful.
- Let the child or grandchild make it happen, but provide guidance and encouragement along the way.
Those are just some quick thoughts. What did you take away from this video illustration?