Most seven-year-olds would save money to purchase computer games. Instead, Andrew Kirz (pictured above) gave his savings to The Nature Conservancy, stopping by the organization's San Francisco offices to make his donation.
"I gave my piggy bank to The Nature Conservancy to help them save plants and animals from going extinct like the dinosaurs did," said Kirz. "It took me two to three years to save all this money, most of it from the tooth fairy."
Does your child wish to donate money to a charitable organization? Do you want to teach your kids the importance of helping others? There are ways to help kids understand how to save money and make a difference.
1. Be a Role Model for Helping Others
Andrew Kirz saw his parents' involvement in various charities, which prompted him to get involved, too. Volunteering at community events, talking about current events, or making monetary donations to nonprofits teaches kids how to make an impact on the world around them.
2. Be a Role Model for Saving Money and Spending Wisely
Parents who purchase items on a whim miss the opportunity to teach their kids the value of money and choosing items wisely.
Set up your own coin bank where younger kids can see you plop change from pockets and purses. They'll be inclined to do the same. Let older kids accompany you to the bank when you make deposits.
3. Let Your Child Choose the Charity
Your cause may be a cure for cancer, but your child wants to save the polar bears. So let him. He'll have a more vested interest because it's the charity he chose on his own.
4. Set a Goal
Whether it's a monetary amount or time frame, a goal or end date will make the process more tangible.
5. Show Them the Money
Saving one dollar per week nets a $52 donation by year's end. Once your child has picked the charity of her choice, let her know what $52 can buy. Many organizations' websites break down what supplies or items can be purchased with various monetary amounts. This will give her a goal to work toward.
6. Use the "Spend-Save-Donate" Plan
This plan lets your child have three separate banks: one holds money for spending, the second contains money he wishes to save, and the third keeps money designated for a specific charity. With this plan a child still works toward their saving and donating goal but has some wiggle room for spending, too.
7. Make It a Party
We've all read stories of the child who asked friends to bring donations in lieu of gifts to their birthday party. Mention the idea to your son or daughter. Do you host a kids' holiday party each year? Instead of Secret Santa gifts, ask people to bring donations for a specific charity.
8. Show Them the Reward
Organizations send thank-you letters to donators. Make sure your child sees the letter recognizing their contribution. Put it in their scrapbook. Let them know how proud you are of their diligence and accomplishment. Was there a toy that caught your child's eye but didn't cause them to stray from their giving goal? Now might be a great time for a shopping trip on you!
This post was included in the blog carnival Homeschooling on the Cheap.